According to the Code of Federal Regulations, “endorsement,” in this context, “means an entry which may be made on a Certificate of Documentation and which, except for a recreational endorsement, is conclusive evidence that a vessel is entitled to engage in a specified trade.”
Vessel owners are recommended to choose an endorsement that applies to how they will use their vessels. “Fishery” is for vessels that engage in commercial fishing operations on the navigable waters of the United States or in the Exclusive Economic Zone.
“Coastwise” endorsements are for those vessels which transport people and/or goods on those same waters. “Registry” endorsements are for foreign/international trade.
“Recreational”’ endorsements are for vessels that will be used for fun with friends, family, etc. All vessels can be used recreationally, but those with a “Recreational” endorsement can only be used for that purpose.
Use this form to change the endorsement on your vessel documentation.
Use this one to apply for initial USCG boat documentation.