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Old 04-03-2021, 09:45   #1
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USCG routine safety check

After a short afternoon sail the other day, we were pulled over and boarded by USCG whilst entering Channel Islands harbor. I only post this because this was my first such experience in many decades of boating in and around California.

The Boarding Officer and her mate were very professional and efficient and courteous and basically checked off the boxes for their routine inspection. Here's what they wanted to see:

- sufficient life jackets stored in an easily accessible place
- throwable flotation devices (seat cushions appropriately tagged)
- visual bilge access
- unexpired flares
- current tags on fire extinguishers (my mounted extinguishers are expired but I have two new ones yet to be mounted, they were cool with that as long as they're easily accessible)
- some form of noisemaker (FYI, I don't recommend demonstrating the airhorn within the enclosed cabin unless all occupants are wearing earplugs)
- ownership documentation
- proof of insurance
- gov't issued ID for skipper
- "oil discharge" notice displayed in engine compartment.

All in all, not an unpleasant experience and was completed in probably 20 minutes or so.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:48   #2
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Re: USCG routine safety check

I'm surprised they asked for proof of insurance.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:51   #3
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Re: USCG routine safety check

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I'm surprised they asked for proof of insurance.
Maybe it's a CA thing? I lived there for over 10 years and they demanded proof of insurance with cars when registering. Maybe boating is the same way?
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:54   #4
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Re: USCG routine safety check

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I'm surprised they asked for proof of insurance.
They may not actually have requested it, but I showed it to them anyway because all the paperwork is together in the chart table and they did review it.

Eric
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:04   #5
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Re: USCG routine safety check

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingSeaGypsy View Post
Maybe it's a CA thing? I lived there for over 10 years and they demanded proof of insurance with cars when registering. Maybe boating is the same way?
USCG (Fed) doesn't enforce state regulations. The last time I was pulled over by the USCG was in the State of CT, which, at the time required smoke detectors. I asked the USCG if they wanted to test the smoke detectors. USCG reply "We don't care about smoke detectors".

Insurance isn't a Federal mandate, so I doubt they actually asked to see insurance. More than likely they asked for 'paperwork' which simply included insurance.
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:10   #6
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Re: USCG routine safety check

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricJ View Post
After a short afternoon sail the other day, we were pulled over and boarded by USCG whilst entering Channel Islands harbor. I only post this because this was my first such experience in many decades of boating in and around California.

The Boarding Officer and her mate were very professional and efficient and courteous and basically checked off the boxes for their routine inspection. Here's what they wanted to see:

- sufficient life jackets stored in an easily accessible place
- throwable flotation devices (seat cushions appropriately tagged)
- visual bilge access
- unexpired flares
- current tags on fire extinguishers (my mounted extinguishers are expired but I have two new ones yet to be mounted, they were cool with that as long as they're easily accessible)
- some form of noisemaker (FYI, I don't recommend demonstrating the airhorn within the enclosed cabin unless all occupants are wearing earplugs)
- ownership documentation
- proof of insurance
- gov't issued ID for skipper
- "oil discharge" notice displayed in engine compartment.

All in all, not an unpleasant experience and was completed in probably 20 minutes or so.
What are the requirements of the current tags on the fire extinguishers?
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:14   #7
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Re: USCG routine safety check

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Originally Posted by Gudgeon View Post
What are the requirements of the current tags on the fire extinguishers?
Reference:

http://wow.uscgaux.info/Uploads_wowI...inguishers.pdf
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:21   #8
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Re: USCG routine safety check

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricJ View Post
After a short afternoon sail the other day, we were pulled over and boarded by USCG whilst entering Channel Islands harbor. I only post this because this was my first such experience in many decades of boating in and around California.

The Boarding Officer and her mate were very professional and efficient and courteous and basically checked off the boxes for their routine inspection. Here's what they wanted to see:

- sufficient life jackets stored in an easily accessible place
- throwable flotation devices (seat cushions appropriately tagged)
- visual bilge access
- unexpired flares
- current tags on fire extinguishers (my mounted extinguishers are expired but I have two new ones yet to be mounted, they were cool with that as long as they're easily accessible)
- some form of noisemaker (FYI, I don't recommend demonstrating the airhorn within the enclosed cabin unless all occupants are wearing earplugs)
- ownership documentation
- proof of insurance
- gov't issued ID for skipper
- "oil discharge" notice displayed in engine compartment.

All in all, not an unpleasant experience and was completed in probably 20 minutes or so.
One more thing to add to the list. When I was boarded for a safety check they also ask for another placard besides the oil discharge notice. I donít remember the exact wording but the placard needs to be near your trash can and it basically says ďI promise not to throw any plastic overboardĒ.
I had never heard of it and didnít have one, but they let me slide with the promise that I would buy one the next time I was at West Marine.

Al, S/V Finlandia
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:24   #9
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Re: USCG routine safety check

Reading through the new fire extinguisher rules, I'm noticing something a bit stupid. If I buy cheap disposable extinguishers, then as long as they look good, gauge says they're good, etc. they can be as old as I want and they're fine. But if I buy better ones that can be recharged, they have to be inspected annually or they're crap. Guess that means it's time for a fire extinguisher audit on my boat...
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:24   #10
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Re: USCG routine safety check

I was boarded once by USCG when my boat was new. They were polite and efficient. They wrote a report and told me to hang onto it in case I was boarded again. They mentioned that my throw-able device was not in a good location to throw. In a bunk locker in the cabin. I went out and bought one that hangs from the rail now. Also I have never been boarded by Canadian or American CG when under sail. I think they respect that people are sailing and it is not simply turning off a motor.
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:29   #11
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Re: USCG routine safety check

IIRC, the USCG has the checklist they use right on their website.


From my 2016 trip from SF to BC:


We had read that the Coast Guard used to regularly board boats when they arrived in Brookings. Just as we entered the harbor and before we tied up for fuel, the silver CG boat came roaring out, but passed us going up the river. We thought they were coming out for us. When they returned, I hailed them verbally from our cockpit and asked if we could have a safety inspection. Morgan was mortified! So, it seemed, was the CG skipper. He asked where we had come from, where we were going, and how long we were staying. When we said we were leaving early the next morning for Port Orford, he shook his head as if to say “Why would these guys actually want us to board them?” He thought about it some more, and it looked like he’d say: “Forget it !” But he finally asked us if it would be OK if they returned in about 15 minutes and we said, “Sure.”

They returned to their dock across the river, and soon enough they came back across in their big boat, tied up behind us, and a fellow and a young lady came over, hopped on board, and began the inspection. It actually took less time than previous inspections we’ve had from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Coast Guard also has a slightly different form than the Auxiliary, but essentially covers all the same items: registration, safety, securing the head overboard discharge and dates of flares. We passed with flying colors and got a copy of the “Passed” form that is good for a year. It took all of maybe fifteen minutes. It appears that only the Auxiliary distributes stickers that can be placed on the base of your mast. Maybe I’ll get a Sharpie and change our 2012 sticker to 2016.
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:33   #12
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Re: USCG routine safety check

What is " oil discharge notice"?
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:38   #13
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Re: USCG routine safety check

This:

https://manifestmarine.com/reference...rgePlacard.jpg
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:41   #14
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Re: USCG routine safety check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Recy View Post
What is " oil discharge notice"?
Oil discharge placard stating the regulations regarding oil discharge from the vessel if your vessel is over a certain size.

If you have a galley on your boat, you are also required to display a placard regarding the disposal of waste and garbage according to Coast Guard regulations.
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:45   #15
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Re: USCG routine safety check

Montanan Thanks for the link not sure why it didn't come up in my search. So it seem the disposable one do not require a tag. The gauge must be in the green zone.
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