How to Become a Vessel Examiner

As a certified Vessel Examiner you will have the unique opportunity to work with and educate the recreational boating public. This one-on-one interaction will provide a vital opportunity to enhance a boater’s knowledge, and help ensure they have a safe, fun filled day on the water.

"So how do I become a certified Vessel Examiner?" A very good question, and easy to answer.

The process of qualifying as a Vessel Examiner is quite simple;

1st – You must locate all the materials that you will need to read and study, PRIOR to taking the online Vessel Examiner Exam located at the National Testing Center (NTC).

Since these materials can be difficult to locate, we have developed a list and provided links for you to make it easier. These links will help guide you through the various reading material needed to successfully pass the online Vessel Examiner Exam:

  • The VSC Manual M16796.8A can be found at this link, and Change 1 June 2016 at this link.
  • You should also be familiar with Forms ANSC-7003, ANSC-7008, ANSC-7012, and ANSC-7038. They can be found on the forms page at this link.
  • Additional guidance is available for performing a VSC on PWC's (this link) and Paddle Craft (this link).

Once you are familiar with the above references and tools, and feel you are ready to take the exam, go to and take the on-line Vessel Examiner Course Exam. This is an open book exam and you will get your results as soon as you complete the exam. You can retake this exam as many times as you need if you don't pass it the first time around.

2nd - Once you successfully pass the online Vessel Examiner Exam, you will need to reach out to your flotilla Member Training or Vessel Examiner staff officers, to aid you in locating a current/qualified Vessel Examiner to assist you in the next step of the process. You then will need to complete five (5) supervised Vessel Safety Checks under the watchful eye of this current/qualified Vessel Examiner.

3rd - After you have completed your five (5) supervised Vessel Safety Checks, the supervising Vessel Examiner must properly report the VSC’s on a ANSC 7038 form, listing you as a "TRAINEE", and themselves as the "LEAD". Once the 7038 form is completed and submitted to the flotilla Information Services staff officer, they will enter it into AUXDATA.

4th -Once you show in the AUXDATA/AUXINFO system as having completed both the online Vessel Examiner exam, and five (5) Vessel Safety Checks, as a TRAINEE, then your flotilla will need to follow your Districts procedures regarding entering your certification into AUXDATA.

The key to becoming a great Vessel Examiner is all in the training. It can be done by classroom instruction along with hands on training, or by self study along with some hands on training. For additional training aides, visit the V-Directorate web site at this link.

We look forward to YOU becoming a part of the Vessel Examiner Team. One of our goals is to assist you in achieving this qualification. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.