Whether you own a powerboat, sailboat, jet ski, or paddle craft, increase your chances of enjoying a mishap-free season on the water this year with a free vessel safety check (VSC) from the Coast Auxiliary’s Mount Vernon Flotilla on Saturday, April 27 at the Mount Vernon Yacht Club, or Saturday, May 4 at the Alexandria City Marina. You can also schedule a VSC for other days and other locations by contacting Steve Rybicki at [email protected]; or (703) 887-0415.

vessel safety checks
Start the boating season off safe with free vessel safety checks from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Photo by John Stevens

During the safety check, a Flotilla examiner will discuss the purpose of specific marine safety equipment, clarify various federal and state regulations, explain nautical safety procedures, and answer boating related questions. There is no charge, and no consequences if you do not pass. The goal is simply to help make boating as safe as possible through education. This is a great opportunity to increase your safety and that of your passengers. 

Some of the items checked include: 

  • proper display of numbers
  • registration/documentation
  • personal flotation devices (PFDs)
  • visual distress signals
  • fire extinguishers
  • ventilation
  • backfire flame control
  • sound producing devices
  • navigation lights
  • state requirements
  • overall vessel condition

If a vessel meets all of the vessel safety check requirements, it is awarded a VSC decal. 

During the VSC, the vessel examiner will discuss with the recreational boater the purpose of specific marine safety equipment, will clarify various federal and state regulations, will discuss certain safety procedures and practices, and will answer any boating related questions. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • accident reporting
  • charts and aids to navigation
  • survival tips
  • fueling and fuel managament
  • float plans, weather, and sea conditions
  • availability of boating safety classes
  • vessel safety check partners

Learn more and request a VSC through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary