Is a USCG Certificate of Documentation Right for You and Your Vessel?

Have you been considering getting a USCG Certificate of Documentation for your vessel? Are you in the process of researching, but haven’t decided whether or not you’re going to do it yet? Not every vessel has to be documented. Some vessels must be documented, while others can be documented. We created our site for many reasons, not the least of which was so that it could serve as a resource, a tool, somewhere vessel owners could come to learn the facts. 

Which Vessels Can Be Documented…

A vessel can be documented if it’s wholly owned by a United States citizen and measures at least five net tons. There are exceptions to this, most prominently certain oil spill response vessels. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that net tonnage does not measure the weight of your vessel, but rather its volume. So, you can calculate that, or, you can follow the rule of thumb that many vessel owners do: if your vessel is more than 25 feet in length, it’s assuredly at least five net tons in volume. 

… and Which Vessels Must Be Documented

Whether or not your vessel has to be documented depends upon what you’re using your vessel to do. For example, you need to document your vessel if you’re using it for fishing activities on the navigable waters of the United States or the EEZ. Additionally, you must document your vessel if you’re using it to transport passengers or merchandise on those same waters. There are exceptions to this too, as you might imagine. If you believe that your vessel needs to be documented but you aren’t sure, call our staff. We’ll be more than happy to help. 

Why You May Want to Document Your Vessel Even if You Don’t Have To 

Even if you aren’t going to use your vessel for the above activities, you may still choose to document your vessel. Many of our customers document their vessels with a “Recreational” endorsement. Perhaps they want to be able to let their vessel be marked by name and hailing port. Or, more likely, they want to be able to get financing for their vessel. A strong majority of lenders won’t offer to finance a vessel that lacks documentation. No matter the reason you document your vessel, we can make the process easier. 

Beyond the USCG Certificate of Documentation 

Indeed, we can make it easier to deal with all of the vessel documentation that you might need. For example, say that you get your vessel documented so that you can get a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage. You can find forms you’ll need for that process as well at our site. Once you’ve paid off that mortgage, you can utilize the “Satisfaction of Mortgage” form at our site, too. All of these forms are available 24/7/365, in an easy-to-use format. If you have any questions, you can head to our site or give our staff a call at (800) 535-8570.