Yes. Documented vessels are allowed into certain trades, such as the fisheries or engaging in coastwise trade (such as transporting people and/or merchandise) on the navigable waters of the United States or the Exclusive Economic Zone. Eligible vessels are unable to do so without documentation.
Furthermore, vessel documentation often makes clearing customers easier, dealing with foreign ports and the like.
USCG documentation makes it possible for financial institutions to offer a Preferred Mortgage. For a majority of vessel owners who wish to finance a vessel, they will most likely have to document their vessels.
Use this form to apply for initial US Coast Guard boat documentation.