Getting a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is free, pretty easy, recommended annually. An annual VSC does not guarantee you won’t be boarded by the Coast Guard, but, if you do get boarded, having the sticker should speed up the examination the Boarding Officer will actually conduct on your boat – assuming that the spot check does not reveal any discrepancies.
The VSC program is a partnership between the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the US Power Squadron and you will see both logos on the following web page:
Clicking on the “Virtual Safety Check” will take you through a self-check process that will prepare you for the VSC. You can also print out a check list by clicking “form here” in the first paragraph.
When you feel comfortable that you have everything you need, you can click the “I want a VSC” button on the left and enter the information regarding where your boat is. You will then be contact by someone close to your boat who will arrange for the VSC.
You can also contact a member of either the local Coast Guard Auxiliary or the US Power and Sail Squadron and they can put you in touch with a vessel examiner.