Are you wondering if your vessel qualifies for USCG documentation? Does it seem like the rules about which vessels can be documented and which vessels have to be documented seem contradictory at best? Vessel owners have felt that way for many years. While documenting your vessel is important (particularly if you’re in certain fields) it can be confusing, too. Part of the reason we built our site was to educate boat owners. That way, you can always be in compliance, easily, no matter what.
Boat Size and USCG Documentation
Your vessel has to be documented if it’s “five net tons or more” and “used in fishing activities on navigable waters of the U.S. or in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).” Additionally, you must document it if it is “used in coastwise trade… unless the vessel is exempt from documentation.” First things first: “coastwise trade” just means “transporting merchandise or passengers on navigable U.S. waters or the EEZ.” Also, the “EEZ” usually means “about 200 nautical miles off the coast of the United States.” So, if your boat is that size, and used for those activities, then you have to document it. Yes, there are exceptions, rare though they may be. If you believe that you might be an exception, you can reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help.
Link to full article here.