How to Get Coast Guard Boat Registration and Hang Onto It

Do you think you need to get Coast Guard boat registration but aren’t sure? Have you thought about getting your boat registered yet don’t know if it’s absolutely necessary? Vessel owners like yourself have wondered about that exact thing for centuries. In fact, in America, vessel documentation goes back to the very first Congress. There are many reasons to get your vessel documented, yet, it’s important to note, not every vessel has to be documented. At our site, we’re always glad to help vessel owners to do what’s right for their vessel. 

Who Must Get Coast Guard Boat Registration 

You have to get your vessel registered if it measures more than five net tons and you’re using it in coastwise trade or fishing activities on the navigable waters of the United States or in the “Exclusive Economic Zone.” The latter, commonly abbreviated as “EEZ,” is the water more or less two hundred miles off of the coast of the United States. The word “Coastwise” tends to mean “transporting merchandise or people” between America and the EEZ. As you might imagine, there are exceptions to this. So, if you have any questions, we’re more than glad to answer them. 

Who Can Get Their Vessel Registered (But Doesn’t Have To) 

That said, you can get your vessel registered even if you aren’t planning on fishing or transporting merchandise, people, or anything else. You can do so as long as your vessel measures five net tons or more and is owned by a citizen (or citizens) of the United States. Remember, “net tons” isn’t a measurement of weight; it’s a measurement of volume. There are many different formulas that you can find to help you calculate the net tons of your vessel, but, for a simpler version: measure your vessel’s length. If it’s more than 25 feet long, from the bow to the stern, it almost invariably measures five net tons or more. 

Why You Might Want to Get Your Vessel Registered Anyway 

“But if I’m not fishing or transporting people, why would I want to get my vessel registered?” For the last one hundred years, it’s been much, much easier to get a mortgage on your vessel if it’s registered. In fact, there are so many lenders who will only grant you a mortgage on your vessel if you have it registered. 

A Center for More Than Just Registration 

Registration (and its renewal) is one of the most common reasons that vessel owners use our site, but it’s far from the only one. You can use our site to get a replacement certificate, to get a MARAD Small Vessel Waiver, to update your documentation when you change your address, and so much else. In fact, you can even use our site to renew your documentation for years to come, giving you one less thing to worry about moving forward. To talk to our expert staff about how we can help you, you can call us at (800) 535-8570 or fill out our contact form.