Now that summer and the boating season has arrived the United States Coast Guard recommends that all recreational boaters including personal watercraft and paddle sport users take advantage of the FREE Vessel Safety Check program offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
What is a Vessel Safety Check?
The Vessel Safety Check is a FREE/ COMPLIMENTARY check of your boat conducted by members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary confirming that it meets both federal and state requirements for safety. The Vessel Safety Check gives you a risk free way to be sure that you and your vessel meet the legal minimums and avoid a potential citation later. The Vessel Safety Check is performed at your boat by a certified Vessel Examiner at a mutually convenient time. The inspection can take place in a boat slip at a marina, a boat launching area or even in your own driveway. The inspection usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. If your boat passes inspection a decal is issued to be attached to your vessel to display.
What if your boat does not pass?
If your boat does not pass, no citations are issued, no report is filed, and the results of the safety check are not reported to any enforcement agency. Instead, you are provided a written report that aids you in correcting any problems noted. Often a quick trip to the nearest boat supply company is all that is necessary to obtain missing safety items and easily pass a re-inspection, sometimes the same day.
How do I get an appointment for an inspection?
Go to cgaux.org for the location of the Vessel Examiner nearest you. The site also includes a list of the type of items to be checked. While at the site also check out the various Boating Safety Education classed offered.