Does a USCG documented vessel have to be named?

Yes, it does. From Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, all USCG documented vessels, so as to fulfill the name and hailing port marking requirements, must have a name.

To file for vessel documentation, click here.

To change your vessel’s name or hailing port, click here.

Specifically, 67.117 Vessel name designation says:

§ 67.117 Vessel name designation.

  • (a) The owner of a vessel must designate a name for the vessel on the Application for Initial Issue, Exchange, or Replacement of Certificate of Documentation; or Redocumentation (form CG-1258) submitted to the Director, National Vessel Documentation Center:
    1. (1) Upon application for initial documentation of the vessel; or
    2. (2) When the owner elects to change the name of the vessel.
  • (b) The name designated:
    1. (1) Must be composed of letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals;
    2. (2) May not be identical, actually or phonetically, to any word or words used to solicit assistance at sea; and
    3. (3) May not contain nor be phonetically identical to obscene, indecent, or profane language, or to racial or ethnic epithets.
  • (c) The name of a documented vessel may not be changed without the prior approval of the Director, National Vessel Documentation Center.
  • (d) Until such time as the owner of a vessel elects to change the name of a vessel, the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section do not apply to vessels validly documented before January 1, 1994.