All Yacht Documentation
Yacht & Vessel Documentation – USCG Documentation Issued by the US Coast Guard
We are experts in documentation for yachts and vessels of all types from pleasure boats to working yachts and vessels.
We know you want to be on the water, not in line to do yacht document paperwork. Let us handle your vessel’s documentation that is required by the USCG, so you can be on your yacht as soon as possible. Documentation of your yacht and titling a vessel can be complex, confusing and downright annoying. We handle all the small details and stay on top of the paper trail, so you don’t have to. We are an independent third party, who is there to look out for your interests and make sure the yacht you are purchasing has no hidden surprises in its history.
We do abstract of title searches, lien searches and title history searches for large and small yachts and vessels of all types, to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises at closing. This protects all parties involved, buyer, seller, brokers and financial institute, if you are financing. We also prepare ships mortgages, backed by $1,000,000.00 errors and omissions insurance to protect you.
WHAT IS VESSEL DOCUMENTATION?
Vessel documentation is a national form of registration. It is one of the oldest functions of Government, dating back to the 11th Act of the First Congress. Documentation provides conclusive evidence of nationality for international purposes, provides for unhindered commerce between the states, and admits vessels to certain restricted trades, such as coastwise trade and the fisheries. Since 1920, vessel financing has been enhanced through the availability of preferred mortgages on documented vessels.
WHAT VESSELS MAY BE DOCUMENTED?
A vessel must measure at least five net tons and, with the exception of certain oil spill response vessels, and must be wholly owned by a citizen of the U.S.
MUST MY VESSEL BE DOCUMENTED?
Vessels of five net tons or more used in fishing activities on navigable waters of the U.S. or in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), or used in coastwise trade must be documented unless the vessel is exempt from documentation. Coastwise trade is generally defined as the transportation of merchandise or passengers between points in the U.S. or the EEZ.
WHAT IS A DOCUMENTED VESSEL?
A documented vessel is a ship with a valid marine document issued by the United States Coast Guard. The federal government uses this document to register ships of 5 net tons or more for use in times of war. Documenting your ship gives you:
• Firm evidence of nationality for international travel.
• The right to engage in open trade between the states.
• Access to a preferred mortgage for financing the vessel
DOCUMENTED VESSEL FACTS
Documentation can also make it easier to travel up and down the coast of the US. Most states allow boats registered in other states to “visit” their waters for a period of time without obtaining registration. But if you plan to take your boat to another state for more than a couple of months, the state you’re visiting may want you to register there; unless you stay long enough to be considered a resident, documented vessels may avoid this fineable situation. Be sure to check the State where you plan on keeping the vessel.
NOTE- Each State has their own laws about how long a customer may “use” their waters and you will need to check with the STATE you are mooring the vessel to make sure if you need to register your vessel in that State.
Once documented, your boat or yacht stays documented for its life. This means that if you sell it, the new owner needs to update the documentation information (along with a fee, of course) and the vessel’s documentation ID number, which needs to be affixed to the interior, stays the same. There is an annual documentation update form required by the Coast Guard, but this is automatically sent out to you 45 days in advance of annual expiration.
NOTE – the Documentation number will stay with that number for life but a customer can DELETE from the USCG and “STATE TITLE” if they wish too. So while the number stays for life of the vessel it is Not necessary for new owners to document the vessel.
For more information on Documentation of your Vessel or Yacht, read more on the American Vessel Documentation Association’s FAQ page or on the US Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Page