kelly-leachman 4-8-21 safety equipmentPicture provided by Kelly Leachman (4-8-21) USCG licensed captain, ColPac Maritime alumni.

The fishing guide safety equipment for uninspected and inspected passenger vessels are similar, but not the same. The COI for an inspected passenger vessel clearly lists all the safety equipment required. However, on an uninspected passenger vessel (UPV) there is no COI. Therefore, this post will focus on small UPV carrying six or fewer passengers, AKA the 6-pack.

Fishing Guide Captain

Firstly, you must be a USCG licensed captain to carry passengers for hire. The most common license for fishing guides in the OUPV 6-pack captain license. This license allows you to carry up to 6-passengers on inland or near coastal waters.

How to get a 6-pack captain license >>

Fishing Guide Safety Equipment

Title 46 CFR Subchapter C Uninspected Vessels lists the safety equipment for a small UPV. In general, the Oregon State Marine Board regs for UPV fishing guides are the same as the CFR. That is to say, in addition to nav lights and sound signaling devices, all small UPV must have the following.

Oregon State Marine Board checklist >>

46 CFR Part 25 Requirements

  1. Type I PFD. A proper fitting Type I PFD must be provided for each person onboard. When the vessel operates on ocean waters each PFD must have an approved light attached. Lastly, this PFD must be stowed so that it is readily available.
  2. Type IV PFD. Vessels 26-feet and greater must have a Type IV ring lifebuoy stowed so that it is immediately available.
  3. Visual Distress Signals. A vessel must have three visual distress signals for both day and night use. For example, three handheld red flare distress signals meet the regs for both day and night. More >>
  4. Portable fire extinguishers. Motorboats less than 65-feet are required to have 5-B portable fire extinguishers onboard. Less than 26-feet must have one. 26-feet and over, but under 40-feet, must have two. And 40-feet and over, must have three.
  5. Waste Management Plan. Vessels 40-feet and over must have a written waste management plan stating how they deal with onboard waste. Example plan >>
  6. Oily Waste Discharge Placard. All vessels over 26-feet must have an oily waste discharge placard posted in the engine room, or at the pump control station. More >>

46 CFR Part 26 Operations

  1. Safety Orientation. The operator of a small UPV MUST provide all passengers with a vessel safety orientation before getting away from the dock. At a minimum this must include the stowage locations of lifejackets, the proper method of donning and adjusting the lifejackets, the type and location of all lifesaving devices onboard, and the location and contents of the emergency instructions.
  2. Emergency Instructions. All UPV must have emergency instructions posted for Rough Weather, Man Overboard, and Fire. Sample instructions >>
  3. Charts and publications. All vessels must carry charts of appropriate scale for safe navigation, US Coast Pilot, Coast Guard Light List, Tide tables, and Tidal current tables. More >>