Vessel Safety Check

A Vessel Safety Check is a courtesy examination of your boat (Vessel) to verify the presence and condition of certain Safety Equipment required by State and Federal regulations. The Vessel Examiner is a trained specialist and is a member of the United States Power Squadrons or the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. He or she will also make certain recommendations and discuss certain safety issues that will make you a safer boater.

This is not a boarding or a law enforcement issue. No citations will be given as a result of this encounter. We will supply you with a copy of our evaluation so that you may follow some of the suggestions given. Vessels that pass will be able to display our distinctive VSC decal. This does not exempt you from law enforcement boarding, but you can be prepared to make this a positive encounter.

If you would like to arrange for a free Vessel Safety Check, anywhere in the harbors near Darien, contact our Vessel Safety Chairman Jim Walsh at

Here's What's Needed To Pass A Vessel Safety Check In Connecticut

1. Current Registration/Documentation Papers

  • Registered boat: state-issued numbers and current decal permanently affixed to forward half of vessel
  • Documented boat: current state decal permanently affixed to forward half of vessel & documentation numbers permanently affixed to interior
2. CT Safe Boating Certificate (CT requirement)

3. PFDs
  • One USCG-approved life jacket appropriately sized for each person on board plus one throwable. PFDs must be readily accessible.
4. Visual Distress Signals (flares)
  • Minimum of 3 unexpired day/night flares
5. Fire Extinguishers

For more details, please see USCG Recreational Boater Fire Extinguisher FAQ

Boat model year of 2018 and newer.

NOTE - may carry only 5-B or 20-B rated fire extinguishers with date stamp

Length (feet)

Minimum number of 5-B rated portable fire extinguishers required1

If no fixed fire extinguishing system in machinery space

If fixed fire extinguishing system in machinery space

Under 16



16 but less than 26



26 but less than 40



40 up to 65



1 One 20-B, rated portable fire extinguisher may be substituted for two 5-B portable fire extinguishers.  One 10-B is not a substitute for two 5-B.

6. Gas Powered Inboard/IO Vessels only
  • Blower & ducts
  • Backfire flame control
7. Sound-Producing Device
  • Horn
  • Bell if over 40' and less than 65'
8. Navigation Lights & Anchor Light
  • Red/green lights forward
  • White light visible 360 (combo or all-around)
  • 360 all-around anchor light
9. Pollution Placard (over 26') (we have copies if you need one)

10. Marpol Trash Placard (over 26') (we have copies if you need one)

11. Trash-Management Plan (over 40')

12. Marine Sanitation Device (head)
  • Any installed toilet must be a Coast Guard approved device. Overboard discharge outlets must be capable of being sealed (locked).
13. Navigation Rules
  • A current and complete copy of the Navigation Rules are required onboard vessels over 39.4'
14. Good over-all condition of vessel as applies to safety