Any ship, be it a yacht, commercial vessel, military ship or a fishing boat has to be registered. As a ship will spend most of its life in the international waters, sailing between a large selection of countries, it cannot be said to automatically 'belong' to a particular country in the same way, as for example, a factory or other similar static plant. But a ship can not be stateless. It has to 'belong' to one particular country to be subject to that country's laws which should incorporate various international conventions for ships, and in time of difficulty, to be able to claim the protection of that country. Within that country the vessel will be registered at a particular port; the port of registry being an important item of information in a ship's details.