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Team BoatWiki is constantly on the lookout for fraudulent practices which are targeted against the boating community. Any such occurrences are promptly listed here in the Alerts page. Our readers are also strongly urged to WikiShare their observations or knowledge of any boating related malpractices. Additional information on these listings can be found by checking our Directory, following the WikiTags for this page, and by searching for business reviews on the internet.
Documentation Service Scams
There are a growing number of privately owned vessel documentation websites that have a misleading appearance of being government sanctioned. Their pages are typically emblazoned with official looking logos along with pictures of various USCG vessels. Be aware that the Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center neither endorses nor affiliates itself with any private documentation service entities whatsoever.
Documentation Renewal Scams
Beware of promotions from certain vessel documentation companies with offers of handling the renewal process for certificates of documentation. Renewing is a very simple matter and relatively inexpensive compared to the enormous markup charged for these so-called professional services. Although the National Vessel Documentation Center may send a notification when it's time to renew, you should also mark your calendar just in case. In order to renew, you can simply return the renewal form and fees or visit the online renewal link found on their website.
Documentation Form Changes
Effective on January 1, 2022, the National Vessel Documentation Center was to have revised some of their forms. However, they have missed that deadline and most of the older legacy forms are still valid. When changes are finally realized, the older legacy items may be rejected. Team BoatWiki will stay apprized of the situation and make the appropriate revisions to our Wiki-Forms when further information becomes available.
Documentation Renewal Changes
Effective on January 1, 2022, he National Vessel Documentation Center was to have eliminated the existing multiple year options for renewal in favor of five years only. However, they have missed that deadline and the multiple year options are still available. When changes are finally realized, the multiple options may be discontinued. Team BoatWiki will stay apprized of the situation and make the appropriate changes to our forms and guidelines when further information becomes available.
Boat History Reports
Boat history reports can play an important role in checking on the background of a particular boat. These should not, however, be relied upon as a safety net for getting the full picture. Although some reports may proclaim that a boat's history is "clear" or "clean", such premise is false hyperbole. This can be largely attributed to an absence of reliable maritime data sources and governmental privacy regulations. There is also a matter of complicated admiralty rules, including those which apply to "hidden liens." The best protection comes in the form of hiring a competent marine surveyor, seeking the assistance of a qualified attorney, and by securing your avenues of recourse in case of any misrepresentations.
Credits and References
2/23/2022 - Page initiated by Team BoatWiki.