Understand how to Register an Abandoned Boat in Canada

how to register an abandoned boat in Canada

Abandoned boats are a very curious thing. After all, boats are an investment, so suddenly running into one can bring all the convenience and excitement of owning a boat without the financial burden. However, you also need to understand what comes with this overall process. Let’s take a look at your options when it comes to finding an abandoned vessel and, should it come to that, how to register an abandoned boat in Canada.

Consulting the Vessel’s Ownership Status

If you want to claim an abandoned vessel for yourself, you will first need to confirm whether the vessel is actually abandoned or not. This means that you’ll need to consult with Transport Canada whether or not there are official ownership claims over the vessel. The best way to do this is to request historical research of a vessel. This process will provide information from the Ship Registration Computer System Database from 1984 to the present, or from microfilm if the vessel was registered prior to 1984. In order to do so, the process will require the official number or the vessel’s name in order to carry out the consultation. This process is for registered vessels only, and it won’t include vessels licensed under the Pleasure Craft Licensing system. You can easily take care of this request here through our platform.

how to register an abandoned boat in Canada

What to Do With the Vessel?

So, once you’ve consulted the registry and found out about the boat’s ownership status, it will be time to figure out what to do with it. If you find out that it is indeed registered under an official owner, you have the option of trying to reach them. By definition, an abandoned vessel is one that has been relinquished, left, or given up by the lawful owner without the intention to later resume any right or interest in the vessel. This means that, should you find an abandoned boat, it has been relinquished to a certain degree by its owner. Of course, this abandoned boat might be a boat that has been lost or stolen, so reaching out to the registered owner is always a good idea. There will be another situation that you might need to take into account, though.

Military or Government Boats

In the case you run into what is clearly an abandoned government or a military vessel, you don’t have to do much about it beyond reaching out to Transport Canada. They will take care of collecting and disposing of the vessel going forward, which is something important to keep in mind. You can’t do anything to the vessel, so be sure to go through the right process.

How to Register an Abandoned Boat in Canada

According to Transport Canada, you cannot simply reclaim an abandoned boat for yourself. So, while you may have to simply dispose of the abandoned vessel, you can at least understand how the registration process goes in other circumstances. Here on our website, you will be able to find all the forms you might need as part of the registration process for your convenience. And not only will you be able to fill them out here, but you can also submit them. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by calling +1 (800) 419-9569 or email us at info@canadianvesselregistry.ca.