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PAGE CONTENTS: (clickto go to each section on this page)
United States Federal Laws: Introduction, Background, Details, etc.
    United States Code (USC).
    Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
    United States Coast Guard (USCG).
       Federal Requirements Guides.
       Boatbuilders Handbook.
       Hull Identification (HIN & MIC), Manufacturers Recalls.
       Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVIC).
    International Treaties: SOLAS, MARPOL, Load Line and IMCO Collision Regulations Treaty.
Local Laws, Ordinances and Regulations: Directory of Laws by US States, etc.
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United States Federal Laws

Coast-Guard-Inspections

The United States has developed statutes and regulations, and have participated in international conventions, treaties, and agreements that apply to boats and ships. The Statutes include the United States Code (USC) especially Titles 33 and 46, and regulations such as the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) especially Titles 33 and 46. The US has participated in the SOLAS, MARPOL, Load Line and Collision Regulations Conventions, and joined the resulting treaties. In addition to the federal laws and regulations, many individual states, districts, counties, and municipalities have their own laws, ordinances and regulations.

Title 33 and Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations are frequently consulted by Boatbuilders, Marine equipment manufactures, Classification societies, engineering firms, deck officers on oceangoing vessels, and marine engineers.

See the Code of Federal Regulations that pertain to Recreational Boating Safety online

See the United State Code that pertain to Recreational Boating Safety online

United States Code (USC)

The Code of Laws of the United States of America (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, U.S. Code, U.S.C., or USC) is the official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States. It contains 52 titles. The two titles of particular interest to mariners and the marine industry are Titles 33 and 46.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations (sometimes called administrative law) published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government of the United States. The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation. The two titles of particular interest to mariners and the marine industry are Titles 33 and 46. While they may appear similar to the titles in the U. S. Code, they are NOT the same.

Within Title 33 is Subchapter S – Boating Safety which includes the following Parts:

173 – VESSEL NUMBERING AND CASUALTY AND ACCIDENT REPORTING
174 – STATE NUMBERING AND CASUALTY REPORTING SYSTEMS
175 – EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
177 – CORRECTION OF ESPECIALLY HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS
179 – DEFECT NOTIFICATION
181 – MANUFACTURER REQUIREMENTS
183 – BOATS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT
187 – VESSEL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM
NOTES: Most of Title 33 applies to recreational vessels as well.
Title 46 – SHIPPING contains the following pertinent Chapters, Subchapters and Parts:
Chapter I — Coast Guard, Department Of Homeland Security
^  Subchapter A — Procedures Applicable To The Public
^  ^  Part 1 — Organization, General Course And Methods Governing Marine Safety Functions
^  ^  Part 2 — Vessel Inspections
^  ^  Part 3 — Designation Of Oceanographic Research Vessels
^  ^  Part 4 — Marine Casualties And Investigations
^  ^  Part 5 — Marine Investigation Regulations—Personnel Action
^  ^  Part 6 — Waivers Of Navigation And Vessel Inspection Laws And Regulations
^  ^  Part 7 — Boundary Lines
^  ^  Part 8 — Vessel Inspection Alternatives
^  ^  Part 9 — Extra Compensation For Overtime Services
^  Subchapter B — Merchant Marine Officers And Seamen
^  ^  Part 10 — Merchant Mariner Credential
^  ^  Part 11 — Requirements For Officer Endorsements
^  ^  Part 12 — Requirements For Rating Endorsements
^  ^  Part 13 — Certification Of Tankermen
^  ^  Part 14 — Shipment And Discharge Of Merchant Mariners
^  ^  Part 15 — Manning Requirements
^  ^  Part 16 — Chemical Testing
^  Subchapter C — Uninspected Vessels
^  ^  Part 24 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 25 — Requirements
^  ^  Part 26 — Operations
^  ^  Part 27 — Towing Vessels
^  ^  Part 28 — Requirements For Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels
^  Subchapter D — Tank Vessels
^  ^  Part 30 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 31 — Inspection And Certification
^  ^  Part 32 — Special Equipment, Machinery, And Hull Requirements
^  ^  Part 34 — Firefighting Equipment
^  ^  Part 35 — Operations
^  ^  Part 36 — Elevated Temperature Cargoes
^  ^  Part 38 — Liquefied Flammable Gases
^  ^  Part 39 — Vapor Control Systems
^  Subchapter E — Load Lines
^  ^  Part 42 — Domestic And Foreign Voyages By Sea
^  ^  Part 44 — Special Service Limited Domestic Voyages
^  ^  Part 45 — Great Lakes Load Lines
^  ^  Part 46 — Subdivision Load Lines For Passenger Vessels
^  ^  Part 47 — Combination Load Lines
^  Subchapter F — Marine Engineering
^  ^  Part 50 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 52 — Power Boilers
^  ^  Part 53 — Heating Boilers
^  ^  Part 54 — Pressure Vessels
^  ^  Part 56 — Piping Systems And Appurtenances
^  ^  Part 57 — Welding And Brazing
^  ^  Part 58 — Main And Auxiliary Machinery And Related Systems
^  ^  Part 59 — Repairs To Boilers, Pressure Vessels And Appurtenances
^  ^  Part 61 — Periodic Tests And Inspections
^  ^  Part 62 — Vital System Automation
^  ^  Part 63 — Automatic Auxiliary Boilers
^  ^  Part 64 — Marine Portable Tanks And Cargo Handling Systems
^  Subchapter G — Documentation And Measurement Of Vessels
^  ^  Part 67 — Documentation Of Vessels
^  ^  Part 68 — Documentation Of Vessels: Exceptions To Coastwise Qualification
^  ^  Part 69 — Measurement Of Vessels
^  Subchapter H — Passenger Vessels
^  ^  Part 70 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 71 — Inspection And Certification
^  ^  Part 72 — Construction And Arrangement
^  ^  Part 76 — Fire Protection Equipment
^  ^  Part 77 — Vessel Control And Miscellaneous Systems And Equipment
^  ^  Part 78 — Operations
^  ^  Part 80 — Disclosure Of Safety Standards And Country Of Registry
^  Subchapter I — Cargo And Miscellaneous Vessels
^  ^  Part 90 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 91 — Inspection And Certification
^  ^  Part 92 — Construction And Arrangement
^  ^  Part 93 — Stability
^  ^  Part 95 — Fire Protection Equipment
^  ^  Part 96 — Vessel Control And Miscellaneous Systems And Equipment
^  ^  Part 97 — Operations
^  ^  Part 98 — Special Construction, Arrangement, And Other Provisions For
^  ^  ^  Certain Dangerous Cargoes In Bulk
^  ^  Part 105 — Commercial Fishing Vessels Dispensing Petroleum Products
^  Subchapter I-A — Mobile Offshore Drilling Units
^  ^  Part 107 — Inspection And Certification
^  ^  Part 108 — Design And Equipment
^  ^  Part 109 — Operations
^  Subchapter J—Electrical Engineering
^  ^  Part 110 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 111 — Electric Systems—General Requirements
^  ^  Part 112 — Emergency Lighting And Power Systems
^  ^  Part 113 — Communication And Alarm Systems And Equipment
^  Subchapter K—Small Passenger Vessels Carrying More Than 150 Passengers Or With
^  ^  ^  Overnight Accommodations For More Than 49 Passengers
^  ^  Part 114 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 115 — Inspection And Certification
^  ^  Part 116 — Construction And Arrangement
^  ^  Part 117 — Lifesaving Equipment And Arrangements
^  ^  Part 118 — Fire Protection Equipment
^  ^  Part 119 — Machinery Installation
^  ^  Part 120 — Electrical Installation
^  ^  Part 121 — Vessel Control And Miscellaneous Systems And Equipment
^  ^  Part 122 — Operations
^  Subchapter L — Offshore Supply Vessels
^  ^  Part 125 — General
^  ^  Part 126 — Inspection And Certification
^  ^  Part 127 — Construction And Arrangements
^  ^  Part 128 — Marine Engineering: Equipment And Systems
^  ^  Part 129 — Electrical Installations
^  ^  Part 130 — Vessel Control, And Miscellaneous Equipment And Systems
^  ^  Part 131 — Operations
^  ^  Part 132 — Fire-Protection Equipment
^  ^  Part 133 — Lifesaving Systems
^  ^  Part 134 — Added Provisions For Liftboats
^  Subchapter N — Dangerous Cargoes
^  ^  Part 147 — Hazardous Ships’ Stores
^  ^  Part 147a — Interim Regulations For Shipboard Fumigation
^  ^  Part 148 — Carriage Of Bulk Solid Materials That Require Special Handling
^  Subchapter O — Certain Bulk Dangerous Cargoes
^  ^  Part 150 — Compatibility Of Cargoes
^  ^  Part 151 — Barges Carrying Bulk Liquid Hazardous Material Cargoes
^  ^  Part 153 — Ships Carrying Bulk Liquid, Liquefied Gas, Or Compressed Gas Haz. Materials
^  ^  Part 154 — Safety Standards For Self-Propelled Vessels Carrying Bulk Liquefied Gases
^  Subchapter P — Manning Of Vessels [Reserved]
^  Subchapter Q — Equipment, Construction, And Materials: Specifications And Approval
^  ^  Part 159 — Approval Of Equipment And Materials
^  ^  Part 160 — Lifesaving Equipment
^  ^  Part 161 — Electrical Equipment
^  ^  Part 162 — Engineering Equipment
^  ^  Part 163 — Construction
^  ^  Part 164 — Materials
^  Subchapter R — Nautical Schools
^  ^  Part 166 — Designation And Approval Of Nautical School Ships
^  ^  Part 167 — Public Nautical School Ships
^  ^  Part 168 — Civilian Nautical School Vessels
^  ^  Part 169 — Sailing School Vessels
^  Subchapter S — Subdivision And Stability
^  ^  Part 170 — Stability Requirements For All Inspected Vessels
^  ^  Part 171 — Special Rules Pertaining To Vessels Carrying Passengers
^  ^  Part 172 — Special Rules Pertaining To Bulk Cargoes
^  ^  Part 173 — Special Rules Pertaining To Vessel Use
^  ^  Part 174 — Special Rules Pertaining To Specific Vessel Types
^  Subchapter T — Small Passenger Vessels (Under 100 Gross Tons)
^  ^  Part 175 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 176 — Inspection And Certification
^  ^  Part 177 — Construction And Arrangement
^  ^  Part 178 — Intact Stability And Seaworthiness
^  ^  Part 179 — Subdivision, Damage Stability, And Watertight Integrity
^  ^  Part 180 — Lifesaving Equipment And Arrangements
^  ^  Part 181 — Fire Protection Equipment
^  ^  Part 182 — Machinery Installation
^  ^  Part 183 — Electrical Installation
^  ^  Part 184 — Vessel Control And Miscellaneous Systems And Equipment
^  ^  Part 185 — Operations
^  Subchapter U — Oceanographic Research Vessels
^  ^  Part 188 — General Provisions
^  ^  Part 189 — Inspection And Certification
^  ^  Part 190 — Construction And Arrangement
^  ^  Part 193 — Fire Protection Equipment
^  ^  Part 194 — Handling, Use, And Control Of Explosives And Other Hazardous Materials
^  ^  Part 195 — Vessel Control And Miscellaneous Systems And Equipment
^  ^  Part 196 — Operations
^  Subchapter V — Marine Occupational Safety And Health Standards
^  ^  Part 197 — General Provisions
^  Subchapter W — Lifesaving Appliances And Arrangements
^  ^  Part 199 — Lifesaving Systems For Certain Inspected Vessels
Chapter Ii — Maritime Administration, Department Of Transportation
Chapter Iii — Coast Guard (Great Lakes Pilotage), Department Of Homeland Security
Chapter Iv — Federal Maritime Commission
NOTES: Most of Title 46 applies only to commercial vessels.


United States Coast Guard (USCG)

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Enforcement.


Federal Requirements Guides

The USCG produced the following pamphlets to help recreational boaters and commercial fishermen comply with the Federal Requirements. Click the pamphlets to view or download.

USCG Requirements for RecBoats Pg1 - 420CLICK HERE for “A Boater’s Guide To The Federal Requirements For Recreational Boats” Pamphlet from the USCG Website – OR from the EAB Archive

CLICK HERE for Recreational Vessel Safety Check information

USCG Requirements for ComFishingVessels_Page_1

CLICK HERE for “Federal Requirements For Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels” Pamphlet from the USCG Website – OR from the EAB Archive

CLICK HERE for Commercial Fishing Vessel Dockside Safety Examination information


Boatbuilder’s Handbook

The USCG produced the following handbook to help boatbuilders comply with the Federal Requirements. Recreational boat owners, refitters and repairers will also benefit from the more the 600 pages of information contained in the handbook.

PART1 - Pg1

CLICK HERE to view the handbook’s contents, OR to view or download
the USCG Boatbuilder’s Handbook as a PDF
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Manufacturer's Identification Codes (MIC)
& Vessel Hull Identification Numbers (HIN)

To facilitate the identifying, registering, importing and exporting of vessels, especially recreational vessels, many countries have developed uniform methods to apply identification numbers such as a Hull Identification Number (HIN). The HIN may be preceded by an optional country of origin identifier consisting of a two letter Alpha-2 ISO Code/Abbreviations for the country followed by a "-" (dash). For example, "CA-" identifies Canada as the vessel's country of origin. "GB-" identifies the United Kingdom as the country of origin, and "US-" identifies the United States as the country of origin as shown below.

Some HINs are stamped, etched or printed on plates or decals which are then attached to the vessels' hull in the location required by statute. The above HIN however shows the appearance of one created using a special Dymo "Reverse Emboss" labeler and the label was then pasted to the transom surface of the female mold before the laying of the gelcoat and fiberglass. The "SER" MIC identifies the builder as "Sea Ray". The regulation allows the twelve character HIN to be followed by characters created by the builder for their use such as to identify the boat model, specs, etc. provided that these characters are clearly separated from the HIN.

The HIN above lacks the last two of the twelve required characters. It is missing the model year characters and therefore does not meet the required HIN format as described below. This could have been a mistake at the factory, but it should have been caught there. Is this an altered HIN? Is this a stolen boat? This HIN will undoubtedly cause problems for the owner or buyer.

CFR Title 33Chapter ISubchapter SPart 181 →Subpart C—Identification of Boats

The above United States Code of Federal Regulations require recreational boats sold or imported into the United States after November 1, 1972 to have a twelve character Hull Identification Number (HIN).

The first three characters of the HIN are the Manufacturer’s Identification Code (MIC). Manufacturers and importers are required to apply in writing to the United States Coast Guard for assignment of a MIC. The Coast Guard maintains a database of all MICs for recreational boat manufacturers in the United States and in Canada, plus U.S. importers of recreational boats. This database contains active and inactive (out of business) manufacturers, and importers. The linked database pages show dates active, contact information, location and whether the MIC had ever been assigned to a different name or manufacturer.

Following the MIC, the US HIN consists of the vessel's five character hull serial number (HIN characters 4∼8) followed by the vessel's four character date of certification or manufacture (HIN characters 9∼12). The date indicated can be no earlier than the date construction or assembly began and no later than the date the boat leaves the place of manufacture or assembly or is imported into the United States for the purposes of sale. From November 1, 1972 until July 31, 1984 this date can take one of two formats. In the format commonly called the "Straight−Date format", the first two characters were the numbers for the month and the 3rd and 4th characters were the last two numbers of the year. Therefore 1278 = December, 1978.

Straight-Date Format
ABC123451278 = December, 1978

Since this format did not include the model year of the vessel, an optional "date" format was allowed that started with the letter "M" for "Model Year Format". The 2nd and 3rd characters of the date were the last two numbers of the model year. Since the model year ran from August of the previous year to July of the model year, the 4th character was a letter code for the month beginning with: A=AUG, B=SEP, C=OCT, D=NOV, E=DEC, F=JAN, G=FEB, H=MAR, I=APR, J=MAY, K=JUN & L=JUL. M73D = 1973 model year, but the date of certification/manufacture was actually November, 1972. M73G = 1973 model year, and the date of certification/manufacture was February, 1973.

Model Year Format
ABC12345M73D = November, 1972
ABC12345M73G = February, 1973
Both are  Model Year 1973

These two formats proved to be confusing and troublesome especially if the vessel required a long time to complete, so since August 1, 1984 a 3rd format became required for all new vessels that combined the date of certification/manufacture and the model year. The 1st character is a letter for the month as follows: A=JAN, B=FEB, C=MAR, D=APR, E=MAY, F=JUN, G=JUL, H=AUG, I=SEP, J=OCT, K=NOV & L=DEC, The 2nd character is the last number of the year of certification or manufacture. The 3rd and 4th characters are the last two numbers of the model year. Therefore K485 = November, 1984 for the date of certification/manufacture and 1985 is the model year. B585 = February, 1985 as the date of certification/manufacture and 1985 is the model year. Since most boats can be built in less then 10 years, this format has worked well.

Current Format
ABC12345K485 = November, 1984
ABC12345B585 = February, 1985

Both are Model Year 1985

A second "concealed" placement of the HIN must be provided on each vessel by the builder or importer in an undisclosed location that is available to law enforcement in order for them to determine the identity of the vessel, ownership, etc. in the event that the displayed HIN is altered, damaged, destroyed, removed, etc.

Vessels that do not display officially assigned HINs, such as homemade vessels and vessels build before the effective date of the above regulations, are usually assigned a unique HIN by the numbering authority (such as a US state) when it is registered. The MIC section (first three digits) of this HIN will identify the numbering authority. Most early US HINs used the standard two-letter state abbreviations followed by the letter "Z". But, later US HINs used the two−letter vessel registration prefix abbreviation for the state followed by the letter "Z". These two abbreviations were not always the same. For example, Washington State used WAZ (early) & WNZ (later). The numbering authority will usually supply a decal or plate with the assigned HIN as shown below which is then attached as required by the regulations. Owners would do well to protect these decals so they do not deteriorate to the point that they become unreadable.

In 1982, Canada adopted the US HIN format and placement as described in Transport Canada Small Vessel Regulations Part 9. Several other countries have also adopted the US HIN format and placement. In Europe, ships are given a Craft Identification Number (CIN) or Hull Identification Number (HIN), standardized in EN ISO 10087:2006. The numbers are a permanent, unique, fourteen-digit alphanumeric identifier issued to all marine vessels in Europe. The numbering system is mandated by the European Recreational Craft Directive and descended from the American system. An example CID/HIN might appear as “GB-ABC00042-A8-99”, where “GB” is the ISO 3166-1 country code, “ABC” would be the Acme Boat Company’s Manufacturer Identity Code (MIC); “00042” would be the forty-second hull constructed by the organisation; “A8” would be January 1998 for the date that the keel was laid to the nearest month and “99” denoted as the model year 1999. Months are denoted from A∼L for January∼December like the latest US system. See UK Marine Laws for more.


Search the USCG MIC Database (over 16,000 US & Canada Manufacturers)

Search the USCG Recall Database (over 1300 recalls)

More from USCG Manufacurers Identification Code (MIC) Database

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Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVIC)

A Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular provides detailed guidance about the enforcement or compliance with a certain Federal marine safety regulations and Coast Guard marine safety programs.  While NVIC’s are non-directive, meaning that they do not have the force of law, they are important “tools” for complying with the law.  Non-compliance with a NVIC is not a violation of the law in and of itself, however non-compliance with a NVIC may be an indication that there is non-compliance with a law, a regulation or a policy.

NVIC’s are used internally by the Coast Guard to ensure that inspections and other regulatory actions conducted by our field personnel are adequate, complete and consistent.  Likewise, mariners, the marine industry and the general public use NVIC’s as means of determining how the Coast Guard will be enforcing certain regulations or conducting various marine safety programs.  NVIC’s are issued by the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy (CG-5P) and address a wide variety of subjects, including: vessel construction features; mariner training and licensing requirements; inspection methods and testing techniques; safety and security procedures; requirements for certain Coast Guard regulatory processes; manning requirements; equipment approval methods; and special hazards. One of the most useful NVIC issues, at least for vessels constructed of wood, is the NVIC 7-95 Guidance on Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls.

NVIC’s are numbered consecutively by year, e.g., NVIC 7-02 would be the seventh NVIC issued in 2002.  The “zero” NVIC, numbered 00, is always the index of NVIC’s in force or still current at the beginning of the calendar year.  For example, NVIC 00-07 is a list of all NVIC’s in effect as of January 1, 2007.

Click Here to see the complete listing of NVIC’s by year

More about NVIC from the USCG website: www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/


International Treaties

The US has participated in the SOLAS, MARPOL, Load Line and Collision Regulations Conventions, and joined the resulting treaties.

SOLAS Convention

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is an international maritime safety treaty. It ensures that ships flagged by signatory States comply with minimum safety standards in construction, equipment and operation. The Radio watchkeeping requirements are promulgated by it. The SOLAS Convention in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships.

MARPOL Convention

MARPOL is short for marine pollution. MARPOL 73/78 (short for the years 1973 and 1978) is one of the most important international marine environmental conventions. It was designed to minimize pollution of the seas, including dumping, oil and exhaust pollution. Its stated object is to preserve the marine environment through the complete elimination of pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharge of such substances. All ships flagged under countries that are signatories to MARPOL are subject to its requirements, regardless of where they sail and member nations are responsible for vessels registered under their respective nationalities.

Load Lines Convention

The International Convention on Load Lines (CLL) was signed in London on 5 April 1966, amended by the 1988 Protocol and further revised in 2003. The 1988 Protocol was adopted to harmonise the survey and certification requirement of the 1966 Convention with those contained in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and MARPOL 73/78.

According to the CLL 66/88, all assigned load lines must be marked amidships on each side of the ships engaged in international voyages. The determinations of the freeboard of ships are calculated and/or verified by classification societies which issue International Load Line Certificates in accordance with the legislation of participating States. This Convention provides for the terms of ship’s surveys, issuance, duration, validity and acceptance of International Load Line Certificates, as well as relevant State control measures, agreed exemptions and exceptions.

Annexes to the Convention contain various regulations for determining load lines, including details of marking and verification of marks, conditions of assignment of freeboard, freeboard tables and corrections, special provisions for ships intended for the carriage of timber and the prescribed form of International Load Line Certificates. Also taken into account are the potential hazards present in different zones and different seasons and additional safety measures concerning doors, hatchways etc.

IMCO Collision Regulations Treaty (72COLREGS)

Sometimes referred to as the Rules of the Road, the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72COLREGS) are the Navigation Rules  (COLREGS when in International Waters or waters outside the COLREGS Demarcation Line or Inland Navigation Rules inside the Demarcation Lines) are regulations which aid mariners in safe navigation, just as driving laws aid vehicles in safe driving. Professional Mariners must be proficient in the Rules of the Road but all mariners should know and understand the Rules.  The Rules are legally binding and application of them makes the waterways safer for everyone.

The International Rules were formalized in the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, and became effective on July 15, 1977. The United States has ratified this treaty and all United States flag vessels must adhere to these Rules. President Ford proclaimed the 72 COLREGS and the Congress adopted them as the International Navigation Rules Act of 1977.

Per 33 CFR 83.01(g), the operator of each self-propelled vessel 12 meters (39.37 feet) or more in length shall carry on board and maintain for ready reference a copy of the Inland Navigation Rules. Electronic copies of the Navigation Rules are acceptable, however, only if they are currently corrected to the latest Notice to Mariners and can be made available for ready reference.  The unwritten rule of thumb: ‘readily’ means that you are able to avail yourself of a Rule(s) within 2 minutes of the need to do so.

Navrules_lgClick Here to view the latest version of the COLREGS

The 72 COLREGS were developed by the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), which has since been renamed the International Maritime Organization (IMO).  The IMO has adopted 86 amendments to the COLREGS, the most recent of which was in 2007.


Local Laws, Ordinances and Regulations

Many US Laws and Regulations apply in all the subordinate US jurisdictions including states, territories, districts, counties, and municipalities. These subordinate jurisdictions also have their own laws, ordinances and regulations. Additional US Federal Laws apply to Federal Jurisdictions located within the various states, territories, etc., such as US Military Bases, National Forests, National Parks, and Indian Reservations. These jurisdictions also have their own laws, ordinances and regulations.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators offers a reference guide to promote greater uniformity in state boating laws and to facilitate the enforcement and administration of such laws. CLICK HERE to view the NASBLA Boating Law Manual Online.

Directory of Laws by US States, etc.

US Federal District:
Washington, D.C.

US States:
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

US Territories:
American Samoa
Guam
Northern Mariana Islands
Puerto Rico
US Virgin Island


Related Resources:
Topic Pages w/Directories, Vendors, Products: Media: Books, Websites, etc.
Categorized by Topic & Hierarchy w/Links.

TABLE KEY: Resource Types are identified by the following Resource Codes (RC).
T = Topic Page.
TD = Topic Page w/Directory
V = Vendor.
MV = Media Vendor/Creator.
MS = Media Source.
P = Product.
PD = Product Documentation.
B = Book.
BB = Book - Biography.
BF = Book - Fiction.
M = Magazine.
MA = Magazine Article.
Vid = Video.
W = Website.
WA = Website Article.
WV = Website Video (incl. YouTube).
F = Forum.
FP = Forum Post.
S = Social Media.
SP = Social Media Post.
NOTES: Resource Codes are arranged above by resource directory hierarchy.
Resource Codes are displayed in the Right Column labeled "RC".  ⇒  ⇒  ⇒  ⇒  ⇒  ⇒  ⇒  ⇒  ⇒ ⇓
Resource Codes which are BOLD indicate Media is available from our Academy eLibrary.⇒ ⇓
^ To view Media, Click on the Media Title to go to our webpage for that media and then:
^ ^ Scroll down to the Academy eLibrary section for media viewing instructions.
Resource Media (Books, Magazines, Videos, etc.) Titles are displayed in a smaller font.
Resource Titles below are arranged by hierarchy using "^" to show subordination.
Resource Links which are BOLD lead to EAB ON-SITE pages.
Resource Links which are NOT BOLD lead OFF-SITE.
If a link fails or we should add a resource to this listing, please submit info via email to:
^ Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@")

RELATED RESOURCES: Topics‚ Directories‚ Vendors‚ Products‚ etc. RC
## – TOPIC: (1st Level 'Numbered' Main Topic) T
##.## – Topic: (2nd Level 'Numbered' Subtopic) T
##.## –  ^  Title ('Unnumbered' Directory‚ Vendor‚ Product‚+. Usually Listed Alphabetically) T
##.## –  ^  Media Title — Creators (Authors‚ Editors‚ Illustrators‚+) – Source (Publishers‚+) ?
##.##.00 – Topic: (3rd Level 'Unnumbered' Subtopic) T
00 – HOME Page w/Featured Articles. T
00.01 – ABOUT EAB (EverythingAboutBoats.org). T
00.01.01 – Contact EverythingAboutBoats.org. T
00.01.02 – Privacy Policy. T
00.01.03 – Copyrights. T
00.01.04 – Comment Rules. T
00.01.05 – Submitting Articles. T
00.01.06 – Abbreviations‚ Acronyms & Symbols used on EAB website. T
00.01.07 – FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions about EAB & website). T
00.01.08 – Disclamer. T
00.02 – GLOSSARY OF NAUTICAL TERMS. T
00.03 – ASK AN EXPERT. T
00.04 – CLASSIFIED ADS. T
01 – ABOUT BOATS w/Museum Directory: Early History‚ Recent History‚ Modern Vessels‚+. TD
02 – BOAT BUILDING‚ OUTFITTING‚ REFITTING & REPAIR: (Incl. DIY). T
02.01 – Boat Designing Schools: TD
02.02 – Boat Designers: (Naval Architects‚ Boat Plans‚ Kits‚+). TD
02.03 – Statutes & Standards: T
02.03.01 – Marine Laws & Regulations: (CAN‚ GBR‚ USA‚+). TD
02.03.02 – Industry Standards: TD
02.03.02 –  ^  International Maritime Organization (IMO). V
02.03.02 –  ^  International Standards Organization (ISO). V
02.03.02 –  ^  American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC). V
02.03.02 –  ^  National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). V
02.03.03 – Classification Societies: TD
02.04 – Boat Building & Refitting Tools‚+: (Vendors‚ Specs‚ Manuals‚ Recalls‚+). TD
02.05 – Boat Materials: (Qualities‚ Vendors‚ Specs‚ Manuals‚ Recalls‚+). TD
02.06 – Boat Equipment: (Vendors‚ Specs‚ Manuals‚ Reviews‚ Recalls‚+). TD
03 – BOAT MARKETING: Boat Shows‚ Dealers‚ Brokers‚ Importing‚ Exporting‚ Auctions‚ Sales‚+. T
04 – BOAT INSPECTION: Types of Surveys‚ Marine Surveyors‚ Schools‚ DIY Inspections‚+. T
05 – BOAT TITLES & VESSEL REGISTRY: Boat Title & Registration‚ Vessel Registry‚ Title Co's‚+. T
06 – BOAT FINANCING: Conventional (BanksCredit Unions‚+)‚ Unconventional (Creative)‚+. T
07 – BOAT INSURANCE: Policies‚ Claim Processing (FilingRepairClaimSubrogationCases)‚+. T
08 – BOAT TRANSPORT: By Sea (Piggyback‚ Delivery Skippers & Crews‚ & Towing)‚ Over-Land‚+. T
09 – BOAT LAUNCHING & HAULING: Drydocks‚ Ways‚ Lifts‚ Cranes & Hoists‚ Launch Ramps‚+. T
10 – BOAT MOORAGE & STORAGE: Builders‚ Anchorages‚ Marinas‚ Yards‚ Racks‚ Stacks‚+. T
11 – BOATING ORGANIZATIONS: Yacht Clubs‚ Sailing Clubs‚ Owners‚+. Educational‚ Gov-Aux‚+. T
12 – BOATING & TRAVEL: Events‚ Destinations‚ Boat Rentals‚ Charters‚ Cruises‚ Voyages‚+. T
13 – BOATING & MARITIME EDUCATION: (Operator Qualification‚+). D
13.01 – Recreational Boating Seamanship Training: T
13.01.01 – Boating Safety Classes by Country: (Pleasure Craft Operator’s Cards‚+). TD
13.01.02 – Seamanship Schools by Country: D
13.01.03 – Sailing Schools by Country: D
13.01.04 – One-On-One Training by Country: D
13.02 – Maritime Schools by Country: (Ship's Master‚ Crew‚+). TD
13.03 – Boating Safety: (Accidents‚ Prevention‚ Man-Overboard‚ Search & Rescue‚+). T
14 – MARINE LAWS & REGULATIONS: (CAN‚ GBR‚ USA‚+) (International‚ National‚+). T
14.01 – Lawyers: (CANGBRUSA‚+). D
14.02 – Investigators‚ Consultants & Expert Witnesses: TD
14.03 – Actual Cases: TD
15 – DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY): T
15.01 – DIY Boat Building‚ Outfitting‚ Refitting & Repair (Incl. Maintenance & Fault Finding). T
15.02 – DIY Boat Sales (Buyers & Sellers). T
15.03 – DIY Boat Inspections (Pre-Survey‚ Pre-Purchase‚ Pre-Sale‚ Pre-Voyage‚ Sea Trials‚+). T
15.04 – DIY Schools & Classes (Boat Building‚ Outfitting‚ Refitting‚ Inspecting‚ Repair‚+). D
15.04 –  ^  Anchors Aweigh Academy. V
16 – MEDIA w/Creator Directory: (Authors‚ Editors‚ Publishers‚+) + Academy eLibrary. TD
16.01 – Documentation: (Catalogs‚ Ads‚ SpecSheets‚ Manuals‚ TechVids‚ Bulletins‚ Recalls‚+). D
16.02 – Books: (Bound‚ eBooks‚+). D
16.02 –  ^  United Nations Convention on the Law of the SeaInternational Agreements B
16.02 –  ^  United Nations Convention on the Law of the SeaUnited Nations B
16.02 –  ^  United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A CommentaryAlexander Proelß B
16.02 –  ^  United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea‚ second editionWilliam Worster B
16.02 –  ^  Water Craft Regulations of Pierce CountyPierce County WA B
16.03 – Magazines: (Incl. Articles‚ Back Issues‚+). D
16.03 –  ^  The ANCHOR — Anchors Aweigh Academy M
16.03 –  ^  DIY Boat Owner - The Marine Maintenance MagazineBoatUS Mad Mariner (OoB) M
16.04 – Videos: (How-to-Tutorials‚ Documentaries‚ Travelogues‚+). D
16.05 – Websites: (Incl. Articles‚ Forum Posts‚ Tech Tips‚ Tech Notes‚ Social Media‚+). D
16.03 –  ^  Anchors Aweigh Academy W
16.03 –  ^  United Nations W
16.03 –  ^  ^  United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea W
16.03 –  ^  UNCLOS W

If any Related Resources should be added to this list, please submit info/links via email To:
Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@")


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CLICK HERE to view ALL the books, magazines, videos, etc. in our Academy eLibrary.
Media are also listed by category on the Topic Pages found on the Right Sidebar
CLICK HERE to donate any books, magazines, manuals, or videos, etc. to our Library.


EVERYTHING ON THIS PAGE OK?
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The page may contain rough drafts that include raw source materials.


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Thanks to our amazing contributors for the steady flow of articles, and to our dedicated all-volunteer staff who sort, polish and format them, everyday we get a little bit closer to our goal of
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Boat Inspection
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Marine Surveyors by Country
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Layout of the EverythingAboutBoats.org Website's Pages.

* * *
This website consists almost entirely of three types of webpages as follows:

  1. TOPIC PAGES (See Main Topic Pages listed on Website Contents or the Right Sidebar)
  2. VENDOR PAGES (A page for each Vendor of Products and/or Services)
  3. PRODUCT PAGES (A page for each Product) (Incl. Media: Books, Magazines, Vids, Websites,+)

Note in the examples above that these pages form a natural hierarchy.
The unnumbered "^" pages are listed alphabetically in most tables.

Media Titles in tables are distinguished by their smaller font size.
Media (Books, Magazines, Videos, Articles,+) are treated as Products.
(Vendors' Product Documentation are considered Media).

* * *
Website Pages typically contain the following Sections:

  1. PATH (Shows the chain of EAB pages w/links that lead to the page being viewed).
    1. EXAMPLE: PATH: Home » Website Contents » ∨
      Boat Building & Refitting » ∧∧∧ Boat Equip » Propulsion » ∧∧∧∧ Engines » ∨∨
      ∧∧ Ford, Ebro, American Diesel, AmMarine, Barr, Beta, Bomac, Bowman, Couach, Lees, Lehman, Mermaid, Parsons, RenaultSabre, Thornycroft, Wortham Blake »
      Do-It-Yourself » DIY Boat Building & Refitting » Boat Building & Refitting » ∨∨∨
      Media › Creators » Documentation, BooksMagazinesVideosWebsites » ∨∨∨∨
    2. (The "»" symbol shows the chain through the page links.)
    3. (A "," comma between page links in the chain indicates pages are not subordinate, but are instead at the same level. See engine brands in the example above.)
    4. (The "∨", "∨∨", "∨∨∨",+ symbols indicate that the path line continues with whatever follows the "∧", "∧∧", "∧∧∧",+ symbols respectively. "∧" Precedes each Main Topic Page.)
  2. PAGE CONTENTS (Table of Contents with links to each main section on the page).
  3. PAGE BODY (The type of page determines the contents of its body as follows:).
    1. TOPIC PAGES (Topic Treatment: Introduction, Overview, Background, Details,+).
      • (Many Topic Pages contain Directories of Vendors with Links).
      • (Most Directory Listings are Alphabetical and/or by Locale).
    2. VENDOR PAGES (Vendor's Profile, Contact Information, Products, Services,+).
      • (Manufacturers, Resellers, Refitters, Yards, Surveyors, Clubs, Schools, Authors,+).
      • (Boating & Travel Destinations are treated as Vendors on their own Vendor Pages).
    3. PRODUCT PAGES (Product Features, Vendor Links, Specifications, Documentation,+).
      • (Media created by a vendor is often treated as a Product on its own Product Page).
      • (Boating & Travel Events are often treated as Products on their own Product Pages).
  4. RELATED RESOURCES (Topics, Vendors, Products, Media: Books, Websites,+ with Links).
  5. PAGE TAIL Contains the following Anchors Aweigh Academy & EAB Website Features:
    1. The Anchors Aweigh Academy's EverythingAboutBoats.org Header.
    2. A link to our Featured Articles EAB Home Page.
    3. Top 20 Most Popular Articles. (The section that appears right above this section).
    4. Layout of the EverythingAboutBoats.org Website's Pages. (This very section).
    5. What we have accomplished so far. (The very next section below).
    6. Members must Sign-In to gain full access to Expanded Pages & Programs.
    7. Sign-Up (if not already a member).
    8. Public Comments (about the website & about this page).
  6. RIGHT SIDEBAR (Website Contents menu with links to Main Topic & Subtopic pages).

* * *
Website Pages are categorized under the following 16 Main Topics (w/Links):

The Main Topics follow a natural progression from building of the vessel thru its
marketing, survey, financing, insuring, transport, moorage, use and upkeep.
The Main Topics below are followed by their Primary Subtopics (w/Links).

00 – HOME: CONTENTSABOUT EAB, Contact EAB, Abbreviations & Symbols, FAQ, GLOSSARY,+.
01 – ABOUT BOATS w/Museum Directory: Early History, Recent History, Modern Vessel Types,+.
02 – BOAT BUILDING, OUTFITTING, REFITTING & REPAIR: Materials, Equipment, Builders,+.
03 – BOAT MARKETING: Boat Shows, Dealers & Brokers, Importing & Exporting, Auctions & Sales,+.
04 – BOAT INSPECTION: Types of Marine Surveys, Marine Surveyors, Schools, DIY Inspections,+.
05 – BOAT TITLES & VESSEL REGISTRY: Boat Title & Registration, Vessel Registry, Title Co's,+.
06 – BOAT FINANCING: Conventional (Banks, Credit Unions,+), Unconventional (Creative),+.
07 – BOAT INSURANCE: Types of Policies, Companies, Agents & Brokers, Claim Processing,+.
08 – BOAT TRANSPORT: By Sea (Piggyback, Delivery Skippers & Crews, & Towing), Over-Land,+.
09 – BOAT LAUNCHING & HAULING: Drydocks, Ways, Lifts, Cranes & Hoists, Launch Ramps,+.
10 – BOAT MOORAGE & STORAGE: Builders, Anchorages, Marinas, Yards, Racks & Stacks,+.
11 – BOATING ORGANIZATIONS: Yacht Clubs, Sailing Clubs, Owners, Educational, Gov-Aux,+.
12 – BOATING & TRAVEL: Events, Destinations, Boat Rentals & Charters, Cruises, Voyages,+.
13 – BOATING & MARITIME EDUCATION: Recreational Seamanship, Ship's Master & Crew,+.
14 – MARINE LAWS & REGULATIONS: International & National LawsLawyers‚ Investigators‚+.
15 – DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY): Boat Building & Refitting, Boat Sales, Boat Inspections, Classes,+.
16 – MEDIA w/Creator Directory + Academy eLibrary: pDocs, Books, Magazines, Videos, Websites,+.

Main Topics with their Subtopics can also be found
on the Website Contents and the Right Sidebar.


What we have accomplished so far.
Anchors Aweigh Academy and its EverythingAboutBoats.org website.

  • Published over 300 website main topic webpages, many with full articles on the topic. See our Website Contents or the Right Sidebar for the listing of the main topic pages.
  • Published over 9,000 marine vendor webpages, all with their contact information, most with a description of their products and services, many with product documentation, specifications and independent reviews. (incl.: Boat designers, boat building tools, material and equipment manufacturers and suppliers, boat builders and dealers, yacht brokers, marine surveyors, boat insurers, boat transporters, skippers and crews, boatyards and marinas, yacht clubs, boat rentals and yacht charters, boating, seamanship and maritime schools, marine law attorneys and expert witnesses, boat refitters and repairers, book authors, magazine publishers, video producers, and website creators)
  • Acquired over 120,000 pages of product documentation including Catalogs, Brochures, SpecSheets, Pictures, Serial Number Guides, Installation Manuals, OpManuals, Parts Catalogs, Parts Bulletins, Shop Manuals, Wiring Diagrams, Service Bulletins, and Recalls. And have made all viewable to Academy Members through our EAB website eLibrary.
  • Acquired over 1,200 books and magazine back issues in our academy library and so far have made over 700 viewable to Academy Members through our EAB website eLibrary.
  • Published over 500 DIY How-To articles about boat design, construction, inspection, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair. We are working hard to do more.

We are currently formatting and polishing the Anchors Aweigh Academy online and hands-on courses. Our Marine Surveying course has proven to be excellent for both the beginner and the seasoned surveyor, and especially helpful to the Do-It-Yourselfer.


Current Academy Members must SIGN IN to gain FULL access to this
website including expanded pages and valuable Academy programs
like our Academy eLibrary and our Ask-An-Expert Program!

If your membership has expired, CLICK HERE to Renew.

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CLICK HERE to discover how you can become a Member and gain FULL access to
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WITH JUST A SMALL DONATION!


Comments for Public Viewing

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General Comments About the Website

FROM Donald: "This is an awesome website. I found the information that I needed right away from one of the over 20,000 free articles that you provide as a public service. I'm surprised that so much if this site is free. But I still signed up so I could access the thousands of expanded pages, interesting articles, and dozens of valuable programs! The member's library of books, magazines and videos that I can view online is really terrific! I understand that you and your staff are all unpaid volunteers. Please keep up the good work. And I commend you for your plans to add another 10,000 free informative articles over the next year. I'm thrilled to support you in this endeavor with my small membership donation. Thanks again for all your hard work."

FROM Huey: "I agree with my Uncle, I too have found the articles to be very enlightening. They say that it will take about 100,000 articles to cover the full scope that they have envisioned for the website. They have over 20,000 articles so far and that's doing pretty well, but it could take several years to get the rest. I also noticed that many of the Main Topic Pages and some of the article pages are still in the rough draft stage. I guess that they will fill in as they can get volunteers to work on them. But what I can't figure out is why anyone would spend the time writing informative in depth articles just to give away free to this website for publication? What's in it for them?"

FROM Dewey: "Well Huey, to me It looks like most of the articles on this website are written by very informed people, like boating instructors, boat designers, boat builders, riggers, electricians, fitters, marine repair technicians and marine surveyors. Writing such articles helps establish them as knowledgeable professionals. After all, this website was originally created by a school for marine technicians and marine surveyors. The website is growing in content every day. They even had to move to a bigger, more powerful server because the website's traffic has been growing exponentially."

FROM Louie: "I agree with everyone above. This site is quickly becoming the ultimate reference resource about every aspect of boats and ships for everyone from the beginning recreational boater to the seasoned professional mariner. I use the topic pages on the right sidebar to browse around the website. It's like a Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook for Boaters. Their Members' Library of over 300 popular and obscure books and over 200 magazine back issues that can be viewed online is fabulous. The Academy's magazine is especially informative. On top of that, there is the "Ask-An-Expert program for members where you can get an expert's answer to any of your boat questions. And a whole years membership is only $25. What a deal! I really love being part of this "Everything About Boats" community and help provide thousands of helpful articles free to the public. I think that I'll sit down right now and write an article about my experiences boating with my uncle."

FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."

FROM Daisy: "I'm just so glad that Donald got the boat so we and the boys could enjoy boating — together. And of course all of the girls, April, May, and June, love to be on the water too, especially when that is where the boys are. Oh poor Scrooge, boating is more fun then you could possibly imagine."

FROM Scrooge: "After seeing how much fun you all have on the water together, I regret that I didn't have that much fun when I was young. I've had a change of heart, and I'm giving each of you a Lifetime Academy Membership."

FROM Editor: "For those of you that have stayed with us this far, many thanks, and we hope that you found this little narrative informative. Your faithful support inspires us to keep working on this phenomenal website. We know that we have a lot more to do. Ultimately, we hope that we can help you enjoy the wonder filled world of boating as much as we do. We are all waiting to see what you have to say about this webpage article. Submit any comments via email To: Comments♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). Be sure to include this page's title in the subject line. Also, your corrections, updates, additions and suggestions are welcomed. Please submit them via email To: Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). It has been truly amazing to see what we have been able to accomplished when we've worked together. Thanks to all those that have donated their valuable time and energy, and a special THANK YOU to all that have supported this cause with their membership donations."

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