Kansas Safe Boating Course


CHAPTER 2: Boating Equipment


It’s time to introduce the next important piece of safety equipment on your boat: the fire extinguisher.

You are required by law to have a fire extinguisher on board if your boat has an engine and meets any of the following conditions:

  • Your boat has closed compartments where portable fuel tanks may be stored.
  • Your boat has a double bottom that is not sealed to the hull and that is not completely filled with flotation materials.
  • Your boat has closed living spaces.
  • Your boat has permanently installed fuel tanks.
  • Or if your boat has an inboard engine.

It is not required by law to carry a fire extinguisher on other types of boats but it is still highly recommended. Fires can happen unexpectedly and it’s always a smart idea to be prepared.

No matter the type of boat, to be prepared your fire extinguisher needs to be accessible.

So make sure that you mount your fire extinguisher in a location that is easy to reach in the event of an emergency. Ideally, it should be within arm’s reach of you and your passengers.

Now, let’s quickly review the number of and types of fire extinguishers you need on your boat.

  • If your boat is less than 26 feet, you need one B1 fire extinguisher on board.
  • If your boat is between 26 and 40 feet, you need either two B1 or a single B2 fire extinguisher.
  • And finally, if your boat is between 40 and 65 feet, you need either three B1 extinguishers or two B2 extinguishers.

If your boat is longer than 65 feet, check the federal regulations.


Less than 26 ft.

26 ft. to less than 40 ft.

40 ft. to less than 65 ft.

Greater than 65 ft.

Must meet federal requirements

Inboard engines

When the engine compartment is equipped with a fixed (built-in) extinguishing system, one less B-1 extinguisher is required onboard.