If you are new to the boating world and are just starting your search for your first large recreational vessel, there is some homework that you will want to do before you take the plunge and buy a boat. Starting out by researching what is required in your state regarding boat ownership is always a good place to start, and then learning about the ins and outs of financing the purchase of your ship is essential. Reading the information you can find from the National Vessel Documentation Center, the office that oversees vessel documentation in the United States can give you reliable background information as well. You may come across the Coast Guard vessel registry and wonder what it is and understanding the data in the registry can give you a good idea of why it is so valuable.
Understanding the Vessel Registry
In the United States, the responsibility for vessel documentation falls to the U.S. Coast Guard. All commercial vessels are required to be federally documented, while large recreational vessels have the option of federal documentation or state registration. The Coast Guard then maintains a list of all these documented vessels as part of the registry. This list allows them to keep track of ships using the U.S. waters for security reasons, but it also gives you as a potential buyer the opportunity to get information about a ship you may be considering buying from a broker or private owner.
Information in the Registry
What you can find out by accessing the Coast Guard vessel registry can help you determine if a boat you are looking at is the one you want to buy. You can pinpoint the vessel you are considering by learning its documentation number, or you can get the name of the ship and look to see if it is listed in the registry. Searching by name can be a little more complicated since ships can have similar names, so you will have to go through each one to see if it is the boat you are looking at. Once you find your vessel, the registry information lets you know things like the construction date of the ship, the material used, the size of the boat, when documentation was last renewed, and more.
Finding the Vessel Registry Online
To learn more about a boat you have interest in, you will want to use the Coast Guard vessel registry. Accessing the registry is easy when you come to us here at the Maritime Documentation Center. We have the search feature right on our web pages so that you can just click and search without any fuss or trouble. Read the information you get so you can see if the ship in question is the one you want before you make your purchase. After you decide on the boat, you may want to come back to us to get the help you need with your documentation efforts with the Coast Guard so you can be sure the process goes smoothly and without any delays.