Document a Vessel: Reasons and Ways to Do So

Owning a boat is an exciting venture and one of the best parts about it is being able to explore different waterways. While you may feel ready to set out on your journey, you may have to document your vessel first. There are some who can choose to document a vessel and there are those that have to document a vessel. They have to document their vessel, that is, to use it legally in the manner they intend. If you’ve been wondering “Why document a vessel,” we can help. 

Vessel Documentation and Why It May Be Beneficial

Vessel documentation refers to the registration of a boat with the federal government to provide legal proof of ownership. Vessel documentation offers several benefits, including the ability to travel to foreign ports, access to certain fishing grounds, and more. Additionally, documented vessels are eligible for financing and insurance at lower rates than undocumented boats, which can save owners a significant amount of money in the long run. 

Who is Eligible for Vessel Documentation 

If your vessel measures at least five net tons and is wholly owned by a citizen of the United States, then you can document your vessel with the Coast Guard. Something that many vessel owners misunderstand: net tonnage. At first, it may sound like a measure of weight (since that’s how so many encounter the word “tons.”) However, it’s actually a measurement of volume. If you don’t wish to have your vessel’s net tonnage measured (or to do it yourself), use this rule: if your vessel is longer than 25 feet, it most likely measures at least five net tons. 

Who Has to Document Their Vessel 

If you’re only going to use your vessel to have fun with friends and family, then you can choose to document your vessel, if you so desire. That said, if you’re going to use it for commercial fishing, or to transport people and/or merchandise on the navigable waters of the United States/EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), then you must document it. Many also document their vessel if they plan to use it for foreign trade as well. 

Why Document a Vessel

Why Document a Vessel With Us

Vessel documentation is a valuable service that offers many advantages, both legal and financial, for appropriate vessels. While vessel documentation may depend upon the size of the boat and its intended purpose, it can provide a range of benefits including protection from legal liability, coastwise trading eligibility, and access to financing options. 

If you decide to document your vessel, you can do so through our site. We’ve helped thousands of vessel owners over the years not just document their vessels but to maintain that documentation for all the years of vessel ownership. Then, when they decide to sell their vessels, they have found the proper forms for that as well at our site. 

To learn more about vessel documentation, reach out to us for help with your vessel documentation needs. With our vast experience in the industry, we have the knowledge and expertise to handle any situation and provide comprehensive solutions. Don’t delay; take action today and let us help you protect your investments with reliable vessel documentation services.