Georgia Boater Education Course


CHAPTER 5: Navigation Rules


Using sound to signal other vessels is one of the first ways you can prevent a collision.

Let’s look at the rules for what sound signalling equipment you need to have onboard.

For boats between 39.4 feet and 65 feet in length, you must have a bell, as well as an air-horn or a whistle, onboard.

For vessels less than 39.4 feet in length, you need one effective sound-producing device, like an air horn or a whistle.

If you’re operating an unpowered boat, you simply need to have the means to make a sound signal that can be heard by another boat operator in time to avoid a collision. That could mean having a whistle, a bell, or an air horn onboard.

It’s important to note that these are federal requirements.