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Vessel Documentation Overview



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BoatWiki - Definitions


Vessel documentation can be defined a federal registration system for both recreational and commercial vessels. It is administered by the National Vessel Documentation Center, which is located in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Documentation offers evidence of nationality and facilitates commerce throughout the United States.


Qualified Vessels are issued a certificate of documentation which serves as proof of ownership and entitles the vessel to engage in certain activities. It also facilitates a listing of vessels which are available in case of war or national emergency. Documentation is the U.S. version of vessel flagging systems found in most seafairing countries.


Vessel documentation is sometimes collectively referred in the marine industry simply as "documentation" or " a documented vessel". Coast Guard requirements and regulatory issues surrounding documentation can become extremely complex depending on a vessel's intended usage. Although fairly straight forward for recreational only boaters, this is especially applicable to commercial operations.


There is a wealth of information about vessel documentation to be found right here in BoatWiki for those entertaining such endeavor. This includes forms and instructions on how to go about doing it yourself. There are also a number of professional documentation services throughout the country that would be more than happy to assist. Keep in mind, however, this can get expensive and there are some questionable operators out there. Before going down this road, be sure to do some homework in finding the right company.

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4/22/2022 - Page initiated by Team BoatWiki.



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