Vessel Safety Checks


Vessel Safety Check program:

Is your boat ready for the season?  Two things that contribute to maximum enjoyment of your boating experiences are safety and comfort. 

The Vessel Safety Check program is a joint effort of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons to provide boaters with the knowledge that their vessel is operating in compliance with Federal and State Boating regulations and that they have taken the necessary steps to assure themselves and their guests the maximum comfort and safety.  This program is a voluntary, no cost service provided to the boating public. 

Why would I want a Vessel Safety Check performed?

A vessel safety check is a no-cost way to determine if your boat meets Federal, State, and Local requirements (required for VSC decal award) and carries the recommended items (recommended but not required for VSC decal). No citations are issued and the results of the safety check are not reported to any enforcement agency. Displaying a current decal informs boating law-enforcement and safety agencies that your boat was in full compliance with all Federal and State boating laws during a safety check for that year.

How do I get a vessel safety check performed for my boat?

The following ABC-K members are qualified Vessel Safety Check Examiners and can arrange to meet you at your vessel to perform the examination.  Please contact Bob Bray to schedule an exam:

Examiner Telephone Territory Covered

Chuck Smith- Chairman 931-260-9114 Watts Bar Lake

Bob Bray 865-408-9229 Tellico/Ft. Loudon Lake

Bill Hall 865-657-3214 Tellico/Ft. Loudon Lake

Bob Mattison 843-504-8271 Tellico/Ft. Loudon Lake

John and Barbara Richardson 423-208-5672 Ft. Loudon Lake

You must be present for the examination.  Examiners cannot board your vessel without you being present.

If your boat is trailered, the examination can be performed while the boat is on the trailer, however, the boat must be launched before the VSC decal can be awarded (the examination is not complete if we don't know whether or not the vessel will actually float!)

What are you looking for when you examine my boat?

Some of the items checked include:

  • Life Jackets

  • Navigation lights

  • Fire extinguishers

  • Registration and vessel numbers

  • Anchor & line

  • Sound producing device/ distress signals

  • Battery cover and connections

  • Flame arrestors and ventilation (if required)

  • No oil in bilge

  • General safe boat condition

What if my boat doesn't pass the examination?

In the event your boat does not pass the examination, you will be given a list of the items which need correction.  When these items have been corrected, you may re-contact the examiner for a re-inspection  of those items, and if they meet requirements, you will be awarded the VSC decal.