Section 12 of the NOAA Small Boat Standards & Procedures Manual covers inspection policies and requirements for all classes of small boats.
Occasionally, the Small Boat Program will implement new policies, between editions of the Small Boat Standards & Procedures Manuals. These policies are issued as Vessel Inspection Bulletins, and carry the same weight as policies in the Manual. Vessel Inspection Bulletins can be found here.
Inspections for Class A, I, and II Vessels
All active Class A, I, and II boats are required to undergo an Annual Small Boat Evaluation (ASBE) each year. The Vessel Operations Coordinator (or a designee) must conducted the Annual Small Boat Inspection, with the results reported through the chain of command to the Small Boat Program. Annual Small Boat Evaluations should be performed using the linked checklist and outline:
- NOAA Small Boat Annual Evaluation / Examination Checklist for Non-Motorized Class A & I (NOAA Form 57-19-05)
- NOAA Small Boat Annual Evaluation / Examination Checklist for Class A, I & II (NOAA Form 57-19-01)
- NOAA Small Boat Annual Evaluation Outline for Class A, I & II (the outline explains and expands the items found on the checklist)
List of Common Deficiencies:
Examples of common Category 1 deficiencies, what would result in a no sail order are provided in the NOAA Small Boat Common Category I Deficiencies document. This list is not all inculsive, but provides a baseline for what would be classified as a CAT 1. These deficiencies cna be found during inspections, prior to getting underway or during underway trials. For any questions or concerns contact Small Boat Program Vessel Inspections Coordinator.
Biennial and Triennial Inspections:
In addition to Annual Small Boat Evaluations, Class I, and II boats are required to undergo a Small Boat Examination (SBEX). A Small Boat Examination is a thorough examination of a small boat by the Small Boat Program, or by a surveyor whose certification meets the policy set in the Small Boat Standards & Procedures Manual. If the Small Boat Examination is performed by the Small Boat Program, the Vessel Operations Coordinator must be present.
Small Boat Examiniations are conducted at the following frequencies:
- Class II - Every 2 years
- Class I - Every 3 years
- Class A and non-motorized canoes, kayaks, and rowboats - exempt from Small Boat Examination, but MUST conduct Annual Small Boat Evaluation
The following Marine Surveyor certifications have been approved to perform Small Boat Inspection:
- Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS®)
- National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS)
- USCG Marine Inspectors (This does NOT include the CG Auxiliary or US Power Squadron free Vessel Safety Checks)
- OEM certified technicians providing service as a manufacturer representative or inspector (e.g. hull manufacturer's representative, engine manufacturer's representative)
- Others to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and approved by the Small Boat Safety Board
Inspections for Trailers
All active trailers are required to have an Annual Trailer Examination (ATE) each year. The Vessel Operations Coordinator (or a designee) must conducted the Annual Trailer Examination, with the results reported through the chain of command to the Small Boat Program. Annual Trailer Examinations should be performed using the linked checklist:
Class III and SRV Inspections
Class III vessels and SRVs are inspected annually by the Small Boat Program. Several select Class II vessels are also inspected by OMAO due to their engineering complexity, nature of their work, and/or remote areas of operation. The NOAA Small Boat Program Class III & SRV Annual Inspection Book is the standard of inspection being applied to these vessels:
Contact the Small Boat Program Vessel Inspections Coordinator to for scheduling, arrangements, and guidance.