Vessel Safety Checks

Vessel Safety Checks

The Vessel Safety Checks program is designed to ensure your boat is in compliance with   Federal safety laws.  Overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and carried out by the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAux), the program is a community service, so, free to you.

Vessel Examiners

Vessel examiners are certified by the USCG.  While doing vessel examinations, vessel examiners additionally may spot other safety features that need attention, such as corroded battery posts, placement of fire extinguishers, etc.  The idea is the safety of your vessel.

What if you don’t pass?

Keeping in mind this is not an enforcement program, you are given a copy of the examination form to use in correcting any problems.  Once that is accomplished, you call your examiner for a reexamination.

What if you do pass?

When you pass the examination, you are given a decal which is placed on the port side of your boat and where it can be easily seen by the authorities.   Decals expire 31 December.

(Sending a copy of the passed examination form to your insurance company may garner you a premium discount.)

Contact a Vessel Examiner

To schedule an examination, send an email to with your name, phone number, type of vessel and where it’s located.

An examiner will contact you to arrange a time and place.  Examiners are prohibited from going out to a vessel anchored or on a mooring; boats may be examined dockside or at a residence.

All of these items are currently required by state and federal laws and, if missing or non-operating, can result in a citation if your vessel is inspected by the Coast Guard.

The Vessel Safety Check Form is used during the inspection.