Why Document a Vessel: For Recreation and For Business

Why Document a Vessel

Have you been wondering yourself exactly why document a vessel? Does it seem like it’s more difficult than it should be? The truth is that some vessel owners have to document their vessels whereas others can choose to do so. We absolutely believe that the process for vessel documentation can feel too complicated – that’s just one of the reasons we started this site. 

Understanding Coast Guard Vessel Documentation

Coast Guard vessel documentation refers to the process of registering a vessel with the U.S. Coast Guard. It involves obtaining a Certificate of Documentation (COD). To be eligible for this documentation, your vessel has to measure at least five net tons (a measurement of volume) and be wholly owned by a citizen of the United States. 

Choosing to Document Your Vessel vs. Having to Document Your Vessel 

If your vessel meets the above requirements, you can document it. However, you have to document it if you plan on using it for commercial fishing operations and/or transporting people or merchandise on both the navigable waters of the United States as well as the Exclusive Economic Zone. To wit, that would mean your vessel would need a “Fishery” or “Coastwise” endorsement, respectively. 

The Preferred Ship’s Mortgage 

Many vessel owners who plan on using their vessels recreationally may think: “OK, so why would I want to document my vessel?” By doing so, you can qualify for a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage. Vessel documentation enhances the vessel owner’s ability to secure financing for repairs, upgrades, or vessel acquisitions. Lenders often prioritize vessels with proper documentation, considering them as lower-risk investments. Documented vessels are eligible for preferred mortgage status, offering favorable terms and conditions, thus empowering vessel owners with flexible financing options.

In Summary: Why Document a Vessel

Coast Guard vessel documentation is a critical aspect of vessel ownership in America, providing numerous advantages for boat owners. From establishing nationality and ownership to enhancing maritime security, vessel documentation ensures compliance, facilitates international operations, and simplifies legal procedures. By harnessing the power of Coast Guard vessel documentation, boat owners can navigate the waters with confidence, unlock new opportunities, and protect their investments in the vast realm of maritime adventures.

Why Document a Vessel

A Vessel Documentation Portal 

When it’s time to document your vessel, you want to get it done right, but make sure that it’s done properly, too. That’s exactly what can happen when you utilize our site. Here, you can not only document your vessel, but you can renew and maintain that documentation as well. To see everything that we offer, browse through the site.