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Coast Guard Vessel Certification for Fun, Financing, and Profit

Have you been wondering about whether or not to get Coast Guard vessel certification for your vessel? Do you go back and forth on whether or not doing so is right for you? It’s a big decision, not one to be made lightly. We designed our vessel documentation site to not only make it easier for people to file for their documentation but also for education. Not everyone needs documentation, but there are some folks who don’t need documentation and yet choose to get it anyway. We can help you to make the right decision one way or the other. 

Who Must Have Coast Guard Vessel Certification 

If your vessel measures more than five net tons and is owned wholly by a US citizen, then you can get it registered. But, if you’re planning on using it for commercial fishing exercises, or to transport people or goods on the navigable waters of the United States or in the Exclusive Economic Zone, then you need to get it registered. You may also have to if you’re going to use your vessel for foreign trade. Almost as if it were to make things more confusing, there are exceptions to many of the above rules. If you have any questions, our staff will be more than happy to answer them. 

Why You Might Choose to Get It If You Don’t Need It 

All of the above having been said, plenty of folks choose to get their vessels registered if they aren’t using them in any of the above activities. For example, many people register their vessels so that they can get financing for their vessels. A majority of banks and lenders, for years, have not given out any loans to a vessel that lacked financing. So, if you want a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage, a documented vessel with a “Recreational” endorsement could be the way to go. 

The Right Endorsement for the Job and More 

Above, we’ve covered the “financing” part of the title – now, for the “profit” part, we come to the “endorsements.” If you’re going to use your vessel to transport people or goods, then you’re probably going to want the “Coastwise” endorsement. Likewise, if you’re going to use it for commercial fishing or to transport fish, then “Fishery” is the way to go. Should you decide to use your vessel for foreign trade, then “Registry” could be the right endorsement. You can always change your mind and get a new endorsement, too. 

Forms for Vessel Ownership 

With “financing” and “profit” taken care of, now it’s time for “fun.” You can always choose to get your vessel the “recreational” endorsement. That’s what it sounds like: you’re going to use your vessel to have a good time with friends and family. You can always use our site to stay in compliance with the powers that be. Here, you can find the forms to get your initial documentation, renew it, and so much more. You can view all the forms we offer here.