Do You Need a Vessel Certificate of Documentation and Where Does it Come From?

Do You Need a Vessel Certificate of Documentation and Where Does it Come From?

Hey there, ever wondered if your boat needs a Certificate of Documentation? At the National Documentation Portal, we’ve helped tons of boat owners figure out the whole documentation puzzle for their vessels, and we’re ready to do the same for you. Your boat might just be eligible for a Certificate of Documentation.

Over here on our website, you’ll find all the forms you need to kickstart your documentation journey. We’re not just about forms though; we’re all about providing you with the knowledge you need to make savvy choices for your boat today and tomorrow.

Vessel Documentation History

Now, let’s break down what this documentation thing is all about. Believe it or not, this isn’t some newfangled idea; it’s been around since the dawn of American government, dating back to the 11th Act of the First Congress. This paperwork has stuck around because it’s got some real perks for boat owners.

One major perk? Financing. Many documented boats have been getting preferred mortgages since way back in 1920. In fact, these days, it’s often close to impossible to snag financing for your vessel without having it documented.

Additionally, documentation can also grease the wheels of commerce between states, open up opportunities in some traditionally restricted trades, and even prove your boat’s nationality when you venture beyond U.S. waters. Over the years, boat owners have found plenty of reasons to hop on the documentation train.

Which Vessels Can Be Documented and Which Must Be? 

If you’re an American citizen and your boat measures at least five net tons, you’re eligible for documentation. And just so we’re clear, we’re talking about measuring volume here, not weighing your boat down. So, you can whip out your measuring tape and check that volume or you simply measure the length. If your boat’s 25 feet or longer, it’s likely got at least five net tons.

Now, the boats that absolutely must be documented are those that meet the criteria mentioned above and will be used for coastwise trade or fishing in American navigable waters or the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). “Coastwise trade” is a way of saying “moving stuff or people between points in the EEZ or America.” So, if your boat’s going to be used for those purposes, it may be time to get it registered. Of course, there are some exceptions. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Do You Need a Vessel Certificate of Documentation and Where Does it Come From?

Where Can I Find Boat Documentation Forms? 

We’ve gathered all the forms you’ll ever need in one place – initial documentation, renewals, replacements for lost Certificates of Documentation, and even mortgage applications. We don’t think you should be stuck indoors all day filling out forms, so we’ve optimized our site for mobile devices. You can fill those forms out from just about anywhere.

And if you’re worried about making mistakes, don’t sweat it. Our document process can spot and fix typos or errors. Plus, if you’re in a hurry, you can opt for rush processing. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your boat ownership needs. To see what we offer, head to our site today.