Boat Owners

Registering Your Yacht

With the exception of some boats used on the inland waterways, there is no legal requirement to register boats based or used for recreational purposes in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and United Kingdom and associated territorial waters. There are however, a number of different registers available to boat owners in Ireland and this page aims to provide some information on these.

Irish Sailing Small Craft Register

For a number of years the Irish Sailing provided an Irish Sailing Small Craft Registry Certificate to boat owners who needed some form of documentation when visiting foreign ports. This was not a Government endorsed document and during a consultation on other matters with the Department of Transport in 2014 the Department requested the Irish Sailing to cease operating their registry.


Certificate of Identity (Cert of ID)

The Irish Sailing is consolidating the various details currently held on boats belonging to Irish Sailing members in order to streamline the Irish Sailing’s several databases of craft, and to build a complete database of craft owned by Irish Sailing members. We will encourage members to apply for a Cert of ID which will incorporate all the services Irish Sailing members avail of in respect of their craft into a single document. This will include racing handicaps administered by Irish Sailing , racing sail numbers issued by Irish Sailing as the member national authority for World Sailing (formerly ISAF) and other services.

Cert of ID Application Form – PDF Format


Sail Numbers Sailing Yachts

Probably the most visible statement of Irish identity for sailing yachts; any sailing yacht based in Ireland is entitled to apply to the Irish Sailing for an IRL sail number. While it is essential for anyone planning on racing, most cruising boats will also have an IRL sail number. Once issued these sail numbers stay with the boat for life. Boats cruising abroad should also look at one of the other forms of registration detailed below.

IRL Sail Numbers


Irish Ships Register – Sailing & motor yachts cruising abroad

The Irish Register of Shipping provides state registration for all Irish vessels including recreational craft. It is accessed through the Mercantile Marine Office in the Department of Transport. The registration process includes affirmation of ownership, tax status and a survey of the vessel. Inclusion on this register provides full entitlements for vessels cruising outside of The Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and United Kingdom and associated territorial waters as set out in the Mercantile Marine Act 1955
Contact details for Mercantile Marine Office

Department of Marine


Waterways Ireland – Some motor boats used on Erne System, Shannon-Erne Waterway & Shannon Navigation

All boats with an engine capacity of more than 10bhp on the Erne System and 15bhp on the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation must be registered with the Waterways Ireland Inspectorate. Note that the Irish Sailing will accommodate us of Waterways Ireland registration numbers when applying for the Irish Sailing Small Craft Register.
More details on Waterways Ireland here

Waterways Ireland


Planning a Cruise in Company

To help you plan a cruise in company with your fellow local sailors we have produced a few templates and suggestions to help you start your planning.


There is currently no legal requirement to have a licence to drive either a Powerboat or a Jetski in Ireland. However, it would be preferable, if all operators of power-driven craft held a Powerboat Certificate. These can be obtained through various Sailing clubs and Commercial Watersports Centres throughout the country.


Bringing your Boat to Europe

You should contact the Marine authority of the country/countries, you wish to visit.

VHF Radio Licence

Contact the Mercantile Marine Office here


Commercial Endorsement (Passenger Boat Licence)

See here.

Commercial Licence for a Boat

Contact the Mercantile Marine Office here


VAT on Boats

Contact the Revenue Commissioners

White Diesel

@ 19 June 2020

  • Malahide Marina 
  • Howth Yacht Club
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • Arklow will fill your cans
  • Kilmore Quay
  • Salve Marine currently changing pump
  • Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • Cork Harbour Marina (Monkstown) will fill your cans
  • East Ferry is changing over
  • Castlepark Marina
  • Baltimore - portable tank from Kieran Cotter
  • Castletownbere – delivery by Beara Oil
  • Bantry Marina - delivery by Biggs Oil
  • Dingle Marina – cans and tanker delivery by McSeeeney Oils
  • Kilrush Marina - self service tank
  • Rossaveal