Many factors are at play when deciding what type of boat you want to buy. You might want to consider the vessel’s size, the materials it’s constructed from, or its engine power. But there’s one thing that you may have yet to think about, and it could make a huge difference in your experience on the water: US Coast Guard documentation.
A boat with Coast Guard documentation means that it has been inspected by a government representative and found to be safe for use on US waters. This means that you won’t have to worry about any major structural defects or issues with the design, which could have serious consequences for your safety when out on the water.
It also means that the vessel meets all the legal requirements for safety equipment and seaworthiness. The following are the benefits of having US Coast Guard documentation:
It Allows You to Operate Within the United States
When you obtain a license to operate one of these vessels, the United States Coast Guard gives you a Certificate of Documentation. This document is extremely important, as it allows you to legally operate a boat within the borders of the United States.
If you have this document, you can legally fish or travel across United States waters in all states except for Hawaii and Alaska. Depending on the kind of boat you need a license for, additional information will be included on your Certificate of Documentation.
For example, if you want to operate a recreational boat, your license will include information about the capacity of your boat, its length and width, and whether or not it can land on shore.
US Coast Guard Documentation Allows You to Travel Internationally
As an American, the ability to travel abroad is something you can take for granted. We have an extensive network of mutual security agreements with enough countries that we don’t need a passport to travel to most places.
Unless your country has special arrangements with other nations, you probably won’t even need a visa or any other documentation to go to most countries as long as you can prove that you’re not a citizen of that nation.
The US Coast Guard does this by providing its merchant mariners with what’s called “US Coast Guard documentation, ” a merchant mariners’ license allowing you to work aboard vessels flying the US flag.
When you’re working aboard a US-flagged vessel, it also means that the government has given you permission and jurisdiction over a specific area of the world’s oceans and seas. It’s like having your little slice of America in the water with you.
It Reduces Your Liability Exposure
When you’re going out on the water, it’s important to have a Coast Guard-documented vessel. Why? Simply put, it reduces your liability exposure. If your boat is documented, you’re eligible for the smallest deductible available under your standard insurance policy (for example, $500).
That can be huge if you don’t have deep pockets or have a lot of assets that could be at risk in the event of a lawsuit. It also means that in an accident, your insurer provides coverage up to the value of your boat and its contents.
That way, you’re protected from any claims made against you for damages—and if there are no claims made against you, then there’s no need to worry about paying out of pocket for any attendant expenses.
It Makes It Easier For Others to Find You If There Is an Emergency
When a mariner has substantiation from the United States Coast Guard, it is much simpler for other people to locate them in an emergency. If you are out at sea and another vehicle comes across you while you are in danger, they can notify your position to the Coast Guard, which will then send assistance in the direction of your location.
If you have a problem on land and someone contacts 911 to report it, the emergency dispatcher will be able to find you based on the name of your boat. Every second counts when helping someone who requires assistance, so this is of the utmost importance. When sailors have the proper identification, the Coast Guard can respond to emergencies much more quickly. This makes the Coast Guard very happy.
If you’re searching for a business partner who can help you with your vessel documentation needs, contact us today. We’re here to help you with your US Coast Guard documentation services, from preparing your vessel for inspection to submitting the necessary forms and applications.