Why should you have your boat inspected?


Take the opportunity to have your boat’s safety equipment examined by a qualified vessel examiner from United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club. A vessel safety check incurs no fines, penalties or reports to any other agency.
If your vessel has the proper safety equipment, you will receive a current VSC decal to display on your vessel. Displaying the decal doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be boarded, but if you don’t remove any equipment after the exam, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have the equipment you’ll need in an emergency and you know where it’s located.
In addition to clarifying federal, state and local regulations during the vessel safety check, your vessel examiner can discuss the purpose of having the correct marine safety equipment onboard, answer safety related quested, and share info on local boating conditions.
A Vessel Safety Check can identify safety and moneysaving opportunities:
By ensuring your boat meets federal, state and local safety equipment requirements, you can prevent equipment-related citations.
You may receive a boating insurance discount from your insurance provider.
An inspection can increase your awareness of safety practices to help you avoid accidents and costly breakdowns.
An inspection can also reduce accidents by educating you about the value and use of safety equipment and safe boating practices.
A vessel safety check only takes 15 minutes and covers:
• numbering
• life jackets
• visual distress signals
• fire extinguishers
• ventilation
• backfire flame arrestor
• horn
• navigation lights
• pollution placard
• trash placard/plan
• marine sanitation device
• navigation rules
• state and local requirements
• overall vessel condition
Both the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons have certified vessel examiners who will perform a free Vessel Safety Check (“VSC”) at your boat, at a time of mutual convenience. There is no charge, and no consequences if you don’t pass. Our goal is simply to help make boating as safe as possible for you, your family and your friends, through education. Personal pleasure craft only. To schedule your free Vessel Safety Check, visit and click on “Get a Vessel Safety Check”

Editors Note: Many thanks to the United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxilliary for providing this and many other safety and educational resources to America’s boating communities. Visit and find out how you can become a member and subscribe to their valuable newsletter.