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All boats should have:

  • Life jackets
  • Nautical charts
  • Whistles or horns
  • Distress signals
  • Fire extinguishers

Find out more at the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Page.

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What is a Nautical Chart?

A nautical chart
A nautical chart is a special kind of map that shows the coastline and tells boaters about things under the water.

A street map
A map shows streets and other things so a car can go from place to place.


Did you know?

Navigation means finding our way from one place to another.

Nautical charts are like street maps for boats. They give the names of waterways and show how deep they are.

They also show things near the water, called landmarks, to help boaters navigate safely.


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