If you own a boat and want to lease a slip (even temporarily), you can be sure that you will need one thing above all: paperwork.

There are a surprising number of current – and potential – boat owners who are unsure of what certain documents look like. While you should ALWAYS have a copy of your boat’s insurance and registration/documentation on board, paperwork does occasionally get lost in the shuffle of things.

We just added this to our Marina F.A.Q., but wanted to share it here as well.

This visual reference should assist you in making sure you have the items our marina requires prior to docking (registration [or documentation] and insurance).

Note to permanent/long-term tenants: When you renew your registration (or documentation) and insurance, it is your responsibility to make sure we have a current copy each year on file here in the office. The best way to do that is bring in your renewal (when you receive it) and we can make a copy. It also helps us to make sure we always have current owner information.


Sample boat DMV registration

Sample DMV registration

This looks very similar to a vehicle registration. Some people have this instead of a USCG certificate of documentation. Your boat registration must be non-expired, and must be in the name of the registered owner(s) of the boat. You can find more information on boat registration at the CA DMV’s website. After you have submitted your title (or “pink slip”) to the DMV and paid the appropriate fees to them, you will receive a current registration along with stickers/CF numbers. You must provide a copy of your registration to us as soon as you receive it, and are responsible to make sure that we always have a copy of your renewal.  Side note – we have HUNDREDS of tenants here, and it isn’t always easy to keep track of who has updated stickers on their boat.  Please give us a copy of your registration!

Info on boat registration can be found on the Dept. of Boating & Waterways site and also the ABC’s of California Boating Law.  You can calculate your registration fees here.  Here are some consequences of operating an unregistered boat in California (hint: don’t do it!).


Sample of a USCG certificate of documentation for a boat

Sample USCG documentation

This is a certificate of documentation, provided by the US Coast Guard. Some people have this instead of a DMV registration. You can find more information on how/why to document your vessel at the USCG’s website. The process to document a boat is sometimes quite lengthy, so in the interim we will accept letters from a documentation service showing the progress that has been made. You must provide a copy of your certificate as soon as you receive it, and are responsible to make sure that we always have a copy of your renewal. We recommend Dona Jenkins Maritime Document Service if you do choose to use a third party.


Sample declarations page of insurance

Sample declarations page of insurance

This is an example of an insurance declarations page – this is the only thing we need, we do not require a copy of your entire policy. The appearance of declaration pages can vary from one company to another, however we are only concerned with four items:
1) Insured: This should match the registered or documented owner, and also should be the person who will be leasing a slip.
2) Policy period: This shows the effective dates of your policy. It must be current.
3) Liability coverages: The wording on this can vary, however we require a minimum of $500,000.
4) Additional Insured: Permanent/long-term tenants must list Marina Village Marina as additional insured.  Guest/short-term tenants are not required to do this.

There are many insurance companies, we recommend you research the best one for your personal situation. We suggest talking to an agent at a company you’re already familiar with, such as whomever insures your car or home.  While insurance companies mail us the renewal if we are listed as additional insured, YOU are responsible to make sure that the copy we have on file for you is current each time you renew.

You’ll need to have your boat surveyed before getting insurance – check out Christian & Co. Marine Surveyors for some good general information and sample surveys.

Here is some information on understanding boat insurance terms. While the Department of Boating & Waterways states “you do not have to have boater’s insurance in California“, you ARE required to have current insurance to dock at our marina for ANY length of time.


Sample title/pink slip for a boat

Sample title/pink slip

This is not your DMV registration, this is one of the items you submit to them when you are purchasing a boat. Boat owners receive this when they own the boat outright, the way you do when you pay off a vehicle.  The title is not an acceptable document in place of registration or documentation.

The appearances of these documents can vary, please contact the marina office if you have any questions.