Lakes Region
Sail & Power Squadron

a unit of the United States Power Squadrons

National USPS


Vessel Safety Checks 



Free Vessel Safety Check

See VSC Schedule

A Vessel Safety Check is a free and confidential check of your boat's safety equipment for compliance with federal, state and local requirements. Some of the items checked are: 

Proper Display of Numbers
Life Jackets
Visual Distress Signals (flares)
Fire Extinguishers
Ventilation (blower)
Backfire Flame Control
Sound Producing Devices (horn, bell)
Navigation Lights
State & Local Requirements
Overall Vessel Condition


During the Vessel Safety Check, you can talk with the vessel examiner about the use of marine safety equipment, get information on various federal, state, and local regulations, review local boating conditions, and ask boating-related safety questions. The vessel examiner will encourage you to take advanced boating courses and will tell you about the USPS boater education program. Some of the topics you can discuss with the vessel examiner include:


Accident Reporting
Charts and Aids
Survival Tips
Fueling/Fuel Management
Float Plans
Weather and Sea Conditions
Safe Boating Classes


You will receive an evaluation form showing missing equipment and safety problems. Your copy is also a "shopping list."  Show it to the cashier at BOAT/US or West Marine stores and get a discount on safety- related items. Boats that meet safety requirements will be awarded the 2002 VSC sticker to display on their port side. Busy Marine Patrol Officers save time and effort by looking for VSC stickers while doing routine safety stops. If they spot one on your boat, they'll know you are very likely to be in compliance with the regulations they enforce, and will look elsewhere. If your boat is at a marina, you can get a Vessel Safety Check from roving LRSPS vessel examiners, or you can make an appointment for a time convenient to you. 

Find an examiner local to you with this Vessel Examiner search tool:

Vessel Examiner Search


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To search for scheduled VSC events, check out our calendar