This is the time of year that we are all thinking about getting our boats prepped for another season of fun. We all have our process that we go through with some of us meticulously putting together a list of items and others just winging it. There is cleaning to do, maintenance to do and maybe even a few upgrades to make. One of the most important things that we should remember is ensuring that our boats will provide us a safe experience.
Boats are different from cars in that they require a lot more attention to safety features. Clearly, the main reason for these features is to reduce the chances of injury or loss of life and property. Many of them are also required by law and a failure to comply could result in a hefty fine. Sometimes, thinking about all of the safety requirements for boating can make your head swim. From life jackets, to fire extinguishers, visual distress signals and bilge blowers, it can be a bit confusing.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an expert assist you in making sure that you and your boat have the right safety equipment for the upcoming boating season. That’s exactly what you can have. The best part is that it won’t cost you anything and you can get an inspection on anything from a jet ski to a cruiser. There are two organizations in the Atlanta area that will come and inspect your vessel free of charge and let you know how you are doing in regards to your safety equipment. One of them is Atlanta’s Boating Club and the other is the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
At your convenience, a trained inspector will come to your boat and perform a thorough inspection to ensure that it is in compliance with local and federal boating laws. The inspection will cover such items as follows:
- Life preservers
- Fire extinguishers
- Navigation Lights
- Bilge systems
- Visual distress signals
- First Aid
- Communication devices
- Ground tackle
The inspector will also cover optional safety equipment and be prepared to answer any questions you have regarding your vessel’s safety features.
If your vessel is in compliance with all safety requirements, you will get a decal indicating that the vessel has been inspected and passed. This can have some advantages. Vessels that display this decal tend to draw less attention from law enforcement and some insurance companies may even provide a discount for vessels that have passed an annual safety inspection.
So, what if your vessel does not pass inspection? First, it is important to realize that inspection results are not turned over to law enforcement or any other state or federal entities. Second, you will be provided with a list of items that need to be addressed in order to bring it into compliance. After changes have been made, you can schedule a re-inspection of your vessel at your convenience. It truly is a win-win scenario for any boat owner.
For more information on Vessel Safety Checks, check out the Atlanta’s Boating Club VSC site here: www.americasboatingclubatlanta.org/vessel-safety-check.
To request a Vessel Safety Check, call 770-734-6412.