Vessel Safety Checklist

Vessel Safety Check Program

At your request, we can perform a free, voluntary, no-consequences review of the safety equipment aboard your boat, known as a “Vessel Safety Check”. Only you are told of the results, and there is no penalty for “failures”. As part of the Coast Guard’s mission to help prevent maritime loss of life and property, the boating public is strongly encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Our Flotilla's Vessel Safety Officer will be happy to arrange a Vessel Safety Check of your boat:

Vessel Safety Officer: Dave Brack

Phone:  804-472-3534

Schedule Online: You can also schedule a Vessel Safety Check by clicking here.

The equipment list is usually above and beyond what is required by most state boating laws. If your boat passes the exam, your vessel will receive a decal showing your friends and family, the public, and law-enforcement your personal commitment to boating safety. Our examiners will advise you of important safety equipment which will allow you to boat with confidence, and will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. A Vessel Safety Check can be done wherever the boat is even if on a trailer at your home –we make house calls. Or you can arrange to bring your boat to some other convenient location. 

We gladly inspect hand- powered craft (canoes, kayaks, pedal-crafts, and paddle boards). So called "paddle crafts" do not have registration numbers so we also issue an identification decal that helps the Coast Guard track the owner of a canoe or kayak that may have simply floated away in a storm; this decal could save lots of money in Coast Guard search and rescue efforts.

Paddle Craft Decal

Peace of mind - you'll feel much safer on the water with friends and family knowing you have all the right gear on board and in good condition.    

Be prepared for anything - the list of safety gear identified on the Coast Guard's recreational boating safety checklist is often above and beyond what is required by most state boating laws to make sure that you have everything you could possibly need for most any contingency.

Stay on good terms with law enforcement - having an official vessel safety check decal on your boat shows the public and law enforcement your commitment to safe boating.No penalty for "failures" - we're just here to help you be safe!

Our vessel safety checks are 100% free and voluntary, and confidential with no penalties for "failures."

If a piece of safety gear is missing we'll advise you on where to find it so you can boat with confidence. Preventing maritime loss of life and property is one of the primary missions of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

We encourage you to take advantage of this free service and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

 In the water or at the dock  vsc anywhere, on trailer 

   two auxiliary members giving an exam   Flare Discussion by auxiliary member

                                    TIPS for New and Experienced  Boaters

File a float plan with someone who cares. Download the official USCG Float Plan


               Don't consume  alcohol or drugs before boating. BUI is the same as DUI


Always maintain a good look-out

Maintain a safe speed under all conditions

Know and use the correct sound signals

Keep a whistle or horn readily available.

                                          Stay to the right of oncoming vessels.

                                            Always Wear a Life Jacket

Wear It logo 

Stay away from swimming beaches, waterfront residences, jetties, dams, shallow water.


Don't cut in front of other boats or jump wakes.

Be considerate of others, be courteous, use common sense when operating of your boat. 

Take a boating safety course every five years . You'd be surprised what you may have forgotten


                                             Boat Responsibly logo

      Your life and those of friends and family may depend upon YOU!