FAQ
19 Schofield Street - City Island, NY, 10464 - Phone: 800.634.0361 - 718.885.2137 - Fax: 718.885.2427
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What is Coast Guard documentation?

Coast Guard Documentation is a federal form of registration filed with the U. S. Coast Guard. For pleasure boats, it is voluntary. Commerical boats US built over 5 tons must be documented. However, over the past thirty years the Coast Guard documentation of pleasure boats has grown largely because lenders want their boat loan secured with a preferred ship mortgage available only through documentation with the Coast Guard. Boat owners often choose to document since the USA does not have a uniform state title law, and some states do not title boats. And, documented boats do not display a registration number on the bow. Documented boats are assigned an "official number" by the Coast Guard that is marked inside the boat.

What are the requirements

There are TWO basic requirements for documentation:

The owner of a documented vessel MUST be an AMERICAN citizen; resident aliens cannot document a boat. A boat used in a foreign country can be documented provided the owner is American.

The boat must meet the Coast guard tonnage requirement. This is not a physical weight; this is based on a formula utilizing the dimensions of the boat to determine the cargo carrying capacity. A documented boat must be at least 5 net tons.

What are markings?

A documented boat must have a name and port marked together on the exterior of the boat. The official number assigned by the Coast Guard to the boat must be marked on the interior surface of the outer hull.

Why is documentation important?

The federal process of documentation serves to preserve the integrity of a vesselís history of ownership and liens.

What services and information are needed?

New boat documentation:

    Name and address of owner(s) and phone number

    Name and phone number of dealer

    If there is a boat loan:  Lender's name, contact and phone number

 Used boat documentation

   Name and address of owner(s) and phone number

   Name of dealer/broker and phone number
       If no dealer/broker, sellerís name and phone number

  We will need a copy of the sellerís state registration/title and certificate of documentation if there is one

 What about searches on used boats?

 If boat is documented: Search for ownership and lien: abstract from Coast Guard need copy of certificate of documentation and/or Coast Guard official number and/or hull identification number

If boat is not documented: need copy of state registration/title and/or UCC search( please call for this)

Preferred Ship Mortgage: requires that boat is already documented in the name of the borrower. Need name of lender, contact and phone number; need copy of certificate of documentation