There are several reasons to conduct a USCG vessel search, particularly if you are in the market to buy a fishing boat. Buying or selling a fishing boat can be a time-consuming and overwhelming process, but the vessel search tool is designed to help you find the details you need to make the transaction smooth and stress-free. If you are preparing to conduct a fishing vessel search, these tips will help.
What is a USCG Vessel Search?
Before we get to the tips, let’s define the search itself. This is where you can access an online portal that contains a comprehensive list of data about all registered fishing boats in the United States. That includes ownership records, specifications, documentation history, and compliance regulation. This portal is a valuable resource for anyone who is buying or selling a fishing boat. Now, let’s get to the tips that will help make your search a success.
Do a Thorough Search
It doesn’t make sense to stick with a basic search, especially if you are in the market to buy a fishing boat. Instead, do as much due diligence and research as possible so that you know everything there is to know about a boat before you decide to make a purchase. Get as many details as you can before you move forward.
You want to be sure that the seller’s name is the same as the name that appears on the fishing boat’s documentation. This ensures that the paperwork is up to date and the sale is legal and above board. Errors and discrepancies can delay the sale and documentation process so verifying ownership is important.
Check for Liens and Encumbrances
This refers to any legal or financial obligation that has not yet been met. If you purchase a fishing boat with outstanding liens and encumbrances, they may become your responsibility so it’s best to make sure they are cleared before you move ahead with a transaction.
Review Documentation History
It’s also a good idea to closely examine the documentation history of the fishing boat. This will give you details about ownership, maintenance records, compliance with federal regulations, renewals, and information about incidents or accidents. Understanding everything having to do with the fishing boat in question will help you make an informed decision before you decide to buy it or look for something else.
Be Ready to Transfer Ownership
It’s very important that all United States Coast Guard documentation is current, valid, and error-free. For that reason, you should be prepared to complete the transfer of ownership paperwork as soon as a transaction is complete for a fishing vessel. That way the boat is properly identified and offers all of the safety and commerce benefits that owning a registered fishing boat offers.
If you’re ready to conduct a USCG vessel search, we can help. Whether you need assistance facilitating the process or you have questions about how it works, contact the Commercial Fishing Permits Center today to get started.