Your boat is considered inspected if the United States Coast Guard has conducted an inspection on the vessel. There are several Inspected Vessel Requirements that you should be aware of so that the process can be completed correctly. For example, any boat that carries more than six passengers must be inspected by the US Coast Guard. Once an inspection is approved, you will receive a Certificate of Inspection. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about USCG vessel inspection.
General Inspection Requirements
The specific inspection requirements you will be subject to depend on the size and type of vessel you are having inspected. This might include the type of equipment on board, the number of passengers the boat can hold, manning requirements, the route the boat takes, and others. Your Certificate of Inspection will outline the details about your vessel and should be kept handy on board at all times.
How Often to Get an Inspection
Keep in mind that you must have a current and valid Certificate of Inspection to legally operate your boat. For that reason, it’s very important to stay on top of the expiration date so you can arrange for an inspection well ahead of time to prevent a lapsed certificate. Passenger vessels, nautical school vessels and small passenger vessels that can accommodate more than 12 passengers must undergo an inspection every year. Every other kind of boat needs to have an inspection done every five years.
It’s best to submit your Application for Inspection of U.S. Vessel Form (CG-3752) at least 30 days before your current certificate expires. It’s also vital to remember that the United States Coast Guard can also conduct an inspection on your boat at any time.
What Happens During an Inspection?
While your inspection is specific to the type and size of boat you own, there are some general things you can expect to happen during a safety inspection. They include the following:
- Inspection of the hull for seaworthiness
- Power inspection to ensure safe operation and emergency power
- Inspection of the boiler and associated safety parts
- Wiring and electrical inspection
- Inspection of all lifesaving systems and equipment
- Fire systems inspection
- Inspection of the navigation system and equipment
- Pollution prevention inspection
- Inspection of security systems, including emergency procedures and paperwork
Most Common Deficiencies
It’s recommended that you know the most common reasons to fail a vessel inspection so that you can take measures to prevent it from happening to you. Failing your inspection can keep you off the water and may cost additional fees to repeat the inspection. Consider the following most common reasons for failure:
- Damaged or deteriorated hull
- Dead end wires
- Inoperable alarms
- Inoperable or missing pumps
- Missing licenses
- Inoperable running lights
- Missing light guards
- Expired First Aid Kit materials
- Outdated or missing navigational charts
- Expired hydrostatic release
Do you need assistance preparing for a vessel inspection or understanding the inspected vessel requirements? The US Vessel Registrar is here to help. Feel free to consult our FAQ-section for answers to your questions, guidance on filling out the application, or facilitating any part of the process. We’re here to help.