Vessel Examinations


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 the dock 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 awardedVessel Safety Check Decal a U.S. Coast Guard / Auxiliary Decal that informs:

  • Coast Guard / Auxiliary
  • Harbor Patrol
  • Sheriffs and Police
  • other boating law-enforcement and 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!

In many cases, boating insurance agencies offer discounts for vessel which undergo a Vessel Safety Check every day.  

What if I don't pass?

If your boat does not pass, there will be no citation issued at that time. Instead, you are provided a written report on how to correct any discrepancies so that you may have a safer boating experience. Most things that you may need in order to pass a successful Vessel Safety Check can be acquired at your local boating retailer. 

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. 

All decals and safety checks are void December 31st of the year they are awarded. They are also void should the operator / owner fail to maintain the vessel's equipment or the vessel itself according to the standard at the time of the safety check.  

What types of items are checked? 

  • Life jackets
  • Registration and numbering
  • Navigation lights
  • Ventilation
  • 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. 

How do I get my boat examined? 

If you are interested in receiving a Vessel Safety Check, please contact our Flotilla Staff Officer for Vessel Examinations, George Heinz at or the flotilla at