Yacht Documentation & Endorsement

yacht documentation

Do you know which yacht documentation endorsement is right for your vessel? Did you just find out at this moment that there’s one more than kind of endorsement available? In these blogs, when we say “vessel documentation,” it’s important to note that there are different endorsements. These endorsements fit different uses for your vessel. So, before you get your initial documentation, you want to make sure that you get the right endorsement for it. That way, you’ll always be in compliance. 

Yacht Documentation for Recreation 

This is the one documentation endorsement that probably doesn’t require further elaboration. Document your vessel with this endorsement when you’re just going to use it to have a good time. If you have a vessel that you plan to take family and friends out on, want to ride around a lake or river with, this can be the perfect endorsement. For the most part, if you aren’t involved in a business, this is the kind of endorsement you’ll want to get for your vessel. 


Do you plan on engaging in coastwise trade on the navigable waters of the United States or in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ?) If you answered “yes” to that question, then this is the endorsement for you. To be clear, the “EEZ” surrounds America’s coast to about 200 miles offshore, so that’s a wide area to operate it. Furthermore, if your vessel measures at least five net tons, is owned by a U.S. citizen, and is going to go into coastwise trade, then you have to get this. It is a necessity. Just like the other endorsements, you can get this easily at our site. 


“If I’m getting a Certificate of Registration, doesn’t that already cover Registry?” We’ve been asked some version of that question many times over the years. The truth is that “Registry” is the right endorsement for if you’re going to use your vessel for international trade. So, if you purchased a vessel with the idea of engaging in trade with countries that aren’t the United States, this is the proper endorsement. As you might imagine from having read to this point of the blog, this sort of thing can get confusing very quickly. Our staff is on hand to answer any questions that you might have. 

Fishery Yacht Documentation and More 

Just as with the “Coastwise” endorsement, the “Fishery” endorsement grants your vessel access to fisheries on the navigable waters of the United States or in the EEZ. It’s important to note that whichever endorsement you get, you can always use your vessel for recreation. Registry, Coastwise, or Fishery – you can use your vessel in a recreational fashion. Of course, if you get “Recreation,” you can only use it for recreation and nothing else. One thing to always remember about this documentation, regardless of which endorsement you get: they need to be renewed. At Vessel Documentation, we can help you with all forms of documentation for your vessel. For more: (866) 981-8783.