If your boat is over 26 feet, US Coast Guard regulations state that you must have two signs:
- One relating to the discharge of oil; and
- One relating to the discharge of trash.
United States ocean-going vessels of 40 feet or longer that are engaged in commerce or equipped with a galley and berthing must have a third sign, too: a written waste management plan.
When we bought Barefoot Gal, she didn’t have any of the required signs (she’s 34 feet so only needs the first two). So we needed to get them before we launched the boat.
We wanted something that would be easy to mount and not cost a fortune. After looking at all the “usual sources” for cost-effective solutions (and not finding anything), I turned to West Marine . . . which had exactly what I wanted at the best price by far!
You get all three signs for $10. They are a high quality adhesive-backed sign that you can put up in less than a minute. The trash placard must be in a “prominent location” so we put it just below the electrical panel and VHF, which is also beside the door. You can see it in the photo at top. SEE UPDATE BELOW.
The oil sign is required to be in the machinery area or at the bilge pump control area and we placed it inside the engine cover.
We didn’t need the waste management plan, but it is also included in the package of three and has blank spots to write in the vessel-specific information required.
Several people have seen our signs (either in person or in photos I’ve posted) and wanted to know where to get them. Here’s the link:
NOTE: Purchases made through this link help support The Boat Galley, at no additional cost to you.
UPDATE: Just hours after posting this, Monika Bradley let me know that the required wording for the trash sign changed last October . . . but the Coast Guard brochure stating the regs still has the old wording, as do the West Marine signs. She said that Power Squadron vessel inspectors have the new ones: