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Vessel Safety Checks


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.

Vessel Safety Check 2024

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 on 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.

If you are boarded by the Coast Guard or Law Enforcement 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)
Life Jacket
 Fire Extinguisher
 $50.00   $35.00   $35.00+ $0.00
 VDS / Flares
 $50.00   $35.00   $35.00+ $0.00
Decal Numbering  $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
  • 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 or other maritime law enforcement. 

If your boat is in the Clearwater Florida area then to schedule a complimentary vessel safety check by a certified Vessel Examiner at your boat, call (727) 469-8895 or complete the following form: