One of the information you need to enter when you apply for a certificate of vessel documentation is designating a managing owner. But why does the US Coast Guard require it?
The reason for this is that the majority of the vessels have several owners. It is just like in a company. There could be several owners for a company A, but there could only be one manager or CEO.
In vessel documentation, the managing owner is the one who manages the ship. The manager is the one who signs a contract or leases it. He/she is the person who gets the mail that concerns the vessel. For example, if there are issues or complaints against the ship, the manager is the person who would be contacted by the authority.
In the case of corporations, the managing owner can be the chief executive officer or the chairman of the board of directors.
Must The Managing Owner Be A US Citizen?
The designated managing owner to be entered in the application of certificate of documentation must be a US citizen. He/she must establish US citizenship, which can be determined through a completion of the application.
Keep in mind that the basic requirements for documentation would include demonstrating ownership of the vessel, eligibility for the endorsement being sought and US citizenship. That said, if there are several owners of the vessel, these owners should choose which one of them must take the role of a managing owner. It is vital to choose a managing owner who knows how to manage a boat and is knowledgeable about legal contracts or at least the basics of the law if problems with the boat arise.
If you are the sole owner of the boat, then you are automatically the managing owner. Or you could assign a lawyer to take the responsibility.
But the main goal of requiring it is that the USCG will have the right person to contact to when there is a problem with the application for a certificate of documentation. The managing owner should indicate his/her name and address where the letter will be sent to. That said, you cannot create a fictitious name or address as you will never receive important mail from the USCG concerning your application.
If you are not sure how to apply for a certificate of documentation for your vessel, you may wish to hire a documentation service company to process it for you. It makes the overall process a lot easier and simpler.