A friend had routine inspection
on Memorial day by the Coast Guard in Rhode Island
(one of the little orange boats). They were professional and friendly. I asked what they seemed to be checking carefully. Here's what he remembered of special note.
-- that lifejackets were not stored in their plastic bags
-- that the type IV throwable was marked coast guard approved and had a line attached
-- that he had the "rules of the road" on board (he is over 40ft long)
-- holding tank overboard
-- waste management plan aboard ( and signed). This was the one thing he didn't have. They let him write one and sign it at the inspection
-- all fire extinguishers were marked CG approved and the gauge was in the green
I had heard that a bell is no longer required over 40 ft. He said that it wasn't mentioned one way or the other.