Your Qs Answered: How Do I Find the Owner of a Documented Vessel?

Have you been wondering exactly how to find the managing owner of a documented vessel? Does it feel like it used to be easier to find the identity of an owner of a vessel (or other pertinent vessel information) than it is right now? Searching vessel documentation isn’t necessarily the easiest process. One of our goals at the Vessel Registrar Center has always been to make it easier. Below are some ways to find the information you want about a vessel. 

Abstract of Title 

Requesting an Abstract of the Title through our site is the best way to find the identity of the vessel’s managing owner. When you request one, however, you’ll find more information than just that. In fact, an Abstract of Title can have the vessel’s entire chain of ownership. You’ll also find out pertinent information such as sales prices (when the vessel was sold from one owner to another), and even if there are any liens/mortgages against the vessel. You’ll also learn the status of those, so you can know whether or not they were satisfied. 

A Vessel Documentation Search at Our Site 

Yes, at our site, you can conduct a search of the Coast Guard documented vessel database. If you know the vessel’s HIN (Hull Identification Number) or its Official Number, you can complete a search. This search will provide you with plenty of information, such as the vessel’s dimensions (length/breadth/etc) as well as when the Certificate of Documentation was issued and when it will expire. However, you won’t be able to learn the name of the vessel’s managing owner, as that information was taken off of these forms around 2018. For that, you’ll need the Abstract. 

Vessels Overseas 

If the vessel you’re interested in learning more about is in the Cayman Islands, the United Kingdom, Canada, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, or the Bahamas, you can request a form called a “Foreign Vessel Title Search Request/Transcript of Registry.” This, in turn, will give you plenty of information about a vessel that isn’t in America. 

Transferring Ownership

In the event that you’re selling a vessel that’s been documented, remember, you can’t just get by with a “Bill of Sale.” Instead, you’re going to need to use a “Transfer/Exchange” document, which is also accessible through our site. This makes it possible to legally change the managing owner, transfer it to a new individual (or a company, trust, etc.), and more. 

Documented Vessel

Everything a Documented Vessel Needs 

The Abstract of Title is, for many potential vessel owners, the first form they utilize from our site. With it, they learn more about a vessel and may determine that the vessel would be a good purchase. Should you find the vessel that you’re looking for, we make it easier to not just acquire the vessel documentation that you want but to maintain it as well. You can find all of our forms here at our site.