This is a good question, especially as the weather is getting warmer and many are getting ready to go boating. Boats must have four main types of safety equipment:

  1. A personal flotation device (life jacket) available for each individual on board. Life jackets must be properly-sized, U.S. Coast Guard approved, and readily accessible;  children 12 years old and under are required to wear theirs while underway. Anyone being towed by a boat is required to wear a life jacket as well.
  2. A throwable flotation device is required on boats 16 feet and longer. The boat is required to have a minimum of one U.S. Coast Guard approved device which includes ring buoys and float cushions.  
  3. A proper fire extinguisher is required on any boat with an inboard engine, permanently installed fuel tank, closed living space, double bottoms that are not sealed to the hull or compartments that store fuel tanks or other combustible materials. Multiple extinguishers may be needed depending on the size of the boat.  
  4. Lights are also required when boating from sunset to sunrise. All motorized boats are required to display a red and a green light to represent the port (left) and starboard (right) sides, as well as a white light that is visible 360 degrees when underway. Again, the types of lights required differ based on the size of the boat.
There are other requirements for boating in Wyoming, so please review our watercraft regulations and our Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program requirements to see what is required for each type of watercraft.
Anchors aweigh!  

Kristen DaVanon
Game Warden, Laramie Region


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