The United States Power Squadron has affiliated with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to provide Vessel Safety Checks (VSC) to America's boaters.
The VSC program helps to achieve voluntary compliance with federal and state recreational boating safety laws, particularly regarding the carriage of safety equipment. It also raises boaters' awareness of safety issues through one-on-one contact by volunteer vessel examiners.
Our members that participate in this activity are called Vessel Safety Examiners (VSE). We have a lot of fun with this activity, often meeting in groups at marinas to sponsor a "VSC event" where boaters actually sign up for the free check ahead of time. When a boat passes the examination, the owner receives a sticker for the year and a copy of the examination form. While not official policy, it is generally felt that display of the sticker eliminates most on-water checks by the U.S. Coast Guard.
To become a VSE you will take a four hour class over two days. The course reviews the manual and includes the open book test that you must pass in order to be certified as a VSE. You don't need to have taken other U.S. Power Squadron courses to take this course as the bulk of the questions are related to federal and State (CT) boating regulations.
This is a great activity for new members as well as retired members who would like to get more active. If you have a boat in a marina, it is particularly easy to become the "VSC person" for the marina. You will get a lot of satisfaction in giving your free exam while making your fellow boaters a little more confident.
For more information and to sign up for the class, please call or e-mail P/D/C Pat Pabouet, P at 860-781-7106.