Two-Stroke Vessel Engines

Facts About Two-Stroke Vessel Engines

  • Two-stroke engines are not "banned" for use on all waterways in California, nor is there any plan to do so.
  • Carbureted and electronic-injection two-stroke engines are considered high-emission engines. Generally, these engines were manufactured prior to 1999.
  • A carbureted two-stroke engine can emit up to 25-30 percent of its fuel unburned into the water or atmosphere, which is why high-emission engines are prohibited on some lakes.
  • There are no salt-water or river restrictions in California on high-emission two-stroke engines, excluding personal watercraft (vessels such as Jet Skis) bans in some areas. For example, San Francisco has prohibited personal watercraft within 1200 feet of its shoreline. See "Local Restrictions" on our Web page for a list of lakes.
  • Direct injection two-stroke engines, made since 1999, are considered clean emission engines and can be used on every water body in California, with some exceptions not related to emission limits.
  • A new direct injection two-stroke engine will normally have a label sticker (with 1 to 3 stars) on its engine cover indicating that it meets California Air Resources Board emission regulations for 2001, 2004, and 2008 for vessel engine manufacturers.

Explanation Of Two-Stroke Vessel Engine Regulations And Restrictions

Two-Stroke FAQ

Local Restrictions - Reservoirs that restrict two-stroke engines.