As a leading yacht insurance company, our knowledgeable professionals are always looking for safety tips and cost savings for our clients.
Did you know that the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free safety checks for your boat or yacht? This way you know whether your vessel is in compliance with federal laws and state regulations or whether you need to improve or change something.
This USCG Auxiliary service is quite a bonus for boaters because of the law changes, depending on the size of the vessel and if it is used for recreational or commercial purposes. Also, if you’re boating in Ft. Myers, Florida, agencies such as the USCG or a county sheriff could board your boat to perform a safety inspection without warning.
We urge our yacht and boat insurance clients to take advantage of this free service rather than face a fine from local law enforcement.
Here’s what you need to know:
What does a free Vessel Safety Check entail? During a Vessel Safety Check, the USCG checks items that they or other enforcement agencies would check during a regular inspection including:
- Personal flotation devices (life jackets)
- Registration and numbering
- Navigation lights
- Fire extinguishers
- Distress signals (flares, horn, etc.)
- Battery cover and connections
Who conducts the Vessel Safety Check? Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is the uniformed civilian component of the USCG created by Congress in 1939. Auxiliary members support the Coast Guard in many ways.
What happens if the USCG discovers problems during the free Vessel Safety Check? The Auxiliary members who offer the free Vessel Safety Check provide boaters a risk-free way to see if they meet the legal minimums. They will let boaters know what to fix or improve to meet these legal minimums without negative repercussions.
What happens if I meet the legal minimums? While the Auxiliary doesn’t write citations for failing to meet legal minimums, they award a decal that boaters can display showing the boat or yacht has passed the examination potentially saving you time and hassle later when you’re out having fun on the water.
How to request a free Vessel Safety Check: Boaters can request a free vessel safety check online at http://www.aux91fmb.org/vsc.cfm or by calling 239-690-6780 option 2.
You can also check with the USCG Auxiliary about safe boating classes and public outreach programs (and remember to tell your yacht insurance company when you take safe boating classes as it can result in reduced insurance rates).
Questions about how to get the most comprehensive marine insurance coverage? The yacht insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance will find you the best boat and yacht insurance options from the top carriers.