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Boatbuilder's Handbook

Part 1—Regulations and Other Information


When a boat manufacturer or importer sells a recreational boat, the company should provide a Certificate of Origin to the purchaser. The purchaser needs a Certificate of Origin to obtain a title or register a boat with state numbering authorities. The procedure is the same as when an automobile is purchased. In the boating world this document is also often called a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin, Master Builders Certificate, Carpenters Certificate, etc. They are all the same thing.

We receive numerous complaints from owners who are unable to register their boats and obtain State registration numbers because they do not have a Certificate of Origin. The State authorities tell many of these people to request a form from Coast Guard Merchant Vessel Documentation offices called "Builder’s Certification," which the Coast Guard offices use to establish the fact that vessels intended for documentation were U.S. manufactured. It is not necessary to use the "Builders Certification" form for boats which will be registered in a State.

Contact the titling and registration office for the State in which you sell most of your boats and ask them if they have a Certificate of Origin form that they would prefer for you to use. Go to the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators website and follow the link to "Contact your State Boating Safety Agency Here" to find the correct titling and registration office. If the State does not have a preference, printed below is a prototype Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin for the use of recreational boat builders and importers. Copy this form, or use it as a model for designing your own. Put your company logo on it if you want to. Just try to make sure you complete a Certificate of Origin and that the form accompanies each boat you build. This will make it much easier for the eventual first purchasers of your products to title and register their boats.


1. Vessel Data:
Hull Identification Number:
Model Name:
Beam: Draft:
Place of Construction:
Hull Material:
__ Wood
__ Steel
__ Aluminum
__ Fiberglass
__ Other
2. Certification:

I _______________________________ Do Hereby Certify that the facts recited herein are true and that I have personal knowledge of these facts because I:

__ A. Personally performed the construction.

__B. Supervised the construction at and on behalf of:

(Name of Company)

Signature: ___________________________________________________

Date: _______________________________________________________



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