Boats under 12 m (39’4”) without a fitted sound-signalling appliance must carry a sound-signalling device. This can be a pealess whistle, a compressed gas horn or an electric horn.
All boats 12 m (39’4”) or more must have a fitted whistle. Boats over 20 m (65’7”) must also have a bell. Check the Collision Regulations for the technical standards these appliances must meet.
If your boat is equipped with navigation lights, they must work and meet the technical standards set out in the Collision Regulations. The following table lays out some basic requirements and options for navigation lights and shapes, based on the type and length of your boat. If you have a sail boat that is also equipped with a motor, you must meet the standards for both sail boats and power boats.
Remember that the following table is not complete. Read the Collision Regulations (referred to in each category below) for more details. If you are fitting your own navigation lights, refer to the positioning requirements in the Collision Regulations, ANNEX I (Positioning and technical details of lights and shapes). If you have any questions after reading the regulations, please contact us.
Navigation Light and Shape Requirements and Options by Boat Type and Length
|Boat Type and Length||Requirements||Options|
|Power Boats under 12 m (39’4”) - Rule 23||
|Power Boats from 12 m (39’4”) to under 50 m (164’1”) - Rule 23||
|Sail Boats under 7 m (23') - Rule 25||
|Sail Boats from 7 m (23') to under 20 m (65'7") - Rule 25||
|Sail Boats 20 m (65'7") and over - Rule 25||
|Human-Powered Boats - Rule 25||
|Boats at Anchor under 7 m (23') - Rule 30||
If the boat is in or near a narrow channel, fairway or anchorage, or where other boats normally navigate:
|Boats at Anchor from 7 m (23') to under 50 m (164'1") - Rule 30||
Masthead light: a white light placed over the fore and aft centreline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and fixed so the light can be seen from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.
Sidelights: a green light on the starboard side and a red light on the port side, each showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 112.5 degrees and fixed so the light can be seen from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on its respective side. In a vessel of less than 20 m (65’7”) in length, the sidelights may be combined in one lantern carried on the fore and aft centreline of the vessel.
Sternlight: a white light placed as nearly as possible at the stern, showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 135 degrees and fixed so the light can be seen 67.5 degrees from right aft on each side of the vessel.
All-round light: a light showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360 degrees.
A radar reflector can enhance your safety on the water, but only if it’s big enough and well placed on your boat. Reflectors help larger vessels to see small boats on their radar screens, which is sometimes the only way that they will be able to spot you.
When buying a reflector, there is no substitute for size – so buy the biggest one that is practicable for your boat. Height is also very important, so keep this in mind too. Reflectors should be located above all superstructures and at least 4 m (13’1”) above the water if practicable. There are all kinds of reflectors of varying quality on the market, so make sure you look carefully before buying.