Why You May Want or Need Boat Documentation

Boat Documentation

Have you been considering vessel documentation but aren’t sure if you need it? Have you seen other vessel owners document their boat and just don’t know if it’s the right course for you and your vessel? We can help. We’ve helped many vessel owners to determine whether or not they need boat documentation. Then, if they do, we can expedite the process. 

Embarking on the journey of vessel ownership brings a myriad of decisions, and one of the more pivotal choices is whether to document your vessel. Here at the National Documentation Portal, we can not only help you to document your vessel, we can help you to make the right decisions for your vessel today as well as tomorrow.

Boat Documentation Simplified 

One fundamental aspect that has quite a bit to do about whether or not you need documentation is the size of your vessel. 

If your vessel measures five net tons or more, and you plan to engage in specific activities, documentation becomes mandatory. 

You’ll note that it says “measures” and not “weighs.” That’s because net tonnage is a measurement of volume and not how much something weighs. 

How Do You Plan to Use Your Vessel? 

The ways you plan on using your vessel weigh heavily in determining whether or not your vessel has to be documented. For example, you have to document it if you’re going to use it for commercial fishing activities or transporting people and/or cargo in the navigable waters of the United States or the Exclusive Economic Zone, extending approximately 200 miles off the U.S. coast. 

That said, exceptions exist, our experts are readily available to address any queries you may have.

Voluntary Documentation for Eligible Vessels

Even if your vessel won’t be utilized for commercial fishery activities or coastwise trade, you still have the option to document it. To be eligible for documentation, your vessel must meet the five-net-ton criteria and be owned by a U.S. citizen. So long as that explains your vessel, you’re good to go. 

Why Some Opt for Documentation

“Why document my vessel if it’s not mandatory?” For many, the primary incentive lies in securing a mortgage for your vessel. For over a century, lenders and financial institutions have mandated boat documentation as a prerequisite for maritime mortgages. Consequently, many owners choose documentation to access financing opportunities for their maritime investments.

Your Path to Documentation: The National Documentation Portal

If you choose to document your vessel, our National Documentation Portal is here to guide you. We acknowledge the nuances involved in this choice and provide comprehensive support tailored to your unique needs. 

Whether you decide to document for commercial ventures, to facilitate a mortgage, or for any other reason, our user-friendly website offers all the necessary forms to streamline the documentation process. 

From initial documentation to renewal, our platform can expedite every facet of the journey. Feel free to explore the resources we offer to vessel owners navigating ship documentation.

Boat Documentation