Best Marine Fire Extinguisher for Boats – Fishing, Pontoon, Recreation

You may think that an onboard fire wont happen to your boat, but you need to be prepared. Boat fires happen more often than you may think. If you are properly prepared then you will be able to stop the fire from destroying your boat or injuring someone onboard. Whether you have fishing boat, ski boat, wake-boarding boat, pontoon boat or ski boat, these fire extinguishers are a must have. The best fire extinguisher for boats will protect you. Many boaters tend to ignore them, but they are important. Here you will find out how to use them, where to place them, which one is best for your boat, and more.

How to Choose the Right Marine Fire Extinguisher for Your Boat

Determine the Length of your Boat

Depending on the size of our boat, you may need to have 1 to 3 extinguishers on board. Depending on whether your boat has an enclosed engine compartment, you may need to mount an extinguisher in the engine room (for large boats). Be sure that your boat is in compliance with Federal boating regulations.

Boat Sizes and Marine Fire Extinguisher Requirements Chart

Boat Size

Number of Extinguishers

Size of Extinguisher

Smaller than 26 Feet

1 or none*


26 feet - 40 feet



40 feet - 60 feet



Larger than 60 feet

4 or more


* A boat under 26 feet is not required to have a fire extinguisher on board, although it is advised.

** A boat from 26 feet to 40 feet can have two B-I extinguisher or one B-II

*** A boat that is from 40 feet to 60 feet in size should have three B-I or one B-II extinguisher on board

These requirements are a must have for boaters. In the case of an inspection, you can received a hefty ticket for not meeting these requirements. Onboard fires can grow extremely fast, that is why its important to have a fire extinguisher on board your fishing, pontoon, ski, or recreational boat.

What Kind of Extinguishing Agent is Used in the Fire Extinguisher?

Water – Water extinguishing agent is the lest effective. This type of extinguisher can eliminate class A fires, but will not eliminate a fire that has advnaced to class B or C. They are also heavy and difficult to use.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – CO2 Fire extinguishers are good for class B and C fires. These extinguishers are more effective and lighter. They will also leave less residue.

HFC-227 – This extinguishing agent is effective for all types of fires from class A to class C. Also, the chemicals in this extinguisher are not toxic.

Novec 1230 – This is a type of extinguisher that has recently been designed by 3M. The extinguishing agent is not toxic to people or the environment, is fairly easy to use, and can eliminate all types of fires.

Dry Fire Chemicals – The Dry Chemical extinguishing agent will not effectively eliminate class A fires but will remove a class B and C fire.

Aqueous Foam Extinguisher– This extinguishing agent is effective for all types of fires and is easy to use. The chemicals can be toxic to humans so should be cleaned off immediately after skin contact.

How Effective is a Marine Boat Fire Extinguisher?

Fire Classification Guide

Fire Class

Materials Burning

Fire Type

Class A Fire



Class B Fire

Solids. Liquids, & Gasses

Boiling Liquids

Class C Fire

Solids, Liquids, Gasses, & Electrical Equipment

Electrically Charged

Where to Place a Marine Fire Extinguisher on Your Boat?

There is no point in having a fire extinguisher on your boat if you cannot reach it in a time of need. It is important to place your extinguisher in an accessible area. For example, place the extinguisher in the cockpit or area under the steering wheel. The boat driver should be the most aware individual driving the boat and should be the first to respond to a fire. It is also smart to place another extinguisher in a different location on the boat in cast one of them is not accessible.