Federal boating requirements state that recreational boats over 16 feet in length must carry night signals when operating from sunset to sunrise. (highway or railroad flares don't count) The Indiana boating guide that I have does not address this. There is a "Boating Laws on Lake Michigan" booklet which lists some of the most violated laws on the Indiana portion of the lake, including the speed limit after dark.(I've heard no wake and I've heard 10mph maximum. I'll know for sure when I get my Lake Michigan book.) You can get a free copy from
District 10 Headquarters
100 W Water St.
Michigan City IN
VHF radios are not a requirement, but if you have one, make sure you have an FCC license for it. According to a Coast Guard inspector that checked me once, the fine could go up to $10,000.00 for operating without a license. They are good for 10 years and are free from:
Federal Communications Commission
or send in the application that comes with your radio. When the Coast Guard Auxiliary is at Alsip, they may have some some applications. They also know all the boating laws for IN and IL water.
Another unknown IN Lake Michigan law: "all boats under 12 meters (39'4 1/2")long, must have a means for making an efficient sound signal, like a marine whistle".
A couple bucks invested can save a lot including a life.
If in doubt, call the Coast Guard, 773-768-4093