Propane Fuel

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.

Wearing a TYPE V PFD During VSC

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.

Where can I find the form for a paddleboat and a personal watercraft (PWC) inspection?

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:

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.

For more information about PWC inspections, please refer to the Vessel Safety Check (VSC) manual. (PDF | requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Towline Length Requirements

Question: What is the requirement for a towline on an Auxiliary facility 18 ft long.

Answer: There is no "standard" length. This is something that should be taught in Coxswain training and is different for the type of waters the facilities would be patrolling. Small lakes are different from waters like the Gulf of Mexico or the Coastal waters where longer lines would be required. Most local DIRAUX's will have standard size requirements for facilities in their AOR.

What is important is that tow lines should be of the length that may be necessary to minimize the shock forces by keeping the vessels "in step" with one another. It is important to adjust the length of the tow line to minimize the shock forces caused by wind, waves, and/or current.

Of course as explained above, that varies in different waters where 100 feet may be fine in one area but 200 feet would be required in rougher waters.

Where Is The Information On How To Become a VE?

Question: Where in the new website format is the part for members who want to become VE's/PV's? In the old format a member could go to that link & get detail information on the how to become a VE/PV including hyperlinks to the VE manual & other study material. I looked through the new site, including the Job Aid Kits, & can not find this information.

Answer: The old How to Become a VE page is the new "Job Aid Kits" page. I'm guessing you glossed over the page and didn't really check it out as all of the old text and links are still there.

Fire Extinguisher Mounting Brackets

Question: Does the mounting bracket need to be attached to the fire extinguisher for the vessel to pass the VSC?

Answer: As a VE, you know fire extinguishers are a required item under DECAL REQUIREMENTS. Mounting is under DISCUSSION ITEMS, therefore not required for a decal but is your job is to educate the importance of a mounted extinguisher, one that is always ready at a known location and cannot roll around and break and become faulty.

VSCs on Rental Kayaks

Question: Rental paddle craft seem to fall outside both the RBS VSC arena and the UPV requirements. I have had kayak rental shops ask for VSCs for all of their vessels, but current programs don't seem to meet the needs of either the shop or the individual renting the vessel. Is there a plan to fill this inspection/education gap in the future? Is there any way to get the requested VSCs completed?

Answer: They are covered under the current VSC program. They are to be completed on the 7012A form, and recorded on the 7038 form. Also just as any rental boats, you can only award decals for the number of vessels that they have available safety gear required on the 7012A to cover them.

Forced Ventilation for PWCs?

Question: Why is there no blower ventilation requirements on personal watercraft as required by inboard boats?

Answer: They have sealed systems and the PWC VSC information in our training instructions states specifically "NO FORCED VENTILATION REQUIRED".

Deviation Table

Question: Where can i get a deviation table for a facility. It is a requirement in the facility inspection.

Answer: Being able to create a Deviation Table for their vessel, is something that all Coxswains have had in training during their initial coxswain qualification.

Deviation is a function of heading and is the error due to features and equipment mounted on your boat that distorts your magnetic field; for example, you may have a deviation of say 5 degrees when going north but a deviation of say -2 degrees when going east.

Before GPS, the Deviation Tables were created by running the boat between known landmarks or ATONS on the charts and then comparing the map's known compass reading to what your compass is displaying. With GPS it is much easier and faster as you run as an example, North using the GPS and then compare your Compass reading to get the Deviation for the Deviation Table.

Here is a link to the Prevention Department's PDF Deviation Table to use to create a table:

VSC Awards for 60 Plus

Question: The VSC certificates that are issued to examiners for 60 plus VE's, are they provided by the DIRAUX or from the National VE dept? Also when are they issued, monthly, bi, yearly?

Answer: They are issued by each member's DIRAUX Office. The member would have to take this up with their local VE chain.