Vessel Safety Checks look for the following:
State Registration Numbers on both sides of the
boat with proper one character spacing or hyphen
between the "NM" in the front and the two
letters at the end, full contrasting color to
the hull, use of minimum 3" block letters and
numbers, and a current validation decal on port
side and located 6" behind the state
REGISTRATION (Certificate of Number - the
"registration card" on board) or /DOCUMENTATION
- valid papers on board (very large vessels
numbered by the U.S. Coast Guard)
NAVIGATION LIGHTS - must operate and be in
SOUND PRODUCING DEVICE - horn, whistle or other
BELL - boats 26 feet or longer (this is 39.5'
LIFE JACKETS - one wearable for each passenger,
also one Type IV throwable device. All must be
in good condition and readily accessible.
FIRE EXTINGUISHER - mounted, minimum for size of
boat and type of boat, in good condition
VISUAL DISTRESS SIGNALS - inland, a flag, visual
distress signal, light etc.
VENTILATION - for closed compartments with
potential for explosive vapors and ingnition
source. Installed blower must work. Warning is
BACKFIRE FLAME ARRESTER- approved type, tight
installation and clean.
FUEL SYSTEM - tanks secured. Tanks over 7
gallons are considered permanent and must be
grounded and vented. Hoses in good condition, no
ANCHOR AND ANCHOR LINE - suitable for the boat
and the boating area.
ALTERNATIVE PROPULSION - paddle or oar.
SECURING SYSTEMS - minimum of a length of line
the length of the boat, stout, and in good
DEWATERING DEVICE - bilge pump(s) works, extra
manual one gallon bailer or manual hand pump.
OVERALL VESSEL CONDITION - bilge and equipment
area clean, well maintained. Not overloaded,
overpowered, or any automotive parts.
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM - batteries secured, terminals
covered, well organized wiring, proper
GALLEY/HEATING SYSTEM - secure system, proper
tank installation, no flammable material nearby.
STATE REQUIREMENTS - operator education card if
born on or after January 1, 1989.
MARINE SANITATION DEVICE - approved device,
overboard discharge sealed.
MARINE POLLUTION TRASH PLACARD - only boats 26
feet and over, written plan for boats 40 feet
POLLUTION PLACARD - only for boats 26 feet and
over, with machinery compartment.
NAVIGATION RULES - copy of rules for boats 39.4
feet or over.
FCC MARINE RADIO LICENSE - not a legal
requirement for pleasure boats unless traveling
outside of U.S. waters.