Don't Sweat the small stuff

When buying through Pop Yachts, you can rest assured that you are dealing with professionals with the knowledge and resources to navigate through the fog of USCG regulations.

Our closing department has the experience necessary to ensure your paperwork is submitted quickly, and most importantly, correctly the first time.

At Pop Yachts, we truly are one-stop shopping.

Micki Baker - Closing Advocate
Micki Baker
Closing Advocate

We Have it down
to a science

Pop Yachts offers a full line of USCG vessel documentation and other purchaser services such as recording ship's mortgages, title searches, and Coast Guard Bills of Sale. Our services are available for pleasure and commercial vessels.

As the largest Yacht broker in the United States, our staff guarantees you fast and accurate service. We work with all major marine lenders and our job is to make sure your transaction goes smoothly!

Experienced Staff

We have experienced closers who are pros with US Coast Guard documentation, getting you documented and on the water faster.

Nationwide Expertise

While we are based in Florida, we are knowledgeable and up-to-date with all processes in other states.

Peace of Mind

We make sure there are no surprises, such as undocumented liens or encumbrances, so that your vessel has a complete file with the USCG.

Why Document?

Documentation is the federal registration of a boat with the US Coast Guard. US Coast Guard vessel documentation is recognized internationally as a certificate of ownership and nationality. Therefore, documented vessels are protected as Vessels of The United States.

To be federally documented, the owners of the vessel must be citizens of the United States. Usually, any boat over 26 feet in length qualifies for documentation. A documented vessel is identified by an 'Official Number' which is carved or bonded to the hull of the vessel. This permanent numbering system acts as a theft deterrent. If stolen, a documented vessel falls under federal jurisdiction for recovery and prosecution, rather than state or local.

A complete vessel file, including the chain of ownership and all recorded liens and mortgages, is maintained at the USCG National Vessel Documentation Center. Also, documented vessels do not have to clear Customs when returning to or leaving the United States. Instead, a Report of Departure or Arrival is made to the Customs office, and a permit is signed by the master.

Professional Documentation Services

Professional Documentation

Title Search Services

Title Searches

Lender Referral Services

Lender Referrals

Document Protection Services

Complete Document Protection

Filing Services

Prompt Filing

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Professional Documentation

There is no substitute for experience. Our staff has experience federally registering vessels and perfecting lenders' security interests through a Preferred Ship's Mortgage.

Title Searches

Title searches are performed on vessels presently documented or registered in a titling state to ascertain ownership and vessel encumbrances. An 'Abstract of Title' is obtained from the United States Coast Guard on vessels which have been documented. A check is also made with the Seller to determine any outstanding undocumented liens or encumbrances.

Lender Referrals

Individuals purchasing boats frequently call our office seeking information concerning marine financing. Depending on the type of yacht, we can recommend lenders that can best serve them.

Complete Document Protection

As a full service Broker, we prepare any applicable documentation for the purchaser. Including the Coast Guard Bill of Sale, Satisfaction of Mortgage, and Bill of Sale.

Prompt Filing

Transactions are filed promptly with the United States Coast Guard. In instances where the vessel is to be re-documented, the mortgage is filed with the initial application.


Vessel documentation is a national form of registration. It is one of the oldest functions of Government, dating back to the 11th Act of the First Congress. Documentation provides conclusive evidence of nationality for international purposes, provides for unhindered commerce between the states, and admits vessels to certain restricted trades, such as coastwise trade and the fisheries. Since 1920, vessel financing has been enhanced through the availability of preferred mortgages on documented vessels.

A vessel must measure at least five net tons and, with the exception of certain oil spill response vessels, must be wholly owned by a citizen of the U.S.

Vessels of five net tons or more used in fishing activities on navigable waters of the U.S. or in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), or used in coastwise trade must be documented unless the vessel is exempt from documentation. Coastwise trade is generally defined as the transportation of merchandise or passengers between points in the U.S. or the EEZ. In addition, towboats operating between points in the U.S. or the EEZ or between the EEZ and points in the U.S. and dredges operating in the U.S. or the EEZ must be documented.

Net tonnage is a measure of a vessel's volume. It should not be confused with the vessel's weight, which may also be expressed in tons. Most vessels more than 25 feet in length will measure five net tons or more. For information about how tonnage is determined, including a web-based interactive form that calculates tonnages, visit the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center's web site at the Marine Safety Center's Tonnage Page.

Vessels that do not operate on the navigable waters of the U.S. or in the fisheries in the EEZ, are exempt from the requirement to be documented. Also exempt are Coastwise qualified, non-self-propelled vessels used in coastwise trade within a harbor, on the rivers or lakes (except the Great Lakes) of the U.S. or the internal waters or canal of any state.

Yes. A Certificate of Documentation may be endorsed for fishery, coastwise, registry, or recreation. Any documented vessel may be used for recreational purposes, regardless of its endorsement, but a vessel documented with a recreational endorsement only may not be used for any other purpose. Registry endorsements are generally used for foreign trade.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are ready to dive in, browse our listings. However, if you have any questions about closing services, click Contact Us and fill out the form. An experienced member of our team will be in touch.

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