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Admiralty Law WikiTagsWikiShare

BoatWiki - Definitions


May 6, 2022 - Admiralty law applies to all types of maritime activities that take place within U.S. and foreign jurisdictions. Although focused mostly on commercial operations, it can also impact recreational boaters. While traditionally covering the worlds oceans, these laws have expanded to almost any navigable body of water including lakes and rivers. Within the United States, such laws are typically handled under the jurisdiction of Federal District Courts. Admiralty law is also known as maritime law.


Admiralty rules differ considerably from those under common law, especially as it applies to claims, liens and vessel mortgages. This includes such concepts as hidden liens and inverted creditor priorities. Under admiralty rule, a boat is said to have its own persona or in-rem standing were liabilities follow the boat, even through subsequent owners.


Boaters with smaller runabouts or trailered boats will not likely encounter the effects of admiralty law. However, those  with larger yachts and federally documented vessels in particular, may wish to consider the services of an admiralty or maritime specialist when in need of boating related legal assistance.

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3/14/2022 - Page revised.
5/6/2022 - Page revised.

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