Purchasing a Boat

What You Need To Know Before Purchasing a Boat

There it is – the boat you have always imagined owning. You see the listing on a website with a broker, or in a local listing, and you love the pictures as well as the description of the boat. You make time to go to see the boat for yourself, and it looks perfect in every way. The price is just where you want it, and you are tempted to just jump right in and make an offer. Before you get too far ahead of yourself, you may want to do some investigation first. Getting an abstract of title of the vessel you want can help give you some background information that may be important in helping make your decision.

an NVDC Vessel Search

certificate of documentationWhat is an Abstract of Title?

As mentioned by the United States Coast Guard, an abstract of title gives you abbreviated background information about a vessel that is listed and documented with the U.S. Coast Guard. When you get an abstract, you can find out ownership information, including the chain of ownership so you can see how many people have owned the boat. You also receive important information regarding liens on the boat, mortgages, and bills of sale. This information is important to you because you do not want to take ownership of a vessel that has any liens on it that you could then be responsible for.

get coast guard vessel documentationWhat is a Vessel Search?

The U.S. Coast Guard Portal  keeps a registry of all vessels that have gone through the documentation process and received certificates from the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC), an office of the Coast Guard. This registry is available to the public, and all vessels that have been documented are part of the list. The list is updated regularly, and you need to find a website that provides you with access to the list so you can perform your search and get information.

Performing an NVDC vessel search is easy, and all you need is the vessel’s official Coast Guard documentation number or the vessel name. After you type in the information you have, you will receive results about the ship in question. You will get ownership history and information, information regarding the size of the boat and the type of engine, when the boat was documented, and more.  When you are buying a boat from a broker or private seller on the secondary market, you want to make sure you have a good idea of the background of the boat before you finalize a deal. While the information provided is far from complete, it does give you a good starting point for your investigation.

The USCG Documentation Center and Your Vessel

maritiemKnowing if You Need Documentation

If you own a commercial vessel, the USCG Documentation Center plays an important role for you. All commercial vessels in the U.S. are required to have certification from the USCG, according to the USCG. The forms are similar to that of recreational vessels, but more information is required for commercial certification, including information regarding whether the boat is owned by a corporation or multiple owners. Identification and supporting documents are also necessary for submission. If you are a new boat owner, you may not be completely familiar with the documentation process for vessels. You may be in a situation where you want or need to have a certificate of documentation for your boat, so you do need to know how you go about getting one.Not all boats must have documentation to legally be on the water. Commercial vessels in the United States are required by law to get documented with the Coast Guard, but large recreational vessels do not need to have documentation. Many boat owners choose to get documentation because it can help when you are traveling to foreign waters by boat so that you can clear security easier. Also, many financial institutions insist on the documentation before they will grant a mortgage for a boat. To document your boat with the NVDC visit their website here.

If you’ve decided to get U.S. Vessel documentation for your boat or yacht for the first time, here’s what you’ll need in order to apply. You’ll want to have all of your identification, including the name of your vessel, its hailing port, hull ID, and other basic information. You will also need to note any endorsements, provide a small fee, and offer some other essential details about your vessel. While the application can be lengthy when filled out by hand and submitted by mail, services like ours at Maritime Documentation Center can help you submit your documents online.

vessel documentation search x

Struggling With Applications?

Thousands of people in the United States struggle with filling in application forms, and we at the Maritime Documentation Center are not surprised by this. These forms can be incredibly complicated, and sometimes it can be hard to understand exactly what you need to provide in order to meet their demands. We don’t think that you should have to struggle in order to claim a certificate, and we can help you to fill in your forms in order to get the best results possible.

We know that you have to complete your form accurately in order to get the US Coast Guard vessel documentation certificate that you require, but we also know how hard it is to get that form right first time around. In order to make sure that you get what you need, we can help you by providing you with an online form that we will check for errors before we send it to the Coast Guard. For assistance with your registration application, contact the team at (800) 535-8570 now, or send an email to info@maritimedocumentation.com