Question: Do standup paddleboards qualify for a Vessel Safety Check (VSC)? And if so, what about thru a rental agency?
Answer: Yes, stand up paddlecraft qualify for a VSC. From the USCG, "Stand Up Paddleboards are required to carry the same safety equipment as all paddle craft per Federal Regulations."
When doing the VSC, make sure to use Form 7012A.
Here is some reference material for doing a paddle craft VSC:
As far as doing an inspection at a rental agency, as long as they have all the equipment required for the paddlecraft that should be fine.
Question: I recently became a VE and I have been inspecting as my FSO-VE tells me. I have argued two things with him. He requires both battery terminal to be covered. he also requires a VDS. We are on the Ohio river(inland-less than two miles wide). I have read the PPT and VE book. So my question is does the negative terminal have to be covered and do they have to have a flashlight?
Answer: From page 27 of the Vessel Safety Check (VSC) manual:
Verify that battery cables are securely connected. The battery should be clamped down or otherwise secured so as to prevent movement. Battery terminals must be covered. Plastic battery boxes or other covers to protect the battery are recommended but not required. Installed battery chargers should be of marine type design. Batteries should be well ventilated while charging.
For your Area of Operations (AOR) from the way you describe it, a VDS is not be required. It should be recommended, but it is not required to pass a VSC. Also, check to see if your FSO-VE is referring to a local or state law.
From the 7012 form: STATE AND LOCAL REQUIREMENTS: These requirements must be met before the Vessel Safety Check decal can be awarded. A boat must meet the requirements of the state in which it is being examined. Here is a good article which mentions VDSs and the whole Coastal/Inland waters issue - http://vdept.cgaux.org/newsletters/fss10-03.pdf.
Please note: To view and print PDF documents, you must use the Adobe Reader software, which is available for download without charge.
Question: If a vessel being checked has the capacity for high speeds must the life jackets be rated for high speed/impact?
Answer: No. An impact rating is recommended, but it is not required for the passing of an inspection.
Question: When checking a fire extinguisher is there an age of manufacture requirement?
Answer: Current guidance from the USCG Office of Boating Safety directs that the following items should be included in the annual maintenance of non-rechargeable portable extinguishers:
1. Check that the pressure gauge or pressure indicator is in the operable range.
2. Verify there is no physical damage to the extinguisher or discharge hose (if provided).
3. Check for missing or broken safety seals or tamper indicators.
4. Examine the extinguisher for obvious signs of corrosion, leakage or clogged discharge nozzle.
If any deficiencies are noted, the non-rechargeable extinguisher should be replaced.
In addition, non-rechargeable fire extinguishers now come with a warning on the label that the fire extinguisher should be removed from service 12 years from the manufacture date which is marked on the extinguisher (date stamped on the bottom of the cylinder). Check the label and advise the boater that the manufacturers instructions should be followed if more than 12 years has elapsed. However, until the federal regulations are revised, this should be treated as a recommendation and not result in a failure during a VSC.
Question: We have many kayaks in the area. When inspected do they receive a VSC decal?
Question: The Vessel Safety Check Manual indicates vessels over 39.4 feet are required to a whistle or horn, and a bell. Has this requirement been recently changed?
Answer: There has been a change to the requirement for vessels to carry a bell. The bell requirements are clearly stated in "A Boater's Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats" (page 26). That is, vessels less than 20 meters (65.6 feet) are no longer required to carry a bell. This change was made to International Rule 33(a) in 2004 and a regulatory change is forthcoming that will align the Inland Navigation Rules with the International Rule. In the interim, follow the guidance in the "Federal Requirements".
Question: The question has come up several times regarding marine battery requirements as it applies to vessels equipped with outboard motors. How do the requirements of 33CFR183.420 (Batteries) apply?
Answer: Title 33 - Navigation and Navigable Waters [33 CFR], Part 183 - Boats and Associated Equipment [33 CFR 183], Subpart 1 - Electrical Systems, Â§ 183.401 â€” Purpose, Applicability, and Effective Dates indicates that "this subpart applies to all boats that have gasoline engines, except outboard engines, for electrical generation, mechanical power, or propulsion". Thus, Â§ 33CFR183.420 (Batteries) does not apply to boats equipped with outboard engines. However, it is important to note that VEs should recognize the safety issues relative to having batteries that are not secured or have inadequate protection to prevent shorting of terminals. Therefore, VEs should not award a decal if unsafe conditions exist, even on vessels powered by outboard engines.
Question: At several recent boat shows, vendors have been talking about propane outboard motors. Are these new fuel types within the scope of the Vessel Safety Check?
Answer: There have been no recent changes that would allow the use of propane as a fuel for an outboard engine. Propane brings additional problems as an alternative fuel including being under pressure and also being heavier than air. Special engineering would be required for the storage of the fuel, which would require a drain and storage above the waterline. This is not a something that would be covered in a VSC and should not be awarded a decal.
Question: The VE Manual indicates that "if the label indicates the PFD is approved only when worn", is it required to be worn when the vessel is on shore during a VSC to be acceptable for meeting VSC requirements.
Answer: If the VSC is conducted on shore, then the Type V does not need to be worn for the award of the VSC decal. However, it must be made clear to the boater that they MUST be worn underway to count, or they are in violation.
Question: Where can I find the form for a paddleboat and a personal watercraft (PWC) inspection?
Answer: You can find the forms you need here: http://forms.cgaux.org/forms.php
ANSC 7012 - Vessel Safety Check (used for standard boat and PWC inspections)
ANSC 7012A - Paddle Craft Vessel Safety Check
Also, you can check with your flotilla's materials officer (FSO-MA) for forms.