BSPS Programs

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 the 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. They will also make recommendations and discuss certain safety issues that will make you a safer boater.

This is not 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.Look for us on your dock during special events!


Created by: Joan Olson, Sue Bussinger, Leslie Guelker-Cone, Penny Dalgliesh(Rev. 04/2024 sb, lgc)


Squadron Rendezvous are a great way to increase your knowledge, experience, and friendships by going boating with other BSPS members. They take place April through September/October. This guide gives cruise captains a menu of planning tools, from simple to detailed. Consider teaming up with someone who has planned a rendezvous previously. The goal is for cruise captains and members to HAVE FUN!


  • Pick a location with a marina/docks or one where all participants will need to anchor/tie up to a buoy.
  • Pick a date. A rendezvous often begins Friday evening and ends Sunday after breakfast.
  • Contact the Administrative Officer: to confirm the date and get it added to the calendar.
  • Contact the harbormaster (if at a marina) and give them an estimated number of boats (start with 8-10). Tell the harbormaster that members will call individually, identifying themselves as BSPS members, to secure slip assignments.
  • Ask the harbormaster about group moorage rates, electricity, water, Wi-Fi, and reservation deadline. Ask about facilities: i.e. party barge, covered space, BBQ, tables/chairs. If you choose to reserve group amenities, pay out-of-pocket and retain receipts for reimbursement.
  • Fill out and submit the Event Form to the Administrative Officer at as soon as possible and no later than 1 month ahead. Provide details regarding meals, activities, and events.
  • The Communication Committee will create a publicity Eblast with RSVP link. Stay in communication with the AO to monitor RSVPs. If you need to revise the number of boats, contact the Harbormaster.
  • Click here for Event Form


  • The maximum budget for a cruise is $300. This budget should cover food, tableware (if needed), prizes, rentals (party barge, BBQs, etc.). A simple cruise might not incur any expenses.
  • If there are expenses for optional activities outside of the budget, i.e. group transportation, tours or events, money can be collected from participating attendees.
  • Click here for Reimbursement Form


  • Arrive early to welcome the participants.
  • If possible hang BSPS banner (ask AO for storage location ahead of time).


  • You may add activities to your cruise or keep it simple with no added activities. Activities may occur at any time during the cruise or even as part of a meal, i.e. chili cook-off, wine tasting.
  • Sample activities include: scavenger hunt w/ selfie photo as proof of your "find", games, wine/beer tasting, firepit, sing-a-longs, soup/chili/dessert cook-offs, hikes, water sports, tours of attendees' boats, boat repair demos, knot tying, cleats/bullrails, sharing boating gadgets, docking, informal educational presentations, area activities: farmer's markets, music events, tours.
  • Event Form Link


Mix and match from the formats below and activities above to create a rendezvous that fits your available time and inclinations, i.e. the easiest cruise would be Option A meals with no added activities, which is absolutely fine!

Option A: Easy Peasy

Option B: Easy Peasy Plus Restaurants

Option C: All the Bells and Whistles

Day/MealApprox. TimeOption AOption BOption C
Friday Docktails 5:00 PM Bring appetizer to share, beverage, tableware. Meet in common space or on several boats.Bring appetizer to share, beverage, tableware. Meet in common space or on several boats.Bring appetizer to share, beverage, tableware. Meet in common space or on several boats.
Saturday Breakfast/Brunch 8:30 AM On your own for breakfast. Choose a restaurant nearby for a no-host meal.Group breakfast in common area with food provided by cruise captains. Bring your own beverage, tableware.
Saturday Lunch 12:00 PM On your own for lunch. On your own for lunch. On your own for lunch.
Saturday Dinner 5:00 PM Bring potluck dish to share, beverage, tableware. Meet in common area or on several boats. Choose restaurant nearby for a no-host meal. Potluck with cruise captains providing main course. Bring potluck side dish, beverage, tableware. Eat in common area.
Sunday Breakfast Depart 8:30 AM Repeat Saturday options A or B Repeat Saturday options A or B Repeat Saturday options A or B

BREAKFAST IDEAS: fruit, yogurt, granola, muffins, bagels, juice

DINNER IDEAS: soups/stews/chilies, hamburgers/hotdogs, pasta, sandwich bar, taco bar

Change of Watch
Procedures Guide (open full screen)

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Is your vessel in shipshape condition?

Locate a Vessel Safety Examiner near you for a FREE Saftey Check. or Contact the Vessel Safety Examiners of
the Bellingham Sail and Power Squadron.