All of these items are currently required by state and federal laws and, if missing or non-operating, can result in a citation if your vessel is inspected by the Coast Guard or local Lake Patrol Officers.
The Vessel Safety Check gives you a risk-free way to check that you meet the legal minimums and to potentially avoid a citation later.
What is the benefit of a Vessel Safety Check?
Boats that pass the examination are awarded a distinctive VSC Decal that alerts the Coast Guard, Fish and Wildlife, and other law-enforcement agencies that your boat was found to be in full compliance with all Federal and State boating laws. Frequently, such agencies will not detain or board boats displaying a current-year decal that are otherwise operating safely.
What if I do not pass the safety inspection?
If your boat does not pass, no report is filed. Instead, you are provided a written report that aids you in correcting any discrepancies noted. Often, a quick trip to the local marine store is all that is necessary to obtain missing safety items and easily pass a re-inspection. If you show your examiner-signed VSC report, you may receive a discount on your missing or discrepant items.
Why Do This?
You are left with the peace of mind that your boat meets minimum safety standards and that in an emergency, you will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help. Additionally, you will avoid substantial fines should you ever be boarded by law enforcement and found to be in violation. Finally, your insurance rates may be lowered – check with your agent.
Lake Norman, NC Flotilla 26-01-5SR