Why document a vessel? This is likely a question you’ve asked yourself at least once if you’re a recreational boat owner. The purchasing process on its own was already likely a tedious one for you. Now, you have to take care of the post-ownership requirements like titling and documentation, which aren’t a walk in the park to obtain, either.
For this article, we’ll focus on documenting a vessel and why it is such an important process. We’ll tell you about its benefits and purposes and why you should need to fulfill this necessity.
What Is a Vessel Certificate of Document?
All adult individuals are required to have a Social Security Number. It’s your primary form of identity as a citizen of a particular country. In essence, it’s one of the major proofs that you exist.
In the same way, a vessel’s certificate of document is the paperwork to establish its national registry. It’s a vessel’s unique identifier for the United States Coast Guard’s National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC). In a nutshell, a document is a form of verification that the vessel meets the appropriate requirements.
With vessel registration, here are the following regulations:
- The vessel’s purpose
- Both the tonnage and build requirements for documented vessels
- Vessels that are available for documentation
- The types of endorsements available
- Any existing exemptions
The Purposes For Documenting a Vessel
Now, let’s talk about the topic that you came here for. Vessel documentation is important on several levels, but primarily, it serves three necessary purposes. The first and likely list-topper: proof of identity. This particularly works well in international ports wherein the vessel documentation will be the individual’s evidence of nationality. And with the seal of the US Coast Guard, you’ll have a more legitimate claim as an American vessel.
The second reason for documenting a vessel: commerce. The document will enable your ship to partake in commercial activities. The best part here is that it essentially gives you a special pass to jump over the unnecessary red tape that everyone else, unfortunately, goes through.
The third reason for documenting a vessel: participation in trades. With the certificate of a document in place, vessel owners can now join in trades like fishing, recreation, as well as dredging, and towing.
What Information Is Included in the Vessel Document?
The said document is essentially an elaborate ID that every vessel owner needs. Upon your boat’s registry, it will then be listed in the Merchant Vessels of the United States. This database will feature all the basic information for every merchant and recreational vessel in the country.
The usual information you’ll find are:
- Ownership information
- Vessel dimensions
Why Document a Vessel?
As you’ve read through the article, documenting a vessel is important for establishing ownership. It essentially legitimizes your proprietorship of the boat and sets aside any questions that may say otherwise.
The good thing about this is that procuring a certificate of the document has been made much easier these days. For one, renewal was shifted to an annual arrangement every five years. And all you’ll need to pay is a very affordable amount of $133. In exchange, you get to have the necessary paperwork to help you avoid all headaches that can potentially cause you problems. And that’s not a bad deal.