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Information for Boaters

Tue, 03 Mar 20  

Information for BoatersCheck out our many recreational boating safety resources below. Feel free to visit the boating safety archive for additional information. If you are interested in paddlecraft safety on the water, visit our Paddlecraft Safety page.

Important Safety Resources

Chalk board iconFind a Boating Safety Class

The mission of the Public Education Directorate of the Auxiliary is to provide exceptional boating safety education to the American public with the aim of reducing loss of life, personal injury and property damage to recreational boaters.

Paper iconFill Out a Float Plan

Whether you are a power boater or kayaker, the USCG Float Plan works for you. Set up a basic plan ahead of time and save it on your computer. Update it when you decide where and when you're going to go. Then, email your completed plan to whoever you choose to follow up should you not return or check-in as planned.

Vessel Safety Check iconGet a Vessel Safety Check

The most cautious boaters can sometimes experience unexpected problems on the water. That's why the U.S. Coast Guard recommends that all boaters, including personal watercraft and paddle sport users, take advantage of the free Vessel Safety Check program every year.

Fire extinguisher iconFederal Requirements for Boaters

As a boat operator, you are expected to make sure that your vessel carries the required safety equipment and is in compliance with federal regulations for such things as numbering and operation. State and local laws may dictate carrying additional equipment.

Cellphone iconU.S. Coast Guard Mobile App

Our boating safety program involves public education programs, approval of boating safety equipment and vessel safety checks for compliance with federal and state safety requirements. The Coast Guard Mobile App supports these missions by providing the essential services and information most commonly requested by boaters.

Safety Checklists, Forms and Placards

Form iconSafety checklists: Pre-departure | Equipment | Vessel systems (PDF)

Boating accident form (PDF): no one wants to use it, but everyone should be familiar with it.

Oil discharge placards (PDF): required on vessels over 26 feet.

Information on Radios

Radio icon

How to use a VHF radio (PDF): learn to use your radio correctly.

DSC and Rescue 21 for VHF radios: what is Digital Selective Calling, how does it work and do you need to have it?