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A Unit of United States Power Squadrons District 30


Civic Service

The Boulder Valley Squadron is committed to Civic Engagement; "Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public (boating) concern". On this page you will find some of our programs for boaters that promote a safer and more enjoyable boating experience.

Boating Safety and Education


An educated boater is a safer boater. Safety is the primary emphasis of the Public Boating Courses offered by the Squadron. America's Boating Course is held each year in addition to other boating classes. Safety topics are covered in many membership meetings and the The Beacon newsletter features a safety article in each edition. For more details on class offerings see our education page.

Are you a safe boater? Test yourself with the online Safe Boating Test

Vessel Safety Check

The Boulder Valley Squadron provides a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) service which is the United States Power Squadrons' 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. VSCs are available to the public as a part of the United States Power Squadrons' support of safe boating.


The VSC Inspection

This involves an inspection of your boat for the required US Coast Guard safety equipment. You receive a detailed checklist with suggestions for compliance, and, if all is in order, you will receive a VSC Decal that you may affix to your boat to designate a successful examination. There is no fee for this service and no consequences if you don't pass. Our goal is simply to help make boating as safe as possible for you, your family and your friends, through education. The program has a strong interest in providing VSCs for paddle craft and fishing boats as well as larger boats.

To Schedule

Contact our VSC chair via Email or phone at 303-447-9880. 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. If you want an exam right away and can't reach the VSC chair, the USCG Auxiliary will email your request to the 5 closest qualified examiners, both USPS and USCGAux members, to allow the quickest responder to call you to set up an appointment.

For more information you may go to: USPS_VSC or USCG_Aux VSC

Maritime Mobile Service Identity

What is a MMSI number?

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.

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.

USPS 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.

     To request a new MMSI number for your vessel, go to: USPS MMSI

Further information on the MMSI rules are available from the FCC, see the MMSI Public Notice.

Cooperative Charting

The Cooperative Charting Program of USPS is conducted in close coordination with the Marine Chart Division, National Ocean Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Under this program, USPS members supply information to the Marine Chart Division of NOS/NOAA leading to corrections to nautical charts, small craft charts, Coast Pilot publications and Small Craft Facilities.

Port Captain

Port Captain

A Port Captain is a member of USPS who stands ready, at all times of his or her choosing, to provide advice and assistance to other members. Their primary expertise lies in their local knowledge of waters and unmarked hazards to safe navigation.

Squadron Website (

Our Website empowers civic engagement by providing to the boating public a Community Boating Forum. With this forum all boaters can register as a user to contribute boating content in the way of articles, documents, photos, how-to's, etc. See our Forum on the navigation bar.