FNR is a United States Coast Guard Documented vessel. She is also registered with the state of North Carolina. Recreational boats like FNR do not have to be USCG documented, but they do have to be state registered. Since once USCG documented, always USCG documented, we had to fill out a few forms and pay the Coast Guard some money to change our vessel’s name from Katele to FNR.
We don’t know why FNR was documented to start with but Steve is happy that she was. Being a US flagged boat, we have international recognition and that affords us some legal rights and protections when in foreign waters. The further you are from these United States, the more important being USCG documented becomes. Right now, we don’t plan to go very far but it is nice to know that if you need them, you can count on the US Consulate for help.
This Documentation stuff is complicated. USCG Documented vessels do not display their official numbers on the outside of the hull. If you see numbers on the hull, then the boat is just state registered.
A USCG Documented vessel is identified by properly displaying the boat’s official number, name, and hailing port. And how should that information be properly displayed? Per the USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, “the official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded by the abbreviation “NO.” must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least three inches high on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area.”
“The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. All markings may be made by any means and materials that result in durable markings and must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The “hailing port” must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.”
And, did you know that even though you pay your fee and you have your Certificate of Documentation, you are not “valid” until the vessel is marked with the name, official number, and hailing port as shown on the certificate?
Up until last week, we were not marked. But we are now!!
Since we were having “markings” made, we decided to replace the old Cal 33 decal, as well. I think the sign maker did a pretty good job, don’t you?