There are a number of things that you need to do after purchasing the boat. Apart from the upkeep and maintenance that it needs, you will also need to keep boat documentation updated. It will not be advisable to put the boat in the water when the documents are not fully completed. The commercial vessels must be documented with the Coast Guard. The recreational boats will depend on the size to have them registered with the Coast Guard.
1. The Boats that Need Documentation
The owners of the boats must be citizens of the United States to be federally documented. Any boat that is more than 26 feet in length requires being documented. An official number is assigned to the boat. This number is bonded to the hull of the vessel. This is permanent and will appear in the abstract of titles. In case someone wants to get information about the boat, this number can be used as a reference.
2. Undocumented boat
There are other boats which are not documented by the federal government. These boats have a propulsion machine and need to be numbered in the state. This is done in the state in which the boat is principally operating. The states are allowed to create their own numbering systems. However, these numbering systems are supposed to meet the federal requirements. The problem is that these boats will find it difficult to sail through the international waters.
3. Why Keep Boat Documentation Updated
It is important to keep the safety of your passengers and yourself while aboard the vessel. The paperwork requires being up-to-date with the United States Coast Guard. This will enable the registry to have your complete information. This information is important in times of emergency. When the boat is lost at sea, the rescuers are able to determine the type of boat and number of people they will be searching. Even when the boat is stolen, the complete information will help those tracing the boat.
4. Coastal Guards
Documentation is done by the United States Coast Guard. It is managed by the federal government. It is administered by the Coastal Guards as part of the Homeland Security. This means that it is recognized internationally as a certificate representing ownership and nationality. The boats are, therefore, protected as that of the United States. If the boat goes into foreign countries, it is accorded the privilege as belonging to the United States.
5. Importance of Documentation
It might look like it’s overwhelming to keep boat documentation updated, but once it’s done it stays documented for the lifespan of the boat. When you sell the boat, the new owner just requires updating the information on the documents. The identification number on the boat documentation is kept the same. There is also another documentation update that is done annually. This paperwork sends automatically and is received 45 days prior to annual expiration. This annual update doesn’t attract any fee.