Vessel Safety Checks

What do I get?

Vessels that pass the safety check are awarded a U.S. Coast Guard/Auxiliary Decal that informs:

  • Coast Guard/Auxiliary
  • Harbor Police
  • Sheriff’s & Police
  • Other boating law enforcement and safety agencies

That your vessel is in full compliance with all State and Federal boating laws for that year. 

A Vessel Safety Check is also FREE!

What if I don't pass?

If your boat does not pass, no citation is issued at that time. Instead, you are provided a written report for how to correct the issues.

What get a Vessel Safety Check?

Safety! The peace of mind that your boat meets federal safety standards and that in an emergency you will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help.

In many cases boating insurance agencies offer discounts for vessels which undergo a Vessel Safety Check every year. All decals and safety checks are void December 31st of year they are inspected, they are also void should the operator /owner fail to maintain the vessels equipment or the vessel itself to the standard at the time of the safety check.

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What items are required?

Personal Flotation Device (Life Jackets)

All Vessels Under 64 ft – Recreational boats must carry Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Devices, in good and serviceable condition, and of appropriate size for the intended user. Wearable PFDs must be readily accessible, not stowed in bags, locked or closed compartments or have other gear stowed on top of them. Throwable devices must be immediately available for use. There must be one Type I, II, III, or V PFD for each person on board or being towed on water skis, etc., PLUS one Type IV throwable device. Throwable, Type IV PFDs may no longer be substituted for wearable types on boats less than 16 feet. State laws on mandatory PFD wear may vary.

Related: Best Personal Flotation Devices

Fire Extinguishers

Related: Best Marine Fire Extinguishers

Visual Distress Signals

Related: Can I Use Expired Flares?

Sound Producing Device

Ventilation (Boats built BEFORE 8/80)

All Vessels Under 64 ft – At least two ventilator ducts fitted with cowls or their equivalent for the purpose of properly and efficiently ventilating the bilges of every closed engine and fuel tank compartment of boats constructed or decked over after April 25, 1940, using gasoline as fuel or other fuels having a flashpoint of 110° F or less.

Ventilation (Boats built AFTER 8/80)

All Vessels Under 64 ft – At least two ventilator ducts for the purpose of efficiently ventilating every closed compartment that contains a gasoline engine and fuel every closed compartment containing a gasoline tank, except those having permanently installed tanks vented outside the boat and containing no unprotected electrical devices. Also, engine compartments containing a gasoline engine with a cranking motor must contain power-operated exhaust blowers controllable from the instrument panel.

Backfire Flame Arrestor

All Vessels Under 64 ft – One approved device on each carburetor of all gasoline engines installed after April 25, 1940, except outboard motors. Device must be marked to show compliance with SAE J-1928 or UL 1111 Standards.

Placards

All Vessels 26ft or larger– One approved device on each carburetor of all gasoline engines installed after April 25, 1940, except outboard motors. Device must be marked to show compliance with SAE J-1928 or UL 1111 Standards.