Documented Vessel Number: Key to Boating How You Want

Do you want the freedom to use your vessel how you want? Have you gotten everything together that you need to get your commercial boating venture “off the ground” (so to speak) and don’t want to be hassled? That’s what a documented vessel number can do. Depending on your vessel and your circumstances, the Maritime Documentation Center makes it possible for you to use your vessel how you want to use it. 

Do You Need a Documented Vessel Number? 

The answer is: it depends. You DO have to get your vessel documented if your vessel is five or more net tons and used for fishing activities on navigable US waters or those of the EEZ (“Exclusive Economic Zone.”) Additionally, you have to get this number if your vessel is used in “Coastwise trade.” That means you’re transporting people or goods between various points in the US or the EEZ. If you use your vessels in that way (and they’re of that size) then you do need to get this kind of documentation. However, that’s not the only reason that you may need to receive this documentation. 

documented vessel number

“But I’m Not Using My Vessel to Make Money” 

If you’re only using your vessel for recreation, then you might feel like there’s no need to get your vessel documented. Indeed, you don’t have to. However, you can choose to. The four types of documentation are Recreational, Coastwise, Fishery, and Registry. Each of them are self-explanatory, except for “Registry.” That’s often used for vessels that engage in foreign trade. One thing to keep in mind about the “Recreational” endorsement: if you do that, you can only use your vessel for recreation. If a vessel has any other kind of endorsement, then they can engage in recreation. Like, you could use your Fishery-endorsed vessel for recreation, but you could never use your Recreation-endorsed vessel to start a commercial fishing business. 

What It Takes to Get the Number 

At the Maritime Documentation Center, we do everything in our power to make it as easy as possible to get the documents you need for your vessel. However, there are still some requirements. For example, you need to be able to demonstrate that you own the vessel, you’re eligible for the endorsement you’re seeking, and that you are a citizen of the United States. If you can do that, then we can help. 

Multiple Forms of Documentation Available 

Getting a documented vessel number, your initial documentation, or renewing your documentation are some of the most commonly used forms at our site. However, they’re far from the only form that we offer. In fact, you can find forms for practically every stage of vessel ownership at our site. From replacing a form that’s been lost or otherwise damaged, changing your address when you move, and so many others, we can make the documentation process that much easier. To see all that we offer, head to our site. For more information, you can call us at (800) 535-8570.