In order to register your vessel on the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV) it must meet our criteria.  The following explanation will help you understand what we are looking for by expanding some of the criteria so you can decide whether your vessel is likely to meet these requirements.  If a vessel is to be considered for registration it must:

Be at least 50 years old

The age of the vessel at the time of registration must be a minimum of 50 years since its build was begun or the keel was laid. 

Have demonstrable and significant UK associations

At least one of the following statements must be true about your vessel:

  • it was built in the UK 
  • it was built abroad but built for specific purpose related to the UK
  • it is connected to the UK by a specific significant event or person
  • it spent at least 50% of its working life in UK waters.


Be based in UK waters

The vessel must be currently  in the coastal and internal waters of the United Kingdom as recognised by international maritime law, including those of Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, but excluding those in the Republic of Ireland and the British overseas territories.  Static vessels based ashore within the United Kingdom (as defined above) are also eligible for registration.

Be more than 33ft in length overall (33ft 1 inch or above)

A vessel's length overall as we define it is the measurement between the forward and aft extremities of the hull overall excluding any spars or projections.

Vessels below 33 feet in length overall can apply for registration on the National Small Boat Register, which is maintained by the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

Be substantially intact

If more than 70% of the hull structure is intact the vessel can be considered for registration.  Any vessel which is less intact than this will only be considered for registration if national significance can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Registration Sub-Committee.

Please note it is a basic requirement to provide as much historical information as possible.  Without this we cannot assess their eligibility for the National Register of Historic Vessels. These submissions will not be processed until we have received the necessary information we require.