Watercraft Searches 🛥️

How to understand Watercraft Searches

What is a Watercraft Search ?

When purchasing a watercraft, it is important to check if there are any security interests registered against it. This can help you avoid the risk of the property being repossessed. By purchasing a VINNER PPSR Report using either the Hull Identifier Number (HIN) or Official Number you are checking a national online register that can provide information about whether a security interest is registered against a particular watercraft. There is a risk in buying a new or used boat so by performing a search on VINNER you can can check if the boat, jet-ski, tinny or other type of watercraft you're buying has a security interest registered against it. This could mean it has money owing on it and is at risk of being repossessed.

What are Watercraft ?

Watercraft are a boat or vessel (other than a seaplane) that is used, or intended to be used, in navigation by water or for any other purpose on water that has:

  • a hull identification number (HIN), or
  • an official number, issued by the Registrar of Ships (within the meaning of the Shipping Registration Act 1981 )

What Watercraft are included in a search ?

A VINNER PPSR watercraft search covers many types of watercraft, including:

  • fishing boats, jet skis and tinnies
  • yachts, hovercraft and catamarans
  • ships, barges and ferries
  • house boats and tugs.

What about Boat Trailers ?

If you purchase a watercraft that comes with a trailer, any security interests against the trailer won't be returned in the same report as the VINNER watercraft report. To check the trailer you'll need to perform a motor vehicle search using the serial number of the trailer which can be a Vehicle Identifier Number (VIN) or a Chassis Number.

See Motor Vehicle Searches for more information on how to search for boat trailers.

What isn't included in an Watercraft search ?

Identifying details of the watercraft

When you conduct a watercraft search on VINNER, the search results do not include any identifying details of the watercraft, such as the make, model, or registration status, unlike motor vehicle searches. Therefore, it is important to be extra cautious when entering the HIN or OfficialNumber serial number, as you will not be able to cross-reference the information to confirm that you have searched for the correct watercraft.

Outboard motors

When purchasing a watercraft, it’s important to check if there are any security interests registered against it. This can help you avoid the risk of the property being repossessed. However, if you’re buying an outboard motor, any security interests registered against the motor itself won’t be visible in a VINNER watercraft search. Instead, these interests would be registered against the individual or organization that has an interest in the motor. Since this could be the person or organization selling the boat, it may be a good idea to conduct a search against them in addition to your boat search.

Damaged or Stolen Boats

Your search won’t tell you if the watercraft you are looking to buy is stolen or has been badly damaged. For more information, check with the the state maritime authority or contact the police in your state or territory for information regarding it's stolen status.