How To Meet Legal Boating Requirements

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,663
    BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston discusses the legal documentation and requirements to check for when conducting a vessel safety check.

    Chris Edmonston: Hi my name is Chris Edmonston, President of the BoatUS foundation. Today, we're going to talk about some of the basics of a vessel safety check including the documents and all the legal requirements, you need to have before you get underway.

    So let's start by taking a look at registration numbers. The boat's registration numbers must be permanently attached to each side of the forward half of your boat. They must be plain, vertical, block characters, not less than 3 inches high and in a color contrasting with the background, a space or a hyphen must separate the letters from the numbers and you should place your state text sticker according to your state's policy.

    Any registration or documentation papers must be on board and available. Documentation numbers must be permanently marked on the visible part of the interior structure of the boat.

    The documented boat's name and hailing port must be displayed on their exterior hall and letters not less than 4 inches in height. If your boat is 26 feet and over with the machinery compartment, you must display an oily waste pollution placard. Boat's both 26 feet and over length must also display a MARPOL trash placard. Boat's 40 feet and over must also display a written trash disposal plan.

    Examiners will also look to see if you have an installed toilet. Any installed toilet must be a coast guard approved device. Over boat discharged outlets must be capable of being sealed off. Boat's 39.

    4 feet and over must have onboard a current copy of the navigation rules.

    Examiners will also make sure you comply with state or local requirements. These requirements must be met before the vessel's safety check decal can be awarded. Remember your boat must meet the legal requirements for the state in which it is being checked. These requirements are mandatory for you to receive your vessel safety check decal. And the decal is really just a pain-free way to make sure you meet the legal requirements for your state.