San Diego Sail and Power Squadron


Free Vessel Safety Checks

ABC-San Diego (San Diego Sail and Power Squadron) is happy to provide free Vessel Safety Checks for boat owners.

What is a Vessel Safety Check? A qualified Club member will meet with you, come aboard your vessel and go through a checklist with you to see if you have appropriate safety gear aboard. The list will include all the gear required by the US Coast Guard for vessels of your size and type. Plus, additional gear generally regarded as important by experienced boaters will be recommended.

This service is completely Voluntary. It is a service we provide to help boaters ensure the safety of their vessel, crew, and guests.

You might earn a VSC Safety Decal. If you meet the high standards of the check, you will be issued a sticker that may be placed upon your vessel. This sticker tells your fellow boaters, the US Coast Guard, and law enforcement authorities that you have all the requisite safety equipment aboard. Many boaters desire to have a current version of this seal of a well found vessel proudly displayed on their boats.

The VSC Check usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

The results are not reported to anyone other than yourself. There is no harm or penalty if you do not pass. You will be given the checklist to help you acquire whatever may be missing. At your request, examiners are usually happy to return at some later date to repeat the check, so you may be able to earn the VSC decal by passing then.

It is possible that having a current VSC decal might help you avoid being boarded by the Coast Guard, as they will see that you have the appropriate safety gear aboard. If you are boarded, you may hand them a copy of your ABC/USPS checklist saving them and you time. You might also submit the passed checklist form to your insurance company, demonstrating you maintain your vessel in a safe condition.

There is no charge for this service.

All you have to do is request the service and agree upon a time. The link is below.

Contact a Vessel Examiner

To schedule an examination, send an email to with your name, phone number, type of vessel and where it’s located – or contact one of the following:

P/C Bob Gibbs, JN     ->
P/C Shaun McArdle, AP  ->  email
Lt Mike Philbrook, AP    -> email
Jon Coats -> email

Allan Bombard, SN-CN-> email

An examiner will contact you to arrange a time and place.  Examiners are prohibited from going out to a vessel anchored or on a mooring; boats may be examined dockside or at a residence.

All of these items are currently required by state and federal laws and, if missing or non-operating, can result in a citation if your vessel is inspected by the Coast Guard.

San Diego Sail and Power Squadron