You can never have too much information when you are getting ready to make a large purchase. When you buy a home or a car, you always do plenty of research, get data, and delve into the backgrounds of the property or the vehicle to make sure it is free of problems. Significant investments call for due diligence like this, and purchasing a boat should be no different for you. Large recreational vessels are expensive and may be the biggest purchase you ever make, so you want to know what you are getting into before you buy, especially if you are looking to make a purchase on the secondary market. Information is available to you about documented ships if you want the background and learning how to access the Coast Guard vessel database can be a help to you.
Discovering the Database
People may not be aware that the Coast Guard even maintains a database like this. Since the Coast Guard is responsible for documenting all commercial ships and those recreational vessels that wish to be part of the federal registry, it is up to the organization to keep a list of these ships in the United States. Not all recreational boats will be part of the database, but many owners today choose to get documentation or need it as a condition of getting financing or a mortgage for their ship purchase. In any case, the Coast Guard keeps a list, and it is added to regularly, with updates coming to keep the list current.
Using the Vessel Database
To access the Coast Guard vessel database, you must find a website that provides a search function of the database. The Coast Guard itself does not provide access to the information on its website, so you must go elsewhere to get to the database. Here at the Maritime Documentation Center, we offer an easy search function of the database right on our home page. All you need is some basic information to use the search. If you do not have the certificate of documentation number for the ship, you can enter the boat’s name into the search box and look this way. You may get a list of results searching just by the name, but you can go through and find the ship you are interested in based on the information provided, such as the ship size, type, ownership information, or other data.
Become Part of the Vessel Database
Once you have the information you want from the Coast Guard vessel database, you can then move forward with your purchase and have a boat of your own. Don’t forget that once you have your vessel, you can come back to us at the Maritime Documentation Center and register your boat so that you can be part of the registry. Our website and portal provide you with all the forms you need so you can fill them out and file electronically with us. We can then check your applications for you and pass them along to the Coast Guard for processing so you too can have a listing in the database.