Vessel Safety Check


The Vessel Safety Check Program

Vessel Safety Checks are generally performed on recreational boats under 50 feet. Vessel Safety Check (VSC) requirements parallel federal and individual state regulations regarding equipment and safety conditions of the vessel. A VSC is not a law enforcement action. No official report is made to any law enforcement authority. A vessel Safety Check is performed only with the consent of the owner or operator, who must be present at the time of the examination. A Vessel Safety Check does not circumvent the right of any federal, state, or local law enforcement officer to verify the presence and condition of safety equipment.

The VSC program helps to achieve voluntary compliance with federal and state recreational boating safety laws, particularily regarding the carriage of safety equipment. It also raises the awareness of safety issues through one-on-one contact with volunteer vessel examiners.

The mission of the Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety program is to minimize the loss of life, personal injury, property damage and environmental impact associated with the use of recreational boats, through preventative means in order to maximize safe use and enjoyment of U.S. waterways by the public. The Vessel Safety Check program fully supports this mission. In addition to safe boating programs, you can make your boating experience safer by having a certified Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Examiner check your vessel to make sure it complies with State and Federal regulations at NO CHARGE. These certified examiners will make house or dock calls for your convenience.

Theresa Sweeney VFC

Any discrepancies that are discovered are NOT reported to any law enforcement agency, but only pointed out to the boat's owner. There are NO penalties if you do not pass the inspection, but those that do pass are awarded a U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Safety Check decal to display on your boat. Potential hazards are revealed and possible serious boating incidents are prevented through these types of examinations and educational programs.