Changing the Name of a Boat Online Using Our Forms

Changing the Name of a Boat

It takes a specific type of individual to own their own boat. A certain spirit of adventure is required in those who aim to make waves out on Canada’s bountiful freshwater lakes in a boat all their own. With the freedom to head out on the water whenever you would like, and make lasting memories with your loved ones, owning your boat is something of a luxurious privilege. If you happen to have the maverick streak necessary for vessel ownership, you may want to look long and hard at the different types of boats available for purchase. This means doing weeks, perhaps months of research before finalizing a transaction. Another factor to consider in making such a purchase is the cold, hard truth that boats can be very expensive. In addition to docking and maintenance fees, the sticker price on a brand-new boat can be sizable. With this in mind, many choose to look to the secondary market to snag a great deal on a previously owned vessel. While you may be able to get a solid boat on a budget this way, you do run the risk of inheriting a boat moniker that does not exactly suit you. If you have found yourself in just such a situation, you may want to learn a bit about the process of changing the name of a boat.

Beyond the situation where you have purchased a previously owned vessel carrying a name that holds no weight with you, there may be other situations that prompt a name change as well. Maybe there is someone special you are looking to commemorate? Perhaps there is a recent milestone you wish to immortalize by naming your boat after it? Regardless, in Canada, if you own a registered vessel, changing the name of a boat will call for a bit of paperwork. Of course, you will also need to contend with the more superstitious facets of such an action. Any sailor worth their salt will tell you it is bad luck to change the name of a boat, which is an old myth dating back to the days of Greek mythology. It is said that Poseidon, the God of the Sea, maintains a ledger of all vessels, and any changes that disrupt his records are not met warmly. Luckily, there is a way around this–you can hold a special christening ceremony with your friends and family, which you will be pleased to know involves a lot of champagne. As for the more mundane paperwork details? Well, read on to learn how you can handle these matters online.

What to Know About Changing the Name of a Boat that is Registered

A boat is not unlike a car in that it needs to be documented with the Canadian government. Transport Canada, which is the nation’s primary agency for all matters of transportation on both land and sea, maintains a vessel registry, issues pleasure craft licenses (PCLs), and offers pleasure craft operator cards (PCOCs). The type of documentation you will need largely depends on what you plan to use your boat for. For instance, any recreational vessel with an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more will require a PCL (though they are available to all who want them).

Boats that are used for commercial purposes will need to enter the vessel registry. This is also necessary for boats that are financed with a marine loan, as well as vessels that are travelling internationally under the Canadian flag. To change the name of a boat with a PCL, you simply need to strip the current moniker and paint it on your desired name. For a registered vessel, however, there is a form to be completed with Transport Canada. As registered vessels are identified by their names (which are wholly unique), Transport Canada needs to be made aware of any changes. This is done by completing what is called a Form 13 – Application for Change of Name of Vessel and/or Transfer of Port of Registry. This document will prompt you for some information about you, your boat, its current name, and your new moniker. Once processed, the onus is on you to scrub any traces of your vessel’s previous name from its interior and exterior.

Changing the Name of a Boat

Process Your Forms Online with Our Help

Whether you need to change the name of your boat, apply for a PCL, or enter the Small Vessel Registry, we can help. We have easy-to-fill online forms for all of your Transport Canada documentation needs. To learn more, take a few minutes to browse our website, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.