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Vessel Examination

Vessel Examinations
The Vessel Safety Check program is a cornerstone of the Coast Guard Auxiliary's recreational boating safety mission. A Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a free lookover of your boat or paddlecraft and its equipment for compliance with federal and state safety requirements. If your vessel meets all the VSC requirements, it is awarded a VSC decal. Please read on and, once you are ready, schedule your free Vessel Safety Check at your boat or paddlecraft! The process The Vessel Examiners performing your VSC have been trained to look for the more common problems, which might occur in your boat or paddlecraft, or with its safety equipment. Some of the items your examiner will check include: boat registration, life jackets, distress signals, fire extinguishers, sound producing devices, and navigation lights. The Vessel Examiner will award the VSC decal if your vessel passes all parts of the check. Boating safety education Also during your VSC, the Vessel Examiner will talk with you about the purpose of specific marine safety equipment, discuss certain safety practices and answer any related questions you have. Some topics discussed include: survival tips, boat fuel management, interpreting sea conditions and how to report accidents. Your examiner is also available to clarify various federal and state regulations for boating in your area.
History of the program
The Vessel Safety Check program has been evolving since its inception in 1947. Originally the Motor Boat Examination program, then evolving into the Courtesy Examination program, the program eventually become insufficient for the needs of boaters. The program was benchmarked against the modern recreational boater’s needs in a study group comprised of industry, and other boating safety organizations, to determine the next step in evolving the program. The result is the Vessel Safety Check program.