What are the benefits of documentation?
- Fewer problems are encountered with foreign officials when traveling abroad since Customs officials all over the world are familiar with documentation because of the requirement that commercial vessels must be legally documented.
- You can operate your vessel in any waters of the United States without going through each state’s registration procedure. Although a documented vessel may still have to comply with state boating safety and tax laws, the vessel is exempt from the state registration process once it is documented in the owner’s name with the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Financing. Many financial institutions require that the vessel be federally documented. Documentation is generally a requirement of such financial institutions because it is only on a U.S. documented vessel that a lender can adequately perfect its security interest in a vessel. A mortgage is recorded against the vessel once it is documented. Federal documentation makes a lender more secure in financing the boat.
- Record keeping. The Coast Guard keeps a chronological history on all documented vessels which is always available upon request. This includes mortgages, claims of lien and other encumbrances.
- You can cruise into foreign waters with the security of being a U.S. documented vessel. The vessel’s document will assist you with customs clearance upon entrance into foreign ports.
- You can feel more secure that you have not purchased a stolen vessel. This is not only because of the Hull Identification Number which is permanently affixed to the stern but also because of the Coast Guard Official Number which is permanently affixed to a structural member inside the hull.
- Some owners simply appreciate the aesthetics of documentation since there is no need to display state numbers on the vessel’s bow.