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Is your boat safe? Find out for free!

Is your boat safe? Find out for free!

Vessel Safety Check Badge

Table of Contents

The US Coastguard Auxiliary has free tools to check the safety of your boat. Their Vessel Safety Website allows boaters to become educated on boating safety.  First, download the Vessel Safety Manual to be clear on the rules and regulations regarding boating safety. Second, do an online virtual vessel safety check that addresses of the following:

  • Vessel Safety Check BadgeDisplay your boat’s registration number properly
  • Keep boat’s registration papers on board
  • Have US Coastguard approved lifejackets for everyone on board
  • Carry visual distress signals for day and night viewing
  • Carry sound producing distress device (whistle, air horn..)
  • Keep proper amount of fire extinguishers on board
  • Properly ventilate gasoline
  • Backfire Flame Control device on board
  • Distress sound producing device on board
  • Pollution Placard posted if applicable
  • Marpol trash placard posted if applicable
  • Coastguard approved toilet if applicable
  • Navigation rules on boat for reference
  • Meet State & Local regulations
  • Other safety precautions -deck free of hazards, electrical and fuel systems safe

Once you are in compliance with their guidelines, ask for a free vessel examiner to come to your marina or driveway to inspect your boat. Simply complete the on-line request and someone will be in contact with you. Once passed, you will be awarded a “Vessel Safety Check” decal. This decal alerts US Coastguard and enforcement officials that you are in compliance with the law. Best of all, you will sleep better knowing you are taking family and friend out on the water in a safe vessel.