What are the Coast Guard Requirements to Own a Documented Vessel?

Are you considering purchasing a vessel but aren’t sure if you’re able to do so? Does it seem like getting a documented vessel is the right course of action yet you want to be certain you meet all of the corresponding Coast Guard requirements? Knowing everything you can before purchasing a vessel is almost invariably the right thing to do. Indeed, that’s just one of the reasons that we offer applications for Abstract of Title at our site. If you meet the requirements, you can find an easier way to document your vessel here. 

Coast Guard Requirements for Vessel Ownership 

For you to own a documented vessel, you need to be able to demonstrate that you own the vessel.n Additionally, you have to be a citizen of the United States of America, and you must be eligible for the endorsement that you seek. Your vessel can be documented if it measures at least five net tons. Now, “net tons” is a measurement of volume and not of weight. You can have your vessel’s volume measured or, alternatively, you can “eyeball” it – if it’s 25 feet in length, then it measures at least five net tons. 

What are the Coast Guard Requirements to Own a Documented Vessel

The Endorsements 

You might have read the above paragraph and noted the phrase “the endorsement that you seek.” A Certificate of Documentation can be endorsed for recreation, coastwise, fishery, or registry. In brief, “Registry” tends to be for vessels that are used in foreign trade. “Coastwise” is for those vessels which transport people and/or goods on the navigable waters of the United States or the EEZ. “Fishery” is for vessels that engage in fishing activities in those same waters. “Recreation” is what it sounds like – when you want to use your vessel for fun. 

Why You May Choose to Document a Vessel Even if You Don’t Have to 

It’s natural to have read the last paragraph and thought: “why would I want to get an endorsement for just using my vessel for recreation?” Many of our clients who do that seek a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage for their vessel. A strong majority (if not all) lenders will not consider you for a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage unless your vessel is documented. We see this as just one of the ways that we make the documentation process easier on vessel owners from all walks of life. 

Our Maritime Documentation Center 

If you meet the requirements and would like to document your vessel, we offer an expedited, simpler process. At our site, so long as you’re connected to the internet, you can apply for essentially any form of documentation that you might need from practically any kind of device. That way, you aren’t stuck having to sit inside for hours as you complete these forms. Instead, you can be at the park, on the pier, at the boat shop, or even on your vessel. To see everything that we offer, head to our site today.