One of the most important aspects of boating safety is simply making sure that your boat, your lighting, and your other equipment are all in good working condition. Doing this could save you hundreds of dollars in fines, it could save your boat from an accident, and—most importantly—it could save your life or the life of someone you love.
Receiving a vessel safety check is neither costly nor time consuming—meaning there is no excuse for not taking this important precaution. For most, the easiest way to schedule a free vessel safety examination is by filling out the online form (which you can find on the United States Coastguard’s official website.) The coast guard will locate the nearest vessel safety volunteer, who can perform a safety check at your convenience.
Apart from the most obvious benefit of these checks (your own safety) you will also receive a Vessel Safety Check emblem that alerts authorities that your vessel has passed inspection. Depending on where you live and what company you use, your insurance rates may also be lowered.
If you would like to prepare for your inspection, the Coast Guard also offers a “virtual vessel safety check” that you can perform yourself at home. Additionally, you can download the Coast Guard’s Vessel Safety Check Manual—a comprehensive 52 page manual containing all the information you could need about preparing your vessel for the water.
It is important to note, however, that a lack of preparation is no excuse for delaying your vessel safety inspection. Should you for any reason fail your inspection, you will not be fined, and no report will be made. Instead, you will be given a private written report that will help you make any necessary changes in order to pass the exam. These are typically simple, inexpensive purchases of missing equipment.
So, what are you waiting for? Schedule your free vessel check today!
Should you have any further questions or concerns about boating safety, visit our Beacon Watch blog to learn about the latest in boating safety and equipment.