Civic Service

The Boulder Valley Squadron and America's Boating Club are committed to Civic Service; both individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public (boating) concern. Our squadron members are vital to strengthening the boating communities that they live in.

Boating Safety

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.

VSC Decal

Vessel Safety Check

The Boulder Valley Squadron 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 the United States Power Squadron support of safe boating.

The VSC Inspection

The VSC offers 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 on the dock
Scheduling a VSC Inspection

To request an inspection in Colorado contact our VSC chair via using the contact form from the main menu. You may request a copy of the checklist from the VSC Chair before the exam, if you wish, so that you can prepare your boat.

Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI)

The United States Power Squadrons 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?

The United States Power Squadrons 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 an MMSI number at »

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.

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Port Captain

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

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Community Boating Forum

Our Website provides a Community Forum that is available to the boating public as an online "bulletin board" of information. With this forum all boaters can view content from the boating community as well as register as a user and contribute boating content. The boards cover a variety of topics, such as; boating articles, Q&A's, presentations, file attachments, photos, how-to's, etc. See Forum on the navigation bar.

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BVSPS Burgee 

Boulder Valley Sail and Power Squadron

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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