The vast majority of boat owners know that they must carry out a vessel documentation search before buying or selling a vessel. Still, many of them are unaware of the rationale for this need. In this piece, we will talk about the advantages of doing a documentation search and give some pointers on how to get started with one. Be sure to read today’s piece in our blog if you are considering buying or selling a boat soon. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is responsible for seizing hundreds of boats annually because these vessels are not properly recorded with the federal government. Suppose you are the owner of a USCG vessel. In that case, you must do a paperwork check to ensure that your boat is registered and operating following the regulations established by the federal government. You need to do vessel documentation right now for the following reasons:
Vessel Documentation Search Helps to Avoid Seizure by the USCG
The failure of a vessel owner to register their boat with the United States Coast Guard is the most prevalent cause of a dispute between the owner of the vessel and the USCG. The failure to comply with the rules established by the USCG might be the product of simple ignorance, or it can be done on purpose, but in any case, the consequences can be severe for the individuals in question. In order to prevent the government from seizing their property and levying penalties that may run into the thousands of dollars, owners of vessels are obliged by law to register their boats with the United States Coast Guard within three days of buying or otherwise obtaining their vessels. Unfortunately, a large number of vessel owners are uninformed of this law. As a result, they wind up paying astronomical penalties because they were unaware of the legal responsibilities of owning a vessel.
To Ensure Your Boat Is Properly Registered
Have you ever heard of a search for vessel records? Then you’re not the only one! Only those who own boats or yachts know the importance of having a searchable database. There are several reasons why documents are necessary. Records of ownership and historical significance are preserved in their official form. For example, it would be more straightforward for someone to claim ownership of a stolen yacht if they possessed the original registration documents.
It also serves as a deterrent to potential thieves. In order to verify that a boat is registered with the proper authorities, a vessel documentation search is carried out. An immediate vessel documentation search should be performed if you own a boat. This is critical information for you if you haven’t sailed in a while or are looking to buy a new boat. Many governments mandate the yearly registration of vessels above a particular size or demand the re-registration of vessels when ownership changes.
To Comply with Federal Law
Terrorists might employ unauthorized ships, therefore the need for this rule. The adage goes something like this: “Never drink the water.” Ensure not to drink the water or ride on a boat since you can’t know whether it’s been hijacked or turned into a terrorist weapon. That is unless you contact the USCG to inquire about the vessel’s paperwork status. Outstanding taxes on your boat might prevent you from obtaining your boat’s title and registration if you do a vessel documentation search.
A lien on your yacht is a far more severe problem than being unable to register your vessel—and it’s better to be cautious than sorry. You may not even be notified if the tax office chooses to sell the asset with a lien to pay off its tax obligations before placing an order to sell your yacht. This implies that without proper documentation, you will not be able to prove the ownership of your yacht, but someone else will have it, and you’ll be out of luck. To prevent this, contact the Maritime Documentation Center right away.
To Receive Important Updates About USCG Boating Regulations
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is responsible for enforcing various regulations about boaters. These regulations include standards for safety equipment and the number of people on board certain boats. Because these requirements are subject to change over time, it is necessary to check that your registration reflects every one of the most current modifications. Vessel documentation helps you understand new USCG regulations, equipment requirements, and more.
In addition, it is an excellent method for keeping track of up-to-date registration information and ensuring that everything is accurate. Additional features, such as the Vessel Documentation Status Check, enable you to determine whether or not the U.S. Coast Guard has reported your vessel as “abandoned” or “missing.” This is an excellent feature if you want to ensure that your insurance coverage is still in effect.
To Protect Your Investment in A USCG Vessel
There is a reasonable probability that the vendor will be happy to sell you a used vessel even if you don’t undertake a vessel documentation search. This does not, however, imply that it is not worthwhile! A boat’s history of sinking or something unrelated and catastrophic should be known before buying. After spending all that time working on renovating a boat, the last thing you need is a problem like this. The value of a vessel may be significantly reduced if it has a problem. Don’t be trapped with a boat that no one wants or can afford, so be careful to find out if there is anything wrong with the boat as soon as possible!
Every ship operating in U.S. territorial waters must comply with a maritime requirement known as vessel documentation. The rules govern the number of crew members and the quantity of food and water on board. Many individuals believe that vessel documentation is a waste of time, yet it’s critical to marine safety. Call the Maritime Documentation Center at (800) 535-8570 for further information before you embark on your voyage.