Civic Service

America's Boating Club of Colorado is committed to Civic Engagement; individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public [boating] concern. Members are vital to strengthening the boating communities that they live in.

Safe Boating

An educated boater is a safe boater. The America's Boating Course is offered each year as a boating safety and competency course that includes the requirements for a boat operators license in most states.

Get the facts on boating safety. Visit Boat Live 365 , a movement to promote safe boating 365 days a year, created in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard.

State Boat Operators Certificate
Vessel Safety Check Decal

Vessel Safety Check

America's Boating Club provides a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) service which is the United States Power Squadron VSC program in cooperation with local US Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas. We offer free VSC exams to any boater within commuting range of one of our certified Vessel Examiners. The VSC is offered to the public as a part of America's Boating Club support of safe boating.

The VSC Inspection

The program involves a free and friendly inspection that covers the equipment required by the Coast Guard. We'll also have an opportunity to talk safety in general and optional suggested equipment. You receive an annotated copy of the check list, and if you pass the exam you receive a VSC decal for your boat. The inspection can be done on boats in the water, on a trailer, or on the hard. It applies to both power boats and sail boats, and we even have a special form for paddle boats. We make house (and storage yard) calls. Since it's a voluntary program, results of the exam are reported only statistically and not associated with your name.

VSC at the dock
To Schedule a VSC Inspection

To request an inspection in the Colorado region you will be put in contact with a VSC examiner to schedule a date and location. Fill out and send the contact form and be sure to request a copy of the checklist before the exam so that you can prepare your boat.

To request a Vessel Safety Check »

Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI)

America's Boating Club is your portal to obtaining a MMSI number for your vessel at no charge. The issued MMSI will be unique to your boat and must be programmed into all equipment capable of transmitting and receiving digital signals.

The Maritime Mobile Service Identity number is a unique nine-digit number assigned to ships with certain kinds of radio equipment. Most VHF marine radios now feature Digital Selective Calling (DSC) while equipment such as radar or chart plotters may be equipped with the Automated Identification System (AIS). All DSC–equipped radios, and most GPS receivers, have an NMEA 0183 two-wire data protocol. That NMEA protocol allows any model of GPS to be successfully interconnected to any model of radio, regardless of manufacture.

The MMSI number is programmed into this equipment for vessel identification purposes. When the equipment is properly configured with a valid MMSI it includes it while sending and receiving messages with the U.S. Coast Guard, Search and Rescue authorities, and other vessels. The central MMSI database then provides important information about a vessel such as: owner's name, intended route, and other radio equipment on board, and also whether it is a valid alert.

VHF Radio

The US Coast Guard urges that you take the time to interconnect your GPS and DSC-equipped radio. Doing so may save your life in a distress situation! Before interconnecting your radio & GPS consult the owner's manuals.

How do I obtain a MMSI?

America's Boating Club is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the US Coast Guard to issue a MMSI number to US flagged vessels not subject to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention requirements. This includes almost all recreational boats. Vessels required to have FCC ship station licenses, including US flagged pleasure craft making international voyages, must obtain their MMSI directly from the FCC.

To request assignment of an MMSI »

Cooperative Charting

A major public service, the USPS Cooperative Charting Program has been called the most effective user-participation program in the federal services. Through our nautical reporting program, we supply information to a host of agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), leading to corrections to nautical charts and Coast Pilot publications.

Cooperative Charting

Port Captain

A Port Captain is a member of the United States Power Squadrons®, who stands ready to provide advice and assistance to questions about safe boating and general issues regarding specific waterways. With expert knowledge of local waters, USPS Port Captains provide information, reliable advice and camaraderie to fellow members, especially visitors, welcoming them to the neighborhood

Port Captain Program

Club Newsletter

The Beacon is the award winning newsletter that has been in production for many years. Each issue contains a message from the Commander, a safety article, and usually has articles contributed by members. The current issue is available on this site and we have many past issues available on our cloud storage. Select News from the main menu.

Club Website and Forum

Our Website includes access to information and articles of interest to all boaters. There is a page full of "links" to other interesting boating sites. Also available is a Community Forum that contains an online bulletin board of topics availalbe to boaters. It One can view it as well as register for an account to contribute boating content. Select Forum from the main menu.

On The Cloud

Over the years our club members have produced many boating presentations and reference documents such as cruising and first aid checklists for other boating members. We have made many of these documents available to the boating public on our Cloud storage. Select News from the main menu and see the public folders.

VSCiat Lake 

Carter Lake 2017

Wear It

We’ve heard just about every excuse not to wear a life jacket. Here are the most common excuses with the top five reasons to wear a life jacket.

  1. “I have life jackets on board.” Having life jackets on board the vessel is not enough. Accidents happen too fast to put on a stowed life jacket.
  2. “I’m a strong swimmer.” Even a strong swimmer needs to wear a life jacket. During an emergency, clothing can become heavy or waterlogged while in the water.
  3. “It’s too hot and doesn’t look cool.” Old-fashioned, bulky orange life jackets have been replaced with new styles, like inflatable life jackets that may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack. These are much cooler in the warmer weather.
  4. “It gets in the way.” There are life jacket styles available for any recreational water activity – fishing, water sports, hunting, paddling and more. There are even styles for pets!
  5. “Nothing is going to happen to me.” Face it, accidents happen. Boating can be a fun, safe and enjoyable activity, but when the “Wear It!” message is ignored, the consequences can be grim

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