Question: The Vessel Safety Check Manual indicates vessels over 39.4 feet are required to a whistle or horn, and a bell. Has this requirement been recently changed?
Answer: There has been a change to the requirement for vessels to carry a bell. The bell requirements are clearly stated in "A Boater's Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats" (page 26). That is, vessels less than 20 meters (65.6 feet) are no longer required to carry a bell. This change was made to International Rule 33(a) in 2004 and a regulatory change is forthcoming that will align the Inland Navigation Rules with the International Rule. In the interim, follow the guidance in the "Federal Requirements".