You get what you need from the crew at Boating.

- Kevin Falvey, Editor-in-Chief

Anew law regarding the fire extinguish­ers that must be carried aboard recreation­al boats goes into effect April 20, 2022, about one week following subscriber delivery and newsstand sale of this issue of the magazine. The new regulation, which can be found in the Federal Register at CFR 33 Part 175 Subpart E, breaks down into three main takeaways and applies to recreation­al boats less than 65 feet in length overall. Notably, outboard-powered boats without any closed compartmen­ts that could hold explosive vapors or gases (think simple skiffs, Garveys, johnboats, etc.) are not required to carry fire-extinguish­ing equipment by federal law.

The first takeaway is that portable fire extinguish­ers aboard all recreation­al boats must not be older than 12 years. The age of a fire extinguish­er might be stamped on the bottom. We think this is a reasonable service life for a device that can save a life. If your extinguish­ers have no date, we say replace them.

The second thing to know about the new regulation is that it requires all boats from model year 2018 and newer to carry fire extinguish­ers labeled 5-B, 10-B or 20-B. Extinguish­ers labeled with the old B-I or B-II designatio­ns only are no longer acceptable. Boats older than 2018 can still carry extinguish­ers labeled B-1 or B-II provided they are serviceabl­e and not date-stamped as more than 12 years old. Again, we say replace those 12-year or older extinguish­ers anyway.

Third, the number of extinguish­ers required to be carried aboard any boat type has not changed.

At Boating, we feel obligated to stay abreast of what’s happening in the world of boating and boats, and share these developmen­ts with you. This is especially true of safety concerns and new regulation­s that can directly affect your days on the water. When the engine cutoff switch (ECOS) and engine cutoff switch link (ECOSL) law went into effect last year, we reported on it. When Type V inflatable life jackets became legal over a decade ago, we reported on it. When overboard discharge was banned, we reported on it and informed on how to reequip your boats. There is a history of our operating at the intersecti­on of reader service and the public good.

In this very issue, you can learn about why you might select e-flares as signaling devices (page 42), how to choose between various Type IV throwable devices (page 40), and why “right of way” is the wrong mindset to use on the water (page 38).

Of course, you can also learn about things like electric propulsion, and the ups and downs of a dedicated group from Annapolis pursuing the boating lifestyle. In any case, enjoy the issue.

This is a reasonable service life for a device that can save a life. If your extinguish­ers have no date, we say replace them.

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