Information:
Registration Services

If you plan to register your boat on Part 1 of the British Registry, this requires measurement by an approved Tonnage Measurer. Some members also offer a complete registration service, or will assist with transfer of registration to a new owner.

You can register your boat under Part 1 or Part 3 of the Registry of Shipping and Seamen. This is operated by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) at Cardiff.

Part 1 is the closest to evidence of title. Applicants send the Registry a Declaration of Eligibility as well as Bills of Sale showing the history of the boat's ownership for at least 5 years. The MCA forms are all available on the MCA's website.

The ABYA tonnage measurement application form (SUR6A) can be downloaded here.

Part 3 is a simple registration which does not provide any evidence as to title, or ownership, of a vessel. It is useful if, for instance, you want to take a ski-boat on holiday with you to Spain as it shows that you did not buy the boat in Spain and therefore Spanish taxes, etc. are not due. No measurement is required. If you are taking out marine finance over approx £50k you will be asked to register the boat so the finance can be noted against it, in the same way as a house mortgage on the Land Registry.

Registration on Part 1:

  • Assists you to prove title to your boat;
  • Allows you to register a marine mortgage;
  • Provides internationally accepted documentation to ease passage to foreign ports;
  • Entitles you to protection from the Royal Navy and the services of British Consuls;
  • Can enhance the re-sale of your vessel;
  • Provides proof of date of build in respect of the EU Recreational Craft Directive;
  • Ensures that your boat's name is unique on Part 1

Contact ABYA to arrange your survey. Don't leave it until the week before you sail, as measurers and the Registries get very busy in the summer months!

Tonnage measurement

Fees for tonnage measurements from 5 April 2011
UK Registry - Vessel in UK
Under 15m overall £175.00
Over 15m and under 24m LLL* £230.00
Vessel outside UK
Under 15m overall £230.00
Over 15m and under 24m LLL* £285.00
Overseas Registries **
Up to 24m LLL £275.00

* LLL = Load Line Length

** Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Red Ensign countries such as Cayman Is, BVI, Jersey, Turks & Caicos Is, etc

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The cost of tonnage measurement for British registration through ABYA is shown in the table to the right. For other locations please contact the Tonnage department for further advice.

NB: For vessels lying overseas or not local to a measurer, expenses should be negotiated with the measurer and may, in some circumstances, include the measurer's time spent travelling.

Applicants should send their application documents direct to the Registry of their choice and send their application for measurement (SUR6A) only to YDSA. If you do not have a chosen surveyor, we will arrange the measurement and provide a quote. Once the measurement is done, the form is sent to us by the measurer for checking and signature and sent on to the Registry, where it will be married up with your application. If you intend to use the boat for commercial (charter) purposes it is important to say so.

You may register if you are :

  • A British citizen
  • A non-UK national exercising your right of freedom of movement of workers or right of establishment
  • A British Dependent Territories citizen
  • A British Overseas citizen
  • A British subject under the British Nationality Act 1981(a)

Boats need to be re-registered every five years, for which the cost is currently £46. Delay in re-registration of over a year may result in a requirement for re-measurement.

Further details are available on the Registry site, and contact ABYA to arrange your survey. Don't leave it until the week before you sail, as both measurers and the Registries get very busy in the summer months!

Discount for boats undertaking coding

If you are seeking certification under the MCA Small Commercial Vessel Code, YDSA surveyors can carry out Tonnage Measurement for Part 1 British Registration at the same time as the Compliance Examination at a 10% discount from the normal Tonnage Measurement fee.