Vessel Safety Checks

The Vessel Safety Check process is  one of  “prevention through education, outreach and volunteer compliance” helping recreational boaters to gain a respect for the boating environment. It is a courtesy examination of your boat (Vessel) to verify the presence and condition of certain Safety Equipment required by State and Federal regulations. The Vessel Examiner is a trained specialist and is a member of the United States Power Squadrons or the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. They will also make recommendations and discuss safety issues that will make you a safer boater.

This is not a boarding or a law enforcement issue. No citations will be given as a result of this encounter. We will supply you with a copy of our evaluation so that you may follow some of the suggestions given. Vessels that pass will be able to display our distinctive VSC decal. This does not exempt you from law enforcement boarding, but you can be prepared to make this a positive encounter.

Click here to request a Vessel Safety Check

The following represents a sampling of 100,650 Vessel Safety Checks.

  • 74.873% Passed the VSC
  • 25.127% Failed the VSC

Items that Failed: (Note: This is a percentage of ALL vessels examined and some had two or more items that failed so these numbers will not add up to 100%.)

  • Display of Numbers – 5.435%
  • Registration / Documentation – 5.574%
  • Personal Flotation Devices – 2.832%
  • Visual Distress Signals – 12.221%
  • Fire Extinguishers – 4.501%
  • Ventilation – 1.451%
  • Backfire Flame Control – 1.639%
  • Sound Producing Devices / Bell – 5.156%
  • Navigation Lights – 8.465%
  • Pollution Placard – 2.375%
  • MARPOL Trash Placard – 2.802%
  • Marine Sanitation Device – 2.921%
  • Navigation Rules – 2.742%
  • State and/or Local Regulations – 10.432%
  • Overall Vessel Condition – 4.670%

Recommended Items not Found: (Note: These items are not required to pass the VSC.)

  • Marine Radio – 33.433%
  • Dewatering Device & Backup – 14.347%
  • Mounted Fire Extinguishers – 21.570%
  • Anchor & Line for Area – 11.257%
  • First Aid and PIW Kits – 27.928%
  • Inland Visual Distress Signals – 24.252%
  • Capacity / Cert. of Compliance – 28.246%
  • Discussion Items – 14.704%
    • Accident Reporting / Owner Responsibility
    • Offshore Operations
    • Nautical Charts / Navigation Aids
    • Survival Tips / First Aid
    • Fueling / Fuel Management
    • Float Plan / Weather & Sea Conditions
    • Insurance Considerations
    • Boating Check List
    • Safe Boating Classes

Click here to request a Vessel Safety Check

Click here to visit the US Power Squadron site for more information on the VSC program.