Each craft on the register will be assigned a unique number that is supplied by the ISA as a sticker.
The voluntary scheme has been launched in the absence of any state register in spite of repeated calls for on in the interests of safety, training and tax purposes.
IMF spokesman Steve Conlon says that although it is a positive step the scheme really only represents sailing boats and most people involved in boating are in motorboats.
The IMF has renewed its call for a mandatory state scheme that will deal effectively with all areas of unlicensed boating. For example, of the estimated 28,000 boats in the country only 18,000 are insured say the IMF.
Applications for the ISA scheme can be made online at www.sailing.ie. A fee of 16 applies to members of the ISA and 60 to non-members.