Attention for yacht registrations in Delaware

Attention for yacht registrations in Delaware

Many yacht owners do not know exactly what is allowed and what is not. This blog specifically discusses yacht registrations located in the American state of Delaware.

Delaware is an American state on the Atlantic coast in the north-eastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state is a popular jurisdiction for the establishment of companies and corporations.

Popular place to register a yacht

You are very likely to come across Delaware registered yachts cruising internationally, and in the Eastern Mediterranean it is arguably one of the most common ‘foreign’ yacht registrations. Registering in Delaware is very popular among yacht owners due to its low cost and easy process.

Laws and regulations

While Delaware yacht registration is a popular system, existing and potential users alike should be aware that a Delaware vessel registration is a state registration. This is a local registration that only applies to yachts that operate primarily in the coastal and inland waterways of the state jurisdiction. Importantly, the US state registration does not grant US nationality to the yacht and thus does not automatically grant access to international treaty rights, privileges, or the protection of the US.

Delaware regulations provide that a vessel shall be deemed to have its principal state of use in Delaware if it is used, moored, or stowed in Delaware waters for more than 60 consecutive days. Vessels registered in the State of Delaware will receive a credit card-sized State of Delaware Registration Certificate accordingly. It states that the ship must be used primarily in the state of Delaware.

It is therefore possible for a foreign jurisdiction to invalidate a vessel’s Delaware registration on the grounds that a state registration is not valid to sail outside of U.S. waters and/or the vessel is not primarily used in Delaware waters.


To prevent incorrect use, Delaware has implemented the following measures:

  • I declare under penalty of perjury that I/we are the legal owner(s) or agents thereof of the vessel described in this application and that “DELAWARE IS THE STATE OF PRINCIPAL OPERATIONS” for this vessel.
  • I declare under penalty of perjury under Delaware laws that the foregoing is true and correct.
  • I also acknowledge that I must notify the Division of Fish & Wildlife within 15 days of the owner(s) change of address and/or if the vessel has been sold. Destroyed, abandoned, documented, or no longer operated in the state of Delaware.

If the rules are not followed, the court can impose a penalty. This may include imprisonment for up to 1 year and a fine, restitution, or other terms deemed appropriate by the court.

An internationally valid registration

For any owner who wants to change their Delaware registration to an internationally valid registration, BlueWater Registration Services is ready to help. BlueWater Registration Services is a company that offers a wide range of services to its clients concerning boat registration. You can make most of the services like, different yacht registrationsAIS & MMSI Service and much more all under one roof.

Feel free to get in contact with us. Our service staff is happy to help you with any questions.

23 September 2023