Buying a large boat like a yacht is exciting, but it is also an investment that you need to take very seriously. Purchasing a boat of this size, even if it is one on the secondary market through a private owner or broker, is a large expense. You want to be sure that the vessel you are buying is one that is right for you in every way, so getting some background on the boat before you buy it is always a good idea. In fact, some financial institutions will insist on it as terms of financing your purchase. There is a process you can go through to conduct a complete vessel documentation search so you can get some important information about a boat.
Finding a Place to Do a Complete Vessel Documentation Search
The first stop for you to make is to find a place to perform the search you want. Contrary to what you might think, the Coast Guard website does not offer this function, even though they are responsible for providing documentation to vessels. You can perform a basic online search on the Internet regarding documentation searches, and you will see that there are several websites where you can perform this task, including the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), informally referred to as NOAA.
What a Search Provides
When you perform a complete vessel documentation search at a website, you will need to input certain information about the boat in question. You can either search for the vessel by its official documentation number, or you can search by the name of the vessel. The results will provide you with certain characteristics of the boat and the last ownership information recorded. For more detailed information, such as lien information or an abstract of title, you will need to contact the Coast Guard’s Documentation Center and fill out the appropriate application.
What to do After a Complete Vessel Documentation Search
If the complete vessel documentation search you performed provides you with the information you need, and you purchase the vessel you are looking at, there are forms you need to file to get documentation for yourself as the new owner. Contact Maritime Documentation Center, to get help during this process. We supply all the forms you need to file with the Coast Guard on our website so you can fill them out electronically and send them to us for review. Our experts will look everything over and submit forms to the Coast Guard on your behalf, allowing you to get the proper documentation as the new boat owner.