What endorsement should I choose for my vessel?

When it comes to vessel documentation, you should choose the endorsement that fits how you plan to use the vessel. If you are just going to use the vessel for fun, to have a good time, then your endorsement should be for “Recreation.” You should also choose that endorsement if you are just registering your vessel so that you can apply for a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage.

On the other hand, if you are going to use your vessel for commercial purposes, then you may be required to register it and choose the correct endorsement accordingly.

For example, if you are going to use your vessel for transporting people and/or merchandise on the navigable waters of the United States or in the Exclusive Economic Zone, then you’re going to want to choose the “Coastwise” endorsement.

Should you engage in commercial fishing activities on those same waters, then a “Fishery” endorsement is correct.

If you’re going to use your vessel for foreign trade, then the “Registry” endorsement may be most appropriate.

You can change your endorsement by using our “Change of Trade Indicator/Endorsement” form here.

Law 67.7 describes which vessels do and do not require documentation as well as endorsements.