The Scoop on Documentation


US Coast Guard Documentation provides evidence of nationality for a vessel. This procedure is only available to U.S. citizens on vessels that have a hull volume capacity of 5 net tons or greater. Most vessels over 25 feet qualify. Each documented vessel is assigned an official number which must be permanently affixed to the inside of the hull. The official number will remain with the vessel indefinitely, even if the vessel is removed from USCG Documentation and registered in another manner. Once documented, a vessel then falls under Federal jurisdiction for recovery and prosecution, which acts as a theft deterrent.

The owner of a USCG Documented vessel is issued a “Coast Guard Document”. This is the official ownership instrument for the vessel and contains the owner’s name(s), vessel specifications and the Official Number assigned to the vessel.

On a documented vessel you can obtain information on the chain of ownership as well as any instruments recorded against the vessel, including but not limited to; bills of sale, mortgages, claims of lien and lien releases. This information is issued in the form of an abstract of title and verification of the information contained in the abstract ensures valid ownership and proper transfer of title. This information is critical to both the buyers and sellers of a vessel.

Professional Documentation services companies, like Maritime Documentation Services offer a full line of documentation services, including but not limited to: National and International Title Verification, US, Canadian and British Registry, preparation and filing of the First Preferred Ships Mortgage, Affidavits of Repossessions, foreign deletions, State title and registration
A documentation service company can assist in the coordination of the various parties involved, including banks, dealers and professional yacht finance companies such as MARITIME FINANCE. Let experienced professionals guide you every step of the way!

For more information regarding USCG Documentation, please contact:

Veronica Bower

Maritme Documentation Services