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Registration of Yacht Tenders - A Guide

08 May 2013

The purpose of this guide to provide information concerning the registration and documentation of yacht tenders.

We regularly receive enquiries from owners and captains regarding the need for and/or feasibility of registering tenders.

Within Europe and further afield it has historically been the case that tenders are left unregistered.

Typically tenders would be marked with the name 'T/T' (Tender To) followed by the name of the mother-ship.

Where the tender is employed on the business, and in the direct vicinity and sight , of the mother-ship such practice is generally regarded as acceptable.

We would however argue that there is a strong case for the separate registration of many yacht tenders on the following basis:

  • Value & Title

Tenders are not inexpensive items. We here at Oceanskies regularly register vessels of much lower value that will operate as stand alone vessels. By effecting a full registration of the tender the owner is able to demonstrate full legal ownership. This is particularly useful when an owner may decide to sell the tender independently from the mother-ship as the Buyer has the comfort of conducting a title search at the tender's registry to prove that the Seller is indeed the registered owner and that there are no registered mortgages or encumbrances.

  •  Independent Operation of Tenders

Tenders can become detached from the mother-ship and operated independently. In cases where the tender is being operated away from the mother-ship it is advisable for the tender to carry its own registration otherwise it is not possible to provide any proof of registration for the vessel which is contrary to international maritime law.

  •  Compulsory Registration

The mother-ship may operate in waters where the registration of all tenders is compulsory. An obvious example of this is the USA where foreign flagged yachts operate under cruising permits that cover only the mother-ship and not its tenders. The result is that tenders fall under local regulation requiring them to hold their own independent registration in order to be used lawfully. The U.S. Coast Guard website warns, "Documentation of your vessel does not cover the vessel’s tender or dinghy. These craft fall within the jurisdiction of the motorboat numbering laws of the state of principal use.”

In cases where it is decided to effect the full registration of a tender Oceanskies will generally, but not necessarily, register the tender with a full registration in the same jurisdiction as the mother-ship.

The registered owner of the tender will generally be the same owner as the mother-ship or, more prudently, a separate owning company established specifically to own the tender in order to ring-fence any liabilities that might arise from the tender's operation.

In addition to effecting the full registration of the vessel Oceanskies will also obtain a separate radio licence for the tender so that the tender operates with its own call sign and MMSI number.

For further information concerning the registration of tenders or general yacht registration advice please do not hesitate to contact us.

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02 July 2020 at 07:38

On the day that Malta welcomes its first commercial flights in three and a half months as it reopens its borders to 21 countries our Malta office were very pleased to act as local agents for the visit of this stunning by @arcadiayachts A105 to @GrandHMarina #Malta #VisitMalta pic.twitter.com/eH09PjF9XA

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25 June 2020 at 20:26

Very pleased to welcome as local agents the latest @PrincessYachts Princess 30M yacht to the fuel berth outside our offices here in Guernsey for registration, fuel and customs clearance #yachtregistration #yachtagents #crewpayroll #Guernsey @VisitGuernsey @gsyharbours pic.twitter.com/Mh1PcE3goJ

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Very pleased to handle the 2nd visit of EMINENCE by @abekingworld to @gsyharbours on provisioning stop with duty free fuel by @Rubis_CI - pls ctc us for agency services for any yacht interested in visiting the Channel Islands @VisitGuernsey @LocateGuernsey #Guernsey #superyacht pic.twitter.com/o7sljee3tu

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06 June 2020 at 16:49

BREAKING NEWS - MALTA RE-OPENS FOR VISITING YACHTS! Oceanskies Malta are delighted to announce with immediate effect that we are able to resume our Malta port agency services for yachts arriving from outside Malta on a limited basis #Malta#VisitMalta #MaltaFlagpic.twitter.com/CzSF0FTRmAA