Boat Registration

The RYA believes that boat registration in the UK should remain voluntary.

The various proponents of compulsory registration disagree as to the form that such a system should take and have so far failed to demonstrate that making the current voluntary system compulsory would offer a tangible benefit to recreational boaters.

The RYA wants to achieve

  • Continuation of voluntary registration of recreational boats.

It should be noted that if your voyage takes you outside of UK waters then for all practical purposes it is essential that you register your boat.

The RYA has successfully

  • Resisted attempts to impose ill-conceived forms of compulsory registration that would have placed a costly and onerous burden on recreational boaters and provided no tangible benefits.

RYA position

  • The RYA opposes any move to establish a compulsory national register of recreational boats without compelling arguments for doing so.

  • The RYA supports the voluntary registration of recreational boats and the continuation of a low cost simple means of registering such as Part III (Small Ships Register).


There are currently no proposals by the Dept. for Transport to introduce compulsory boat registration.