Anyone thinking about buying a new vessel needs to have as much information about the boat as possible before they put down any money. The seller might offer you some details about the vessel, but they often don’t have a clear history, and it makes sense to check everything they say against official evidence. By far the best way to get these details is performing a USCG documentation search by number. However, not all vessels have a number clearly displayed, and it is not rare for vessel owners to use the wrong number, or even mix up numbers with another vessel that they own. Therefore, you may find yourself in the position of having to perform a search without the unique identifying number.
When You Search by Number
There are several advantages to searching by number. Firstly, if you have that number, then you already know that the vessel has been approved for documentation by the coast guard. This means that it is owned by US citizens and is most likely of US origin. This is already reassuring evidence that the boat has been documented in the past, and you can get another certificate if you buy it. Performing the search by number will also mean that you are able to get straight to that information, because the number is unique to the one vessel. All you have to do is put in that number, and you have immediate access to a lot of information, all relating to your potential purchase.
Searching Without A Number
If you don’t have this documentation number, then you may have more difficulties in finding information out about the boat. Of course, not having this number doesn’t mean that the boat isn’t documented, but you will have to work harder to find that information. You will have to search by the name of the vessel, and this immediately throws up the problem of receiving the results of several different boats. Unlike the number, the name of the boat is not unique to your potential vessel, and so you will have to sort through all of the other information to find the boat you are looking for. This can mean that the search takes much longer, and sometimes you can’t decide which is the right vessel.
Getting Help with Performing the Search
If you are not able to make use of the USCG documentation search by number, then the best solution is to find a team who are able to perform the name search for you. They can spend a lot longer working over the files than you, and they will have knowledge of maritime terminology which will help them to sort out which is the correct vessel. With their help, you could find the details you need about the boat you are interested in or discover that the vessel is completely undocumented. When you need help finding details for a vessel, or for assistance with any USCG forms, call the Maritime Documentation Center team at (800) 535-8570 now, or send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org today.