A Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a courtesy examination of your boat and safety equipment to verify the presence and condition of safety equipment required by both federal and state authorities. These examinations are NOT a boarding or law enforcement issue. No citations are given as a result of this examination.
Why do I need a vessel safety check?
All recreational vessels are required to carry and maintain certain safety equipment. The equipment can vary with your vessel size and propulsion type. A vessel examiner is a specially trained member of the United States Power Squadrons who is trained in these variables and can perform the same safety check which would occur if there is a law enforcement boarding. Using the information from the safety check you can identify and correct any deficiencies prior to a boarding while assuring that you have all required safety equipment aboard for the safety of your family and passengers.
Vessels that pass inspection will be issued a VSC decal. This does not exempt you from a law enforcement boarding, however you will be prepared if it does happen.
What if I don’t pass the safety check?
If your vessel does not pass the safety check, you will be given a copy of the examination form with any discrepancies noted which need to be corrected. This is not a citation but rather intended as a tool to help you correct any issues to bring your vessel into compliance and make your boating activities safer.
What are some of the items that are checked?
• Navigation and anchor lights
• Life jackets,
• Fire extinguishers
• Display of registration numbers
• Marine pollution placards
• Marine sanitation device (toilet)
• Sound signal device (horn)
• Ventilation system
• Backfire flame arrester
• Visual distress signals (flares, etc)
• Overall vessel condition