The Tradition and Process of Changing the Name of Your Boat

Changing the name of a boat is something that a lot of boat owners do. There are many reasons why someone might want to change the name of their boat. It could be to honor a loved one, show that the boat has a new owner, or just start over. But changing a boat’s name can be hard, especially for people who have never owned a boat before. This guide will show you how to Change the Name of a Boat in the U.S., including the reasons for doing so, the tradition of changing boat names, the role of the US Coast Guard, and how to get all the necessary permits and paperwork, such as a bill of sale, from the Maritime Documentation Center.

Why Change the Name of a Boat?

A boat owner might want to change the name of their boat for many different reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • To honor a loved one: Many boat owners choose to name their vessel after a family member or friend who has passed away. If the boat is sold or the owner changes, the new owner may want to change the name to honor someone else.
  • To show who owns the boat: If a boat changes hands, the new owner may decide to change the name to show who owns it.
  • To give the boat a fresh start: Some boat owners simply want to give their vessel a fresh start by changing the name.

The Tradition of Changing Boat Names

Changing a boat’s name has been a tradition for thousands of years. According to maritime legend, changing the name of a boat can bring bad luck if not done correctly. To stop this bad luck, boat owners must go through a special ceremony to change the name of their boat. During the ceremony, the boat’s name is usually changed three times, champagne or another type of alcohol is poured into the water, and a special chant or prayer is said. Despite the fact that it is not required by law, many boat owners still perform this ceremony to ensure the luck of their vessels.

The Role of USCG

When a boat’s name is changed in the United States, the US Coast Guard is very involved. By law, boat owners must tell the Coast Guard when their boat’s name changes. This is because the name of a ship is how the Coast Guard can find it in an emergency or accident. If a boat owner changes the name of their boat without telling the Coast Guard, they could get fined or get into other trouble.

Getting The Necessary Licenses And Paperwork

When a boat’s name changes, the owner must tell the Coast Guard and get all the necessary permits and paperwork. This includes a bill of sale, registration, and any other permits required by the state or federal government. Getting these papers can take a long time and be hard to understand, especially for people who are new to boating.

Luckily, the Maritime Documentation Center has a private online portal where boat owners can renew all National Vessel Documentation Center and USCG documentation and get all the necessary boating documentation permits and a bill of sale from the comfort of their own homes. Boat owners can save time and avoid the trouble of dealing with government agencies and paperwork by using this service to successfully change the name of a boat. 

How to Change Your Boat’s Name: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s how to change the name of your boat in the U.S., step by step:

Choose a new name for your boat: You need to pick a new name for your boat before you can change its name. Make sure the name you choose isn’t already taken and isn’t offensive.

Once you have settled on a name, you can start the process of changing the name of your boat once you have all the paperwork you need. The first step is to fill out an Application for the Initial Issue, Exchange, or Replacement of a Certificate of Documentation. This form is used to change the name of a documented vessel. You can get this form from the Maritime Documentation Center or the National Vessel Documentation Center.

You will need to give your boat’s current name and official number, as well as the new name you want to use.  After you send in the application, it could take the USCG a few weeks to process it and send you a new Certificate of Documentation with the new name. You shouldn’t put the new name on your boat until you get the new paperwork.

Change Name of Boat

An Online Portal For All Your Boating Needs

Changing a boat’s name is an important part of the boating tradition and can be a fun and meaningful experience for the owner. With the help of the USCG and the Maritime Documentation Center, you can change the name of your boat quickly and easily, so you can get back to having fun on the water. 

Regardless of how peculiar your boating needs are, you can count on the professionals at Maritime Documentation Center to assist you with them. We are available at 800-535-8570.