The USCG has certain size standards that must be met before a vessel may acquire USCG documentation. Vessels must be at least 25 feet in length and 7 feet broad to be registered by the US Coast Guard. There are, however, certain exceptions to this. For example, single-engine powerboats with a length of little more than 26 feet may be recorded if the boat is not intended for use by overnight guests.
USCG size rules do not apply to foreign-registered boats while moored in the United States or sailing in American waters. The USCG does not need any paperwork from some fishing trawlers, diving boats, or passenger vessels used only for leisure reasons, among others. In certain cases, this rule is not applicable. In this blog article, we’ll look at the USCG’s minimum document size standards and the exceptions that may be made. Our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible to make an informed decision about whether your vessel is eligible for USCG documentation.
Check The Hull & Deck Integrity as Part of The USCG Documentation
In order to determine whether or not your boat complies with USCG documentation requirements, the first thing you should look at is whether or not the vessel’s hull and deck structure are of sufficient structural strength. This does not imply that you should go out and purchase the strongest materials from a marine supply shop; rather, the best approach to determine whether or not your hull and deck are robust enough for usage on the water is to put them through their paces on the water.
The vessel’s hull is essentially the vessel’s body, while the deck is the surface space on which people can walk, and equipment may be installed, such as navigation lights, gauges, and lifeboats (if necessary). If your vessel suffers a hull or deck collapse, it will no longer be regarded up to code and condemned according to state.gov. If the main deck collapse occurs on a chartered passenger vessel, all passengers might be put in danger of severe injury or death, depending on the circumstances.
Make Sure All Safety Equipment Is Functioning Properly
Seaworthiness is a key consideration in obtaining federal documentation for your boat. Any defective safety equipment found by a USCG inspection might be considered seaworthy, and you could be refused documentation. Keep in mind that the term “federal” does not imply automatic registration. Even if you satisfy all the requirements, you may not be able to receive the paperwork you need due to the boat’s usage. When registering your boat, you must ensure all safety equipment is present and operational; if any vital safety equipment is missing from your boat’s inventory, you cannot record it. There are hundreds of safety things that may be necessary depending on criteria, such as the sort of boat you have and the location you want to use it.
Verify That Flares & Other Signals Are Correctly Stored & Easily Accessible
Visual distress symbols such as lanyards, signal flares, and whistles are needed on many recreational vessels. Flares should be kept in Ziplock bags to be easy to get to. According to the USCG’s recommendation, the flares should be stored in a big waterproof container linked to the swim ladder or lifelines. The contents of the container should be checked frequently if the container is not fixed so that it cannot fall overboard. If a flare or signaling device is submerged in ocean, sand, or precipitation, it is useless and ineffective. It is also important to know that commercial boats and recreational vessels are vastly different; consequently, contacting a commercial vessel inspector while having your boat evaluated at a marina is recommended. Any boat must now carry a safety stick and other safety equipment as a condition of its registration. It’s a good thing that this is happening since your safety is more crucial than ever.
Inspect The Boat for Marine Pests
Small marine pests may get access to parts of your yacht where you store equipment or use heavy gear such as engines or generators. Some maritime pests may cause havoc in locations like the engine room, even if they seem innocuous. Power outages may be highly expensive; therefore, the best way to prevent them is to protect your vessel from intruders. Wood-boring mollusks should be one of your primary concerns. If you believe that these microscopic critters have infected your boat, you should take urgent action to remove them from the vessel.
If you’re in the market for a boat or other small vessel, be careful to check the restrictions before making a purchase. The USCG’s tables are meant to serve as a guide, so be sure to get in touch with them if you have any questions. In order to assist you in getting started, we at the Maritime Documentation Center are ready to help. Call (800)-535-8570 to learn more!