Yacht Registration (UK)
Currently if a recreational small craft (Under 24m) is being used in UK territorial waters there is no compulsory requirement for it to be registered and if British it is entitled to fly the British flag, if owned by qualifying owners. Once outside UK territorial waters however should a British craft wish to exercise its right to fly the British Flag the crew of the vessel could be asked at any point by warships from any other nation to prove they have the right to do so. In practical terms the easiest and quickest way to prove the craft is British and therefore has the right to fly the British flag is to carry a valid certificate of British registration.
We can provide assistance with the registration or de-registration as part of our brokerage service.
ABYA have produced a guidance note on the various options for registering a small craft in the UK which can be found below. Further information on the registration of small craft in the UK can be found in the RYA Document ‘Boat Registration In The UK’.
Guidance Notes from ABYA:
- You can register your boat under Part 1 or Part 3 of the Registry of Shipping and Seamen. This is operated by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) at Cardiff.
- Part 1 is the closest to evidence of title. Applicants send the Registry a Declaration of Eligibility as well as Bills of Sale showing the history of the boat’s ownership for at least 5 years. If you plan to register your boat on Part 1 of the British Registry, this requires measurement by an approved Tonnage Measurer.
- Part 3 (also known as ‘SSR’ – Small Ships Register) is a simple registration which does not provide any evidence as to title, or ownership, of a vessel. It is useful if, for instance, you want to take a ski-boat on holiday with you to Spain as it shows that you did not buy the boat in Spain and therefore Spanish taxes, etc. are not due. No measurement is required. If you are taking out marine finance over approx £50k you will be asked to register the boat so the finance can be noted against it, in the same way as a house mortgage on the Land Registry.
Key benefits to registration on Part 1:
- Assists you to prove title to your boat;
- Allows you to register a marine mortgage;
- Provides internationally accepted documentation to ease passage to foreign ports;
- Entitles you to protection from the Royal Navy and the services of British Consuls;
- Can enhance the re-sale of your vessel;
- Provides proof of date of build in respect of the EU Recreational Craft Directive;
- Ensures that your boat’s name is unique on Part 1