Vessel Safety Checks
EVEN EXPERIENCED BOATERS NEED A VESSEL SAFETY CHECK!
15 minutes could save your life and the life of your family.
A Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is performed at your boat − ranging in locations from a marina boat ramp, to your driveway. A vessel safety check usually takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending upon the size of your boat.
What's In it For Me?
Vessels passing safety checks are awarded a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Decal that informs:
- Coast Guard/Auxiliary
- Harbor Patrol
- Sheriffs & Police
- other boating law-enforcement & safety agencies
that your boat was in full compliance with all Federal and State boating laws during a safety check for that year. Best of all every Vessel Safety Check is 100% Free of charge!
What if I Don't Pass?
If your boat does not pass, no citation is issued at that time. Instead, you are provided a written report in how to correct any discrepancies.
Why Receive a Vessel Safety Check?
Safety! The peace of mind that your boat meets federal safety standards and that in an emergency, you will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help. Additionally, you will avoid substantial fines should you ever be boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard or other law enforcement and found to be in violation.
What is the Cost for Violations Found by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (Fl FWC), or Sheriff compared to the Coast Guard Auxiliary?
|Violation (Partial List)||USCG||Fl FWC||Sheriff||Auxiliary|
| Fire Extinguisher||$50.00||$35.00||$35.00+||$0.00|
| VDS / Flares||$50.00||$35.00||$35.00+||$0.00|
| Horn / Whistle||$125.00||$35.00||$35.00+||$0.00|
| Running Lights||$100.00||$35.00||$35.00+||$0.00|
NOTE: The maximum possible fine is $1,000 for each equipment violation.
Do Insurance Companies Care if My Boat Passes a Vessel Safety Check ?
In some cases boating insurance agencies offer discounts for vessels that undergo a Vessel Safety Check every year. All decals and safety checks are void December 31st of the year they are inspected; they are also void should the operator/owner fail to maintain the vessel's equipment or the vessel itself to the standard at the time of the safety check.
What Type of Items Are Checked?
- Life Jackets
- Registration and numbering
- Navigation lights
- Fire extinguishers
- Distress signals (flares, horn, etc.)
- Battery cover and connections
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 or other maritime law enforcement.
To schedule a complimentary vessel safety check by a certified Vessel Examiner at your boat, contact: