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Vessel Safety Checks (VSC's)

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FL 23-1 Meetings & Invitation

2015 VSC Decal

Vessel Safety Chcek Seal Website

2016 VSC Decal

VSC's are FREE Courtesy Exams conducted by
trained Vessel Examiners (VE's) that:

-  are  NOT tied to LAW ENFORCEMENT
-  will NEVER CAUSE A CITATION to be issued
-  can HELP IMPROVE overall vessel, crew & passenger SAFETY
-  provide an opportunity to GET boating related QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Promenitly displaying a current VSC decal on the vessel Port Side can help make
law enforcement boarding less stressful, shorter & more pleasant for everyone involved!


Unexpected and often potentially dangerous mechanical problems have a way of occurring at an inconvenient time even on the best-maintained vessels.  Getting a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) every year is an easy way to:

  1. help minimize the probability of safety related problems unintentionally going unnoticed
  2. learn about violations that could create dangerous situations in a user friendly environment
  3. become more aware of safety related procedures in how the vessel is maintained and operated
  4. identify potential problems and be better prepared to deal with unfortunate situations when they do occur
  5. discuss topics of interest that will help improve maintaining and operating your vessel in a safe responsible manner
  6. get answer to all your boating related questions

A VSC covers more then determining compliance with minimum State & Federal safety requirements.  In many instances, a vessel must be equipped with additional items necessary for safe on-the-water operation to be awarded the VSC decal.  A copy of the examination form is provided as a written record of identified issues, recommendations and suggestions.

VE's are experienced, knowledgeable, trained and certified specialists who are also fellow boaters from the US Power Squadron or US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Vessels that pass the VSC examination are awarded a decal that the VE will affix to the vessel.  In accepting and displaying the VSC decal, the owner/operator pledges to maintain their boat and its equipment to the safety standards required to pass the examination.  Thus, the owner/operator of the watercraft must be present during the examination, since the award is not made simply to the vessel.  For this reason as well as many others, the owner should remove the VSC decal from a vessel if it is sold.  Conversely, if a boat purchased has a VSC decal still attached, a reexamination should be arranged shortly after taking possession.  If the watercraft does not pass the initial examination, the VE will be happy to re-examine a vessel after identified issues are corrected and award a VSC decal when the vessel meets all VSC requirements.

US Coast Guard Minimum Safety Requirements
USCG Boating Safety Resource Center
U.S. Coast Guard Safety Recommendations
Spring Commissioning Checklist


Conduct a Preliminary Review of Your Vessel

Paddlecraft or Small Boat VSC Guidelines
Paddlecraft or Small Boat VSC Inspection Form
See What's Checked During a Vessel VSC
Top 15 Reasons Vessels Fail a VSC
Vessel Safety Check (VSC) Manual

Top 15 Reasons a Vessel Might Not Pass a Vessel Safety Check (VSC)
UPSP VSC Resource Page

Conduct a Virtual Vessel VSC:

  1. Download the Vessel Examiner Form
  2. Open and print the Form
  3. Get step-by-step instructions
  4. Print instructions to guide you through process

Request Free VSC
Online Request for a Vessel Safety Check (VSC)

Go to Paddle Craft & Small Boat Information & Resources

Lifejackets Float, You Don't - Wear It, We Do!

Boating Safety - Doing Your Part

Good Boating Practices & Tips

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