The process of surface operational facility inspection is rife with misunderstanding in the field, leading to delays in inspection processing or invalid inspections. This page provides some topics to assist members with facility issues.
If you are looking for assistance with completing Radio Facility Inspection and Offer for Use forms, go to this page.
Facility inspection processing by the D1NR DIRAUX office is more rigorous than the past. Many specific errors and types of errors are being detected now and corrected. AOMS data is being updated by the DIRAUX staff to insure correct facility owners and authorized coxswains. All of this means that extra attention must be paid by owners/vessel examiners when filling out inspection forms. The reason for the attention to detail is to provide all possible due diligence to protect Auxiliary facility owners and Auxiliary coxswains in the event of a serious loss or incident.
The Vessel Examiner Manual COMDTINST M16796.2E contains the facility requirements. This is the "old" VE manual, but for facilities is still a valid USCG Commandant Instruction Manual. Many Vessel Examiners think that only the newer Vessel Safety Check manual is necessary for their reference.
Questions? Email the D1NR DIRAUX volunteer handling surface facilities:
Quicklinks to topics on this page:
When the ANSC 7003 form is updated on the national web site, ONLY the current version of the form may be used (this is why they print at the bottom of the form: PREVIOUS EDITION IS OBSOLETE).
Read and follow the form instructions carefully (you'll find additional section-by section help on this web page in the paragraphs that follow). You may wish to use a copy of your previous year's form to assist in filling out information, but don't propagate serious errors that may have been ignored in past years.
Why use the fill-in electronic form if you can? Many of the fields on the form require specialized entry from a list of allowable values. The fill-in electronic form will automatically only allow you to select one of the valid entries. If you fill in a paper form by hand, you must only enter the allowable values, and you must check your selection by hand from the instructions.
When using the fill-in electronic form, save the document on your computer and print out the final version (with all of your input). Regardless of how the form was prepared, all owners must sign and initial in several places. The Vessel Examiner must sign in the appropriate location.
Sections I through III, and Section VIII are completed by the facility owner. Section IV, Section VI, and Section VII are the responsibility of the Vessel Examiner. The DIRAUX is responsible for Section V.
Because the Vessel Facility Inspection and Offer For Use is a legal document, you need to physically send an original (with "live" signatures and initials) to the D1NR DIRAUX office. See the Submission paragraph on this page.
For a facility owned by just one Auxiliarist, this section is simple. However, if there are multiple owners of the facility careful attention must be paid to the facility offer-of-use. If there are two owners and both owners are Auxiliarists, both names go on the inspection form. If your spouse is a co-owner and is not an Auxiliarist (or there is one or more non-Auxiliarist co-owners), you will need a special release (see Multiple Owner Assent section on this page). List only actual, legal co-owners. Check the appropriate box for "type of ownership".
All owners must sign and initial several places on the form.
Various important issues in this section are covered below:
Check the "Offer for Use" box, and the "Section I thru III certification" box. Do not check the "not offered for use" box.
All owners must sign here, with the date of signature.
The facility owners must initial that they understand the trailering policy, not just owners with trailered boats. If there are multiple owners, ALL must place their initials here. Many owners with obviously untrailerable boats omit this....and their inspection has to be rejected.
The owner or Flotilla Commander must make sure that the vessel examiner performing the facility inspection is currently qualified as a vessel examiner. Check with an IS officer about a member's VE qualification (or use the Auxiliary online directory: look up a member, click on their name, and their current valid qualifications/certifications will be on the "Qualifications" line).
(Note that the Vessel Examiner must be a USCG Auxiliary Vessel Examiner, not a cooperating partner association examiner such as a Power Squadron Vessel Examiner.)
Check the "operational" box. Check the appropriate "type of waters" box; note that in D1NR, facilities will not be accepted as operational if only equipped for inland protected waters. Fill in the correct inspection date and Vessel Examiner's member number and unit. The Vessel Examiner must print their name and sign this section. The signature means that this Vessel Examiner is certifying the inspection done in Sections VI and VII.
This section is completed by the D1NR DIRAUX office.
Carefully fill this out. Generally, any "N/A" will cause additional inquiry, rejection, or delay in processing. Example: If a vessel is not legally required to have a certificate of compliance because of its length, then the check list item is an "OK" because the vessel meets the requirement....which in turn does not require the certificate for this example.
"OK" means the inspection requirement is met, either as being present or the item not being required at all for that size vessel.
Make sure you have a valid deviation table for your vessel's compass, a common omission.
Be very careful that the inspector applies the appropriate state legal requirements (as they are supposed to do for inspections and Vessel Safety Checks). For example, Massachusetts requires a bell on every vessel over 26 feet (the federal requirement doesn't start until 12 meters or 39.4 feet). As a facility owner, ask your inspector about what state requirements are being examined to make sure your inspection is valid.
Random audit inquiries will be made about Item 5 (Bell) and Item 19 (State Requirements) because it has been found that so many inspections have not applied the state-of-inspection requirements.
Carefully fill this out. This section might have some "N/A" items (see the text that follows), but generally any "N/A" item will trigger inquiry and consequently some delay in processing. All items are required in D1NR (e.g. the asterisk-marked items are not optional).
Some items, such as a form of NavRules document, MUST be aboard every operational facility (non-operational facilities are different, covered only by Section VI above).
The Light List (or just the section that applies locally) and Tide Tables for your area are available on the internet to be printed. Check the USCG Navigation Center web site (http://www.navcen.uscg.gov), the NOAA tide site (http://tidesonline.nos.noaa.gov), or do a web search.
Item 5 (Auxiliary engine) is "N/A" for all but sailboats.
The Auxiliary SAR Incident Report is available from the National Auxiliary Forms site as http://forms.cgaux.org/archive/a7034f.pdf.
The "search pattern plotting guide" does not have to be an elaborate tool like the plastic rotary guides (see Search Pattern Guide). A photocopy of the relevant pages on how to plan some of the basic patterns, taken from the Boat Crew Seamanship manual, will suffice as a minimum.
Every operational facility is required to have a "kicker" or skiff hook. This is a hook, mounted on a pole and with the capability to temporarily attach your towing line, that allows crew to attach your towing line to the eye bolt found on many boats. (The key attribute of the hook is that it is held on the pole while performing the attachment, but will click on to the eye bolt and detach itself from the pole in one operation.) While it is possible to fabricate a working "kicker" hook yourself, the easiest solution is a stainless steel mechanism, available from the AUXCEN online store (smaller size, or larger size). There is no waiver for this item.
Items 28, 29, and 30 should be marked "N/A" if the vessel is not owned by multiple owners, or owned by a corporation.
Item 31 "Additional items required by District Commander" should be marked "OK", not "N/A". The facility owner, at minimum, must understand that the coxswain of record must bring aboard a PEPIRB [PEPIRBs are issued to coxswains, not facilities].
This section allows the operational facility owner to express their wishes about what coxswains are to be allowed to operate their operational facility.
Unfortunately, the inspection form implies wide description latitude, while the actual mechanism to issue patrol orders (and the corresponding DIRAUX approval process) has a much more limited view. Please read these instructions carefully for the choices you can actually make.
"When I am on board...". Your choice here is ALL or NONE. The operating assumption is that if you are aboard, you can terminate use of the facility (as the owner) if you do not approve of the coxswain, so ALL is probably the normal choice.
"When I am not on board...". Your choice here is only a specific list of coxswains, not a general "all" or "all in division" or similar choice (in spite of the inspection form directions). The DIRAUX must be able to approve a specific list for POMS, not a generic description. One key point: anybody on this list should represent coxswains that effectively have your boat keys, can request orders, and take your boat out entirely without your direct knowledge. This is NOT the way to have other coxswains request orders in POMS for your vessel while you intend to be aboard or be the coxswain yourself. Everybody on your list must be a currently certified coxswain; you should check this before you fill out the inspection form (the Auxiliary eDirectory is a good place to do this).
"I choose not to have anyone...". Check this box if you do not wish to provide either of the previous two options. Note that you must be a currently certified coxswain to be able to select this box. If you are not a coxswain, either or both the previous options must have been selected or your facility cannot be accepted.
The facility owners must initial the bottom of Section VIII. If there are multiple owners, ALL must place their initials here.
Only a paper, signed original of the inspection form can be processed. Faxed or emailed forms do not provide original signatures, needed to insure that the owner receives all available legal protection after the DIRAUX accepts the facility. You are encouraged to use the electronic version of the inspection form (this only allows specific entries which greatly reduces errors): enter the data, print the nearly complete form out, apply the necessary signatures/initials, photocopy the form for your own records, and send the original to the D1NR DIRAUX office.
[Follow local (flotilla or division) procedure if your inspection form is provided to the D1NR DIRAUX office via a staff officer.]
A copy of the processed inspection form will be returned to the facility owner (or first listed facility owner, if there are multiple owners). POMS will have all the facility information 24 hours after AUXDATA entry is complete.
Random audits are performed (where thought necessary) to make sure that inspections were actually performed of the physical vessel (e.g. that the inspection was not "table top"). At any point in the operational season, it should be possible for somebody (VE staff, elected leaders, USCG personnel) to inspect the vessel and come up with exactly the same results as the seasonal inspection. QEs might ask for some particular piece of equipment or required onboard items and expect to be shown the equipment or item.
Many vessels are formally owned by multiple owners, usually husband and wife or other pair of related people. Often, only one spouse or person is a member of the USCG Auxiliary.
When such a vessel is offered for use as a facility, ALL owners must signal approval of the offer-for-use. When both owners are members of the Auxiliary, the inspection form ANSC 7003 has provision for two Auxiliary member signatures. When one owner is a member and the rest are non-members, Appendix B of the Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual ("Multiple Owners") has a sample form to be signed by all owners.
For your convenience, an Adobe Acrobat fill-in version of that sample form is available here (thank you to Jim Katz for triggering this).
Because this form requires written signatures, fill out the form (non-signature items), print it, have all parties sign it, and submit an original with the facility inspection paperwork (e.g. the form cannot be submitted electronically.)
Some Auxiliarists have their vessel owned by a corporation. When such a vessel is offered for use as a facility, the corporation must vote and pass a specific resolution authorizing the offer for use. This must be done annually to be submitted with the ANSC 7003 offer for use.
Appendix A of the Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual ("Corporate Ownership") has a sample resolution to be passed and certified by the corporate secretary/clerk.
For your convenience, this appendix has been extracted into a separate Adobe document here.
Sometimes there are Auxiliary members that reside within D1NR only during the operational season, but are members of districts other than D1NR....and they own a vessel here that they wish to offer for D1NR usage.
(First, in order for those out-of-district members to participate in D1NR operations, see the Policy page here for boat crew certification information)
There can be many issues with such vessels: are they trailered here and used elsewhere too, or is the vessel permanently located in D1NR? Does the vessel meet state registration requirements if permanently located here (and also state registered rather than documented)? There are more questions, as well.
It is beyond the scope of this site to describe all the issues here and corresponding inspection processes. Contact the webmaster to be connected to specific DIRAUX staff that can go over your particular situation.
Use of radios on surface facilities is governed by the same policies that drive radio facilities. Surface facility owners are urged to read Annex 4 of the Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual.
In particular, if your facility has a non-marine band radio on board, you should note that as of January 1, 2008 that VHF non-marine radios must meet federal narrowband technical requirements. There is a new list of authorized frequencies. Old radios/previous frequencies are not authorized and may not be used.
[Basically, if you had a radio that used the old 143.28MHz frequency, you may no longer use that radio as of January 1, 2008 for any federal use (and the 143.28MHz frequency is no longer available, either).]
Every surface facility is assigned a 6-digit number used as a radio callsign and for identification.
The Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual requires each district to have a plan for assigning these facility callsigns.
The D1NR plan can be found here.
This website is intended for
USCG Auxiliary members in the First District, Northern Region.