Vessel Safety Checks

Vessel Safety Checks

The Vessel Safety Check Program is an effective, proactive, preventative safety program unique to the recreational boating community. It ensures that key marine safety equipment is present, is within prescribed functional limits, and is compliant with federal, state, and local regulations. It provides the examiner an opportunity to discuss with the recreational boater the purpose of the marine safety equipment, to clarify the various regulations, to emphasize specific safety procedures and practices, and to answer any boating related questions and encourage additional boater education.

In June, we host a day at the dock for Squadron Members to have their boat inspected by the certified examiners, either via the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or the Duluth Squadron VSC examiners.  Once the inspection is passed, a sticker for the current year is awarded.  There is an organized schedule as well as random exams performed at all marinas and launch ramps. The Coast Guard will often display a variety of flares and oftentimes, we have someone in the retail fire extinguisher business to check extinguishers and demonstrate their use.

Vessel Examinations

Members of the United States Power Squadrons do Vessel Safety Checks for recreational boaters.

Name and LocationPhone Number
Larry Anderson – Duluth218-729-7491
Murray W. George – Duluth218-310-6231
Dave Carlson – Duluth218-393-6222
Tom Cawcutt218-721-8202

History of Vessel Safety Checks

On 29 January 2000, USPS Chief Commander Arthur H. Farr signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAUX) to participate in the Vessel Safety Check Program (VSCP).

The Vessel Safety Check Program, formerly known as Courtesy Marine Examinations (CME’s). Beginning May 1, 2000 the NEW VSCP, Vessel Safety Check Program will be launched nationwide by the USCG Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons.

In 1999, the Auxiliary signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Coast Guard that put the USCG Auxiliary in charge of overall operation and administration of the Vessel Safety Check Program. It also allowed for the expansion of the program to other organizations. The Auxiliary turned to the United States Power Squadrons as a logical partner.

Founded in 1914, USPS is the world’s oldest, largest non-profit boating education organization. Its 43,000 plus members are dedicated to boating safety and education. Many squadron members are also members of the Auxiliary and have already received the necessary training to conduct Vessel Safety Checks. USPS is currently gearing up to provide that instruction for the rest of its membership.

The focus of this joint effort is not to split up the work but to expand the program. The goal set by the re-engineering study was to examine 1.3 million vessels annually by the year 2002. This will require 32,500 trained examiners doing an average of 40 vessels a year. Another key component will be a marketing effort to increase the demand for and understanding of Vessel Safety Checks by the recreational boating public.

Duluth Sail & Power Squadron