Boating Resources

D17 Public Education

Public Education is the first step of preventative SAR or Search and Rescue. This is one of the main goals of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and one of the largest benefits available to the public in the form of boater education. We provide many different classes tailored for different subjects throughout the year and in different locations throughout Alaska.

Classes offered include the BS&S or Boating Skills & Seamanship, a comprehensive learning experience about safe boating in a multiple lesson type setting, Other classes that are offered are of the one day seminar type - classes like GPS For Mariners or the popular About Boating Safely. All are taught by Auxiliary instructors with years of experience on Alaskan waters. Take advantage of a safe boating class near you and absorb the knowledge available to you to make you a safer boater!

Click here for Class Finder to locate a nearby class.


Boat Responsibly


Description of classes

For descriptions of classes offered click on the below links for more details
Wear it!

Some Great Boating Links


Wed, 03 Jul 13  
From: Burgess, William
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 3:23 PM
To: 'Johnson, John'; ''
Cc: ''
Importance: High

Good afternoon, Gentlemen;

The below statement is from the NVDC. Please disseminate as widely as
possible to law enforcement, numbering and titling agencies, and the boating
public. I will send to each State BLA as well. Your assistance is very
much appreciated.


From Mr. Tim Skuby, Director, National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC)

Recreational vessels that are 5 Net Tons or more MAY be documented by the CG
National Vessel Documentation Center. Because this is an optional program,
the recreational boat owner has the option to get the boat state titled, but
they are not allowed to be both state titled and documented. Currently the
NVDC is operating with an approximate 4 month backlog on Recreational Vessel
Initial and Reissue/Exchanged Certificate of Documentation. Based on past
history, due to the time of year and this being the busy season at the NVDC,
we expect the backlog to continue to grow through at least September. With
the current backlogs, these folks who have applied for a document will not
be able to legally operate their vessels until after the boating season is
over and that is not a good thing. After conferring with our legal staff,
it was determined that we have the authority to issue temporary Certificates
of Documentation (TCOD) and we have decided to do that for recreational
vessels only. While it will not eliminate the backlog, it will allow the
recreational boat owner to legally operate their vessels while their
paperwork is waiting to be reviewed. Before we issue a TCOD, we will
conduct a review of the application to ensure US citizenship of the
applicant and nationality of the vessel (i.e. is not foreign registered).
Once we confirm that, we will issue a TCOD. The TCOD will be required to be
maintained on board the vessel at all time while the vessel is being

Information on the Temporary Certificate of Documentation (TCOD):

The TCOD will:
1) Be in a letter format;
2) Be printed on CG letterhead on special paper with security features (see
3) Contain the Vessel's Official Number (as this remains with the vessel
regardless of name changes);
4) Contain the Vessel Owner's name and address; and
5) Be signed by the Director of the NVDC.

The body of the letter will read as follows:

"This letter is the vessel's temporary Certificate of Documentation(COD) and
should be maintained onboard the vessel at all times while the vessel is
being operated. This temporary COD shall remain valid until the first of
the following shall have occurred:

1) The elapse of one (1) year from the issue date (above) of this letter; or
2) The issuance of the vessel's permanent COD, which, upon its issuance,
shall supersede the temporary COD; or
3) The issuance of written notice of a determination by the NVDC that the
vessel is not eligible for documentation; or
4) An ownership change to the vessel before the permanent COD shall have
been issued.

While it is in effect, the recreational vessel subject to this temporary COD
shall be deemed to be a documented vessel of the United States, subject to
all of the rights and responsibilities applicable by law to documented
vessels and to Certificates of Documentation. However, please note this
document is not conclusive evidence of title in any proceeding where
ownership is in issue. Complete records are on file at the NVDC.

If you have any questions please visit our website at or contact this office at the number listed above
or via our webmaster."

Security Features of the Temporary Certificate of Documentation (TCOD):
To assist all federal and local law enforcement officers in identifying
valid TCODs, and potential forgeries, the following summarizes the specific
security features that are found on the special paper being utilized:

a) Unique, consecutive numbering - on the reverse.
b) Copyban Capture - warning message (VOID) hidden in decorative printed
pantograph backgrounds appear when copied.
c) Custom step and repeat pantograph - custom repeating cube pattern that
is the visible part of Copyban
d) Thermo Chromatic Ink - CG Ensign blue to clear ink located on the front
right corner.
e) Holigraphic CG Ensign in lower left corner.

Once all federal and local law enforcement authorities are notified, we
expect to start issuing Temporary Certificates of Documentation as early as
Monday 8 July 2013. For CG units, there should be an ALCOAST message coming
out in the next day or so that will provide all the same information as
above. I appreciate your assistance in getting this word passed out to
noted organizations. If you have any further questions, please feel free to
contact me. I am in the office all week, except for Thursday, the 4th of


Tim Skuby, CAPT, USCG Retired
U.S.C.G. National Vessel Documentation Center
Tel: (304) 271-2506
Fax: (304) 271-2442