Question: I had a vessel safety check performed on my boat in June of this year and was NOT awarded a decal. My boat is a 12 ft. open runabout, powered by an outboard motor. I was rejected from receiving the decal because of failure(s) of not having a fire extinguisher and failure of state and local requirements. It is my understanding that recreational boats under 26 ft. and powered by an outboard motor are NOT required to carry a fire extinguisher. I believe that the failure to meet state and local requirements was checked as failed because of this lack of a fire extinguisher, since the boat met all of the other requirements and this was the only area that the examiner spoke to me about. The examiner stated that because the boat carried a portable fuel tank for the outboard, it was required to carry a fire extinguisher. Please explain this contradiction.
Answer: You are correct that in most cases a craft of your size and with an outboard motor would not need a fire extinguisher.
Here is a list of exceptions:
I cannot comment on the state regulations since I do not know in what state your craft has registration.
If you believe your boat meets the requirements, my best suggestion is to contact another Vessel Examiner for a recheck. The Coast Guard Auxiliary I Want a Vessel Safety Check! web page will help you in contacting an examiner. Since we are all volunteers, please allow up to few days to receive a response.