Important Documents for Cruisers

Having all your important documents in one place is important for cruisers - not only for clearing in and out but for emergencies too!

Having all your important documents in one place is important for cruisers – not only for clearing in and out but for emergencies too!

…and other housekeeping.

The next step I’ve taken in planning our trip is putting together an important documents for cruisers binder. A blog post by The Boat Galley got me started in determining what we needed to have in our binder.

Here’s the contents:

Passports and Licenses – this will be generic citizen information and will include any visas we have.
Maritime Licenses – captain’s licenses & radio permits.
Boat Documentation – ownership documents and certificates
Power of Attorney and Wills
Credit Card and Bank Info – including phone numbers to call in case of theft or fraud.
Contact Numbers – emergency contacts for personal, medical and business.
Birth & Marriage Certificates – some countries will require proof of marriage for a couple cruising together.
Medical Information – medical records from our doctors regarding medical history, as well as a health questionnaire and vaccine records. Not just for our purposes, but important to have when seeing a new doctor in a foreign country.
Inventory – we will keep a complete inventory as best as possible for maintenance items and our medical kit.

Medical records came from our PCP, dentist, GYN, and other specialty doctors we have seen.

These documents will go into a binder in a secure location on the boat. A copy will be given to our parents to be kept in a safe at their house. Digital copies will be kept in a secure document storage location online, as well as password protected in a thumb drive for our ditch bag.

In addition we have been digitizing our life!  I have been scanning our personal pictures and important paper mementos, which will will have a copy on a hard drive on our boat, and a copy in storage on a hard drive.  It’s a lot of house keeping, but I’m sure it will pay off when we have everything we need at our finger tips!

As far as the medical information goes, we have a separate binder for advanced medical information. It has three tabs; Amy’s Medical History, David’s Medical History, and Prescriptions, which is copies of all of the prescriptions we carry onboard.  The medical histories took a while to track down, and I still haven’t received some of them.  Then, in our important documents binder, the medical section is minimized down to our inventory, and a medical health questionnaire for each of us. We have digital copies of everything, which is included in our Master File collection (a copy on each of our computers, a copy at home in our storage unit, and copies with our parents).

About the Author
Amy's family has a long, storied history on the water! Her dad and grandpa both owned maritime companies, and after her father's death, Amy ran the business. Amy picked up sailing from her dad, and she takes her credit for getting David into it! After selling everything, she's now the Admiral, Chef, Social Coordinator and First Mate aboard Starry Horizons!
  1. Calvin Reply

    Suggestion: Consider getting a Int’l Drivers License for when/if you want to rent a car. Cost $25 and lasts a year. Looks official and can save you major $$ fines if you get in accident or get caught speeding. Very easy to get in Houston.

    • She Said Reply

      Hey Calvin! Thanks for the suggestion. We don’t have plans to rent soon – but we will eventually. So that’s a great idea!

Leave a Reply


Next Post
Next Post