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Small Ships Register (Part 3)

Registering a vessel for leisure use

If you own a vessel in the UK that you intend to go to sea with, you can register it with the UK Ship Register. The Small Ships Register (Part 3) has been developed for UK pleasure vessel owners who may wish to take their vessel into international waters and want the peace of mind that they can prove the vessel’s nationality easily. 

Any UK resident who meets the UK Ship Register's eligibility criteria and owns a boat or yacht for personal leisure use, that is less than 24 metres in length overall (LOA), and who are ordinarily resident in the UK for 185 days in a 12-month period, can join the Small Ships Register no matter where in the world the boat is based. 

Ensure your vessel is classed as a pleasure vessel. Marine Guidance Note 599 (M) provides a definition of what a pleasure vessel is. If your vessel is not being used as a pleasure vessel it may need to be registered on Part 1 of the UK Ship Register.

Cost to register your private leisure boat or craft

The fee to register a boat on the Small Ships Register is £35 and lasts for five years.

  • More on first time registration

    Watch our short video on first time registration on the Small Ships Register for more information.

  • Why you should register your boat or craft for leisure use  

    Registering your vessel with the Small Ships Register is not compulsory, but there are many benefits to doing so:

    • You can prove your boat’s nationality when sailing outside of UK waters
    • Some marinas and ports abroad may require you to prove a vessel is registered before allowing you access
    • If your vessel is stolen, damaged or goes missing, registration can help authorities or emergency services to trace you as the owner(s)
    • Registration may also help with insurance or registering a claim following an incident