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Vessel Safety Checks (VSC)

Federal and State regulations require that you carry a variety of safety equipment and documentation on board your boat. The larger your boat, the more equipment you need to have on board for compliance and safety. The Coast Guard refers to vessel Safety Checks as "preventive search and rescues," as this equipment can save your life. Note that non-powered vessels such as canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are not exempt from these regulations.

A Vessel Safety Check is a quick and easy way to check the compliance of your vessel with all state and Federal boating requirements. Vessel Safety checks are provided as a free service by the Auxiliary. If your boat fails a vessel safety check, you won't be issued a ticket, as the Auxiliary is not law enforcement. Rather, you'll be told why your boat didn't pass the inspection and how to correct the deficiency.

What do we check for when we conduct a Vessel Safety Check (VSC)? You can find out by clicking on "Virtual VSC" in the menu bar at the left. Check your boat to see if it would pass!

If you'd like to request a Vessel Safety Check at your location, click on I Want a VSC and complete the form. An examiner from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons will contact you to schedule the examination. There is no cost for this service. 

Not sure what you should have on board? If your vessel is a power boat under 26 feet in length, the National Safe Boating Council has developed a Boater & Boat Equipment Checklist you can print out. The list provides you with the equipment required by law, equipment essential for operation, and a range of equipment options from the most basic to the best money can buy for the job. Click on the thumbnail image to the right to download the checklist (Two-page PDF).

Scheduled Vessel Safety Checks

We currently have no vessel safety check events scheduled. If you would like to request a vessel safety check at your location, click the "I Want a VSC" link above to request one.