(800) 219-9359

USCG Yacht  Documentation

Protect Your Yacht with a Delaware Corporation or Delaware LLC in 24 Hours

Purchasing a yacht is a huge investment and requires a lot of research and thought. There are several possible options available, other than deciding on the type of aircraft yacht or cost. The legal ramifications including asset protection must be considered.

Before making the purchase and to protect yourself, your personal and other business assets, and your family it might be a better solution to consider owning the aircraft in a corporation. If you agree, then the state of Delaware seems like the better option since it offers a favorable tax climate including:

 No Sales tax
No Personal property tax
No Intangible property tax
No Stock transfer tax

Special Internet Package" For Boat Owners residing in the US for the Low Fee $365.

The USCG Yacht Documentation Package includes:

  • Preparation and filing of the Certificate of Incorporation
  • Free Name Search
  • 24 Hour Overtime Processing
  • All State Filing Fees
  • Certified  Copy of Certificate
  • Registered Agent Fee
  • Processing of SS4 for EIN

Form a Corporation Now

You can be a non citizen owned Corporation to register a boat in Delaware. For Delaware State Registration Call Our Office: 800-219-9359

Our fee to document a yacht is $450 which is a one time fee. However, the Certificate of Documentation must be renewed each year. We offer that service for an additional $65 at billing time. Prior to the purchase,  it is also suggested that you request an Abstract of Title either through us or your yacht broker. The Abstract of Title will show you a complete history of the yacht including any liens or encumbrances still listed with the USCG. All fees concerning incorporation to purchase the yacht and USCG Documentation can be found in our List of Fees.

Document Your BoatLearn More

What is US Coast Guard Documentation?

You must be a citizen of the US to document a vessel. If owned by a Corporation or LLC the company must be 75% owned by US citizens. For those clients who are not citizens of the US we offer a Trustee Owned Corporation opportunity so you can sail your boat anywhere in the world under the US flag.

Documentation is the national form of registering vessels. It is handled by the US Coast Guard and establishes unquestionable ownership and acts as the vessel’s passport in foreign waters. Documentation is required for the operation of vessels in certain trades and serves as evidence of nationality.

Documentation provides :

  • Conclusive evidence of nationality for international purposes
  • Provides for unhindered commerce between the states
  • Admits vessels into certain restricted trades, such as coastwise trade and the fisheries
  • Establishes an internationally recognized maritime title for the vessel
  • Acts as the vessels passport in foreign waters

Fishing vessels, cruise ships and boats for hire must be documented with the USCG.

Documentation must be renewed on an annual basis.The fee to renew the document on a yearly basis is now $26. We offer this service by adding a small service fee for a total fee of $65. Since the renewal notice comes to our Delaware office recommended that you take advantage of this service.

A documented vessel is exempt from displaying state numbers on their hull. However, all documented vessels must comply with the laws of the state in which they are operated. States may require documented vessels to be registered (but not numbered) and to display state validation showing that they have complied with the state requirements.

Most banks require that a vessel being financed be documented and provide them with a First Preferred Ships Mortgage recorded with the US Coast Guard. Vessel financing has been enhanced through the availability of preferred mortgages on documented vessels.

Requirements for Documentation

  • A vessel must measure at least five net tons
  • It can be owned by either an individual who is a citizen of the United States or a corporation in which 75% of the directors are American Citizens
  • Usually a vessel 25 feet in length can qualify for documentation
  • The tonnage is determined by volume of the vessel, not by how much the manufacturer says the vessel weighs
  • Benefits of Documentation
  • Documentation allows for easy entry into foreign ports.
  • The chain of ownership of the vessel is maintained in one registry, a registry of history, pride, tradition and prestige.
  • Documentation facilitates the sale of a vessel, particularly when financing is involved

Official Number Marking requirements - How Do I Mark My Boat?

The official number assigned to documented vessels is always preceded by the abbreviation "NO." This must be followed by the number assigned and must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least three inches high on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area.

The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull, usually the stern. On a commercial vessel, the vessel name must also be marked on the port and starboard bow and the vessel name and the hailing port must also be marked on the stern. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.

All markings may at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals.

What is a first preferred ship mortgage?
A preferred ship mortgage is a mortgage that is given status as a maritime lien. many financial institutions require vessels that are eligible for documentation to be documented and to have preferred ship mortgages recorded against them. The owner of the vessel is prohibited from making certain changes in documentation such as change of vessel ownership, name and hailing port without the consent of the mortgagee.