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Vessel Safety Check

Free Vessel Safety Check

Vessel Safety Check (VSC)
Form (PDF)

  The Vessel Safety Check form, with instructions, is used by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary services. The form can be printed and used as a guideline for preparing your boat for the safety check. Some regulations are specific to the boat length, so it is up to you to know the rules applicable to your particular boat.

Vessels 26' and up now require a MARPOL Garbage placard. It must be durable, at least 9" by 4", and the printed letters at least 1/8" high. Good luck finding one! Here is my solution: Laser print (inkjet is not waterproof) the PDF and insert it in a page protector. You can then hang or mount it in a suitable location.

BoatUS Boater Safety Course Successful completion of this boating safety course is considered as fulfilling the requirements of the Boater Safety Training in many states, including Florida. If you cannot attend scheduled classes (preferred), you have a reasonable alternative here. Of course, meeting actual state requirements is your responsibility, not that of BoatUS.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Boating safety information from the Law Enforcement division.
Florida Safety Boating Course Don't have time to attend the Coast Guard Auxillary classroom training? You can now earn your proof of Boating Safety Training online.
USCG Boating Safety Coast Guard alerts, glossary, statistics, recall notices, regulations, and news.
Drawbridge Safety (PDF) Safety information for motorists, pedestrians, and boaters when crossing over or under various drawbridges. Since 9/11, the drawbridge operator has limited visibility for boats on the water. Keep a spotlight handy for nighttime signaling because visual confirmation of your location is mandatory before opening.
USCG Navigation Rules A 1 Meg PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file of the Coast Guard navigation rules. Be sure to check for the latest changes and revisions.
Florida Boater Education Law "...before operating a vessel with a motor of 10 HP or more in Florida.."
Required Safety Equipment Site is for Class 2 recreational boats (26 to less than 40ft). Class 1 boats (16 to less than 26ft) is identical except for the fire extinguisher requirements.
Florida Specific Regulations Here is a web page that contains information on Florida Boating Regulations that are in addition to the Federal Requirements covered in the Basic Boating Course.
Florida Boating Law Basics This BoatUS web page contains information provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It is a comprehensive source of Florida Boating Regulations and includes a link for comparison to the Federal Requirements.
Storm Prep.
Safe Harbor Document Lessons learned from recent hurricanes can help boaters in Southeast Florida protect their boats against the ravages of these devastating storms.
Rough Water Seamanship A three part article about handling a boat in rough seas. Although orientated towards power boats, a boat is still a boat.
Finding Refuge A personal opinion document describing the dynamics of a storm.