Are you using your vessel in international waters? Is it over 5 net tons? If you answer yes to these questions, then you need to document your vessel and receive a documented vessel number. Owning a documented vessel comes with a unique sense of pride and privilege. It is not just a boat. Rather, it is part of maritime history and its authenticity is reflected in the boat’s official documented number.
Things About Documented Vessel Number
Many boat owners are hesitant to document their boats because of the hassle associated with it. But there are things that you may appreciate about it. Here are some of them:
1) Proof of Ownership
The number is more than just a combination of letters and numbers. Rather, it is your legal proof of ownership. It establishes your rightful claim to the vessel.
2) Nationality Verification
The COD signifies your vessel’s nationality and adherence to US maritime laws. When navigating international waters, it demonstrates your boat’s status as a US vessel.
3) International Travel
Having a documented vessel makes international travel smoother. Many foreign countries require vessels to have proper documentation to enter their waters. Your COD serves as your passport to these destinations.
4) Preferred Ship’s Mortgage Status
Documented vessels can qualify for a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage, a financial advantage for both vessel owners and lenders. It streamlines the process of securing loans or financing for your vessel.
5) Access to Coastwise Trade
If your vessel meets the criteria, documented vessels can engage in coastwise trade, transporting goods or passengers between US ports. It opens up opportunities for various trades and industries.
6) Maritime Lien Protection
Documented vessels benefit from greater protection against maritime liens. The COD helps establish clear ownership and minimizes the risk of disputes related to liens.
7) Operational Flexibility
Whether it is easier access to fisheries or glibly for government programs, documented vessels enjoy operational advantages that make various maritime activities more accessible and profitable.
8) Global Visibility
Your vessel is registered in the National Vessel Documentation Center’s (NVDC) database. In that case, it offers a level of global visibility. It is a way to let the maritime world know your vessel is part of the US maritime fleet.
9) Insurance and Liability Coverage
Many insurance companies prefer to insure documented vessels due to their established legal status. This often leads to better insurance rates and more comprehensive liability coverage.
10) Historical Significance
Owning a documented vessel is like being a steward of maritime history. The documented number connects your vessel to a lineage of seafaring and maritime adventures that span centuries.
The Processing Time of Boat Documentation
To obtain the said number, you may have to wait for a few weeks before the USCG will release your Certificate of Documentation along with the documented number. For new boat owners applying for the initial COD, the processing time can range from a few weeks to several months. The exact time varies depending on the world.
You also need to ensure that you have submitted the correct details of your boat and your information as the owner. Otherwise, inaccurate information can lead to a delay in your boat documentation processing. To facilitate this matter, you may contact our customer support to help you obtain your documented vessel number quickly. Or just browse the forms you need for boat documentation found on the left side of this page.