143035_DBW Course_r3

Chapter 2 X Boating Law, Navigational Rules and Navigational Aids

Sound Signal


All boats must carry some means of producing a sound signal, loud enough to be heard for at least half a mile. You must use your sound signaling device: ƒ When meeting, crossing or overtaking another boat. ƒ During periods of reduced visibility, such as fog or a blind bend in the river or narrow channel. ƒ During an emergency, to attract attention.

air horn


Sound signaling devices come in many shapes and sizes. You can use: ƒ An air horn (hand held or mounted). ƒ An electric horn. ƒ A whistle.


In an emergency you can even use: ƒ A megaphone made from a rolled up chart. ƒ A metal pot to bang on. Vessels 40 feet or longer are required to carry a whistle and a bell to meet the sound signaling device requirements. Radios such as VHF are commonly used to communicate between boats. They can be valuable tools for signaling other boats when you cross or over take them.

metal pot


WEBSITE For more information on sound signals requirements, visit dbw.parks.ca.gov/SafetyEquipment When you come upon more than one vessel, you may not be able to signal your intention with horn signals. You must take any action necessary to avoid a collision.


California Course for Safe Boating

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