Are there different types of documentation?

Yes. A Certificate of Documentation can have different endorsements. The most common endorsements are Recreation, Fishery, Coastwise, or Registry.

According to GovInfo, “a Recreational endorsement entitles a vessel to pleasure use only.” Any vessel can be used for recreation. However, a vessel with a recreation endorsement can only be used for recreation/pleasure.

Coastwise Trade “includes the transportation of passengers or merchandise between points embraced within the coastwise laws of the United States,” according to Cornell Law. That includes the navigable waters of the United States and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The latter is essentially 200 nautical miles off of the coast of the United States.

A Fishery endorsement, per the Code of Federal Regulations, “entitles a vessel to land its catch, wherever caught, in the United States.”

The Registry endorsement is mostly used in foreign trade.

A vessel with a recreation endorsement can only be bareboat chartered for recreational use. Private legal counsel can provide further guidance.