Onboard Paperwork

What official paperwork do you need onboard your boat?


We’ve received requests for the following documentation at various times during our travels:

(Ensure you check the requirements for the country you are visiting.)



  • Visas
  • Passports
  • The ship’s papers (original certificates)
  • Crew lists – multiple copies at hand
  • The original insurance certificate for the boat
  • Passport photos for everyone on board
  • Proof of ownership (of vessel)
  • Vaccination certificates for all on board
  • Pet inoculation details and certificates (check date requirements)
  • Plus many photocopies of each item


You might also be asked for some of the following:

  • Bank statements, proof of funds/property owned in home country (you may need these in some
  • countries to prove you can support yourselves and have a reason to leave).
  • List of medications on board. Anyone travelling with medications and/or syringes should carry
  • a prescription. All medications should be kept in their labelled dispensing bottles or packages. If
  • the medications are controlled or an injection type then it is also advisable to carry a doctor’s
  • letter authorising possession and use by the bearer.
  • List of boat details, length, colour etc
  • Ship’s radio licence
  • Certificate to operate the radio/VHF
  • The skipper may need an International Certificate of Competence
  • Fishing licence for the area you intend cruising
  • Details of last haul out including details of type of antifoul paint used (keep receipts)
  • Last termite inspection/treatment (keep receipts)
  • List of previous ports visited and length of stay
  • List of ports you intend to visit
  • List of all equipment on board; radios, GPS, laptops etc, including make and model, (we did not
  • list our backup equipment and this was not checked)
  • Alcohol on board
  • Weapons
  • Engine details
  • Don’t forget the courtesy and quarantine flag, and that an official looking boat stamp is a great help.
  • It is very important to remain polite and courteous – you’re a visitor.

If you’ve got anything to add to this, let us know and we’ll share it on our website for everyone.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: