By Ocean Yacht Documentation
I am often asked, “What are the benefits of U.S. Coast Guard Documentation?” First, keep in mind that to be eligible for U.S. Coast Guard Documentation, a vessel must be at least five net tons in volume (usually about 26 feet and longer) and be owned by a U.S. citizen. The seven benefits include:
- A documented vessel designates it as U.S. flagged and is recognized internationally which facilitates entry to foreign ports.
- A documented vessel is granted greater protection under federal laws if under distress in foreign waters.
- The vessel is awarded an official number as a unique identifier which transfers with the vessel and facilitates tracking in case of distress or if the boat is stolen.
- A documented vessel is easy to check for pending liens and to review the complete chain of ownership from the first documented owner to the current owner. This aids in the resale of the vessel, and it offers the purchaser a greater level of assurance not offered by state title.
- The documented vessel doesn’t need to display the state numbers on the bow of the boat as required when state titled.
- A marine lender may require application for a Certificate of Documentation as a prerequisite for extending a loan along with the filing of a First Preferred Ships Mortgage, as it is the highest form of securing the lender’s security interest.
- U.S. Coast Guard documentation may be required for those engaged in commercial trade (i.e. carrying freight, commercial fishing, chartering). Typically a Coastwise or Fishery endorsement is required. Restrictions apply.