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 Houston Vessel Documentation What is a Documented Vessel?

A documented vessel or boat is one that is registered with the federal government through the United States Coast Guard, instead of titled and numbered by a State. Boats of Five (5) Net Tons or more may be documented by the US Coast Guard. This includes most pleasure craft of 26 feet or more in length. All commercial vessels of at least Five (5) Net Tons must be documented.

What is a Preferred Mortgage?
A Preferred Mortgage is an instrument filed on a documented vessel with the United States Coast Guard recording the banks security interest.

What are the Benefits of Documentation?
FINANCING: Most lenders or banks require documentation and a Preferred Mortgage as a condition of a boat loan. According to the Texas Secured Lending Guide, "A Preferred Ship Mortgage...provides the greatest protection for the bank."

TITLE: The Coast Guard process has a more stringent chain of title requirements than most states.

FOREIGN TRAVEL: Owners find they have greater ease of clearance with foreign customs when a boat is a US flagged vessel, as ownership is recognized worldwide.

RENEWAL: There are no annual renewal fees with the US Coast Guard.

 AVDA American Vessel Documentation Association US Coast Guard Phone: 281-333-3443 Fax: 281-333-3085

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