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SC - Small Craft Facility
Updating Program


Picture of Small Craft Marina


A Small Craft Facility is any marine organization or business that offers services to the mariner that are charted on SC-Small Craft Charts along the waterways of the United States. There are hundreds of these facilities located throughout the country that provide opportunities for establishing, updating, and discontinuance.  Throughout the years the number of facilities listed on Small Craft Charts has shrunk while, in actuality, the total number of facilities have grown.  The SCF program is designed to help you learn more about this Auxiliary program and to assist you to get it started in your Division and Flotillas. The program has recently been greatly revamped and simplified. “The Auxiliary may also help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in updating nautical charts and publications.” (Excerpted from Chapter 2, Section B3 of the Auxiliary Manual.)  A Memorandum of Understanding exists between NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Some Districts do not have any NOAA SC-Small Craft Charts and, therefore, would not participate in this program.

 1.  The focus for the SCF program is on prevention, accuracy, credibility, and professionalism and is directed toward building the Auxiliary’s credibility in the eyes of NOAA.  There are guidelines for visiting a facility. Since Auxiliarists are recognized as representatives of the Coast Guard they must always portray a professional presence and attitude.  SCF tools and instructions guidelines are provided to insure that the interviewing process with the SCF owner/manager is conducted correctly.

As your leadership and planning role increases in the NS Program, you will find that the SCF Program is the key for developing an overall Chart Updating Plan.  SCF reports can initiate chart updating opportunities and Coast Pilot updates.  Since small craft facilities can range from a simple boat ramp to a full service marina, there are a lot of SFC opportunities out there to review.  Natural add-on tasks to the SCF program are the checking of the channels that lead to small craft facilities with their associated problems of obstruction, shoaling, marking, shifting, etc.  Small Craft Facility activity often is the catalyst that prompts further chart updating activity in an area.  A SCF report can often become an important part of your chart updating task plan for marinas that may not be located on a Small Craft Chart.

2.  New SCF criteria have been established.  Not every marine facility can be classified and listed as a Small Craft Facility.  There are a series of criteria that must be met. Facilities that fail the SCF criteria tests, are normally not reported as Coast Pilot updates. However, all is not lost. When the facilities are large enough, they can become chart-updating opportunities.  Here are the criteria:

The Small Craft Facility must:

  • Be located on a Small Craft Chart.

  • Be a public facility-private clubs do not comply.

  • Have a navigable approach channel leading to the marine facility.

  • Have navigable water alongside the marine facility’s dock.

  • Provide either transient moorings or berths.

  • Be a pump-out station at the facility or there must be a municipal pump out facility located nearby.

  • Provide fuel (diesel or gas) sales to the public.

3.  Many SCF tools are available:

NS-SC01 - D1NR SMALL CRAFT FACILITY PROGRAM HANDOUT – Adobe -Use this handout to promote your Small Craft Facility Program with your members.

NS-SC02 - SMALL CRAFT FACILITY TRAINING GUIDE – Adobe – contains the guidelines for conducting Small Craft Facility Owner/Manager interviews. Explanations of every field on the NS-SC03-Small Craft Facility Worksheet are also provided.  Reading this guide is a quick way to get up to speed on the Small Craft Facility program.

NS-SC03 - SMALL CRAFT FACILITY FIELD REPORT EXCEL format or  ADOBE format - was designed solely for Small Craft Facility reporting.  Space is provided for recording every detail of the SCF interviewing process.  Also, there is a place on this form to order a NOAA Nautical Chart.  The SCF Worksheet is the document that is forwarded to NOAA (through the DSO-NS) with all the required attachments as evidence. The EXCEL version of this form has pop-up information blocks, drop-down menus, and can be prepared using your computer, which is the preferred method. The ADOBE version can only be printed out and prepared manually.

NS-SC04 - SMALL CRAFT FACILITY FIELD FORM EXAMPLE ADOBE format – Review this example of the SCF Field Report to see how this worksheet should be prepared.  Use this training tool as a handout at Chart Updating training workshops.

NS-SC05 - SMALL CRAFT FACILITY PROGRAM TRAINING PRESENTATION  – ADOBE format or PowerPoint format  - 42 slides. Use this presentation to enhance your Small Craft Facility learning experience when used in conjunction with the NS-SC02-SCF Study Guide above.  Use this presentation as part of your Small Craft Facility workshops and Division Chart Updating Team meetings. Ask your NS staff officers for information about scheduled  Chart Updating workshops in your Division or Flotilla.

4  If the SCF-Small Craft Facility program interests you, speak to your NS staff officers. Each Division is encouraged to form a “Chart Updating Team.”  Every FSO-NS in the Division should be included on the team.

Start contributing quality reports to NOAA in the short time that it takes you to familiarize yourself with the program’s procedures.    SCF is a year round Auxiliary program, and a boat is not needed for participation.  All that is necessary is a strong desire to make a contribution and a little education.

ONLINE 7030 - Click here to fill out your mission hour form to receive credit for your ATON work in AUXData use mission category 41 and submit to your FSO-IS


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Last modified: 3/2/2024
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