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Buying a boat?

Before you buy a watercraft from a private seller you should check that there are no existing security interests on it by searching the PPSR.

If your search shows there is debt registered on the PPSR for the watercraft you are buying and you then choose to buy or lease the watercraft, if the seller stops making payments, there is a very real chance the finance company listed on the PPSR can take the watercraft away.

What protection does a PPSR search provide?

Generally, if you complete a search and the search confirms that there are no outstanding debt or finance and you completed your search the day before or the day of the purchase you will take the watercraft free of encumbrance. For more information and exceptions see searching and buyer protections

When should I search the PPSR?

You should complete your search immediately before you purchase your watercraft to ensure you receive the protection that a search of the PPSR can provide. For more information see searching and buyer protections

How can I check a search provided to me is correct?

If someone else has conducted a search and provides you with a copy of the certificate you can verify the details online.

Retrieving a search has no cost and will provide the details as per the initial search. If you require an up-to-date version of the search results you will need to complete a new search.

For more information about retrieving your search see retrieve search results

What else may be returned in my search?

There is no national database for watercrafts to report theft or significant damage to a watercraft.

The PPSR does not link to state maritime authorities to verify watercraft details.

As such you might need to investigate the details of the watercraft before purchase.

How do I know if the watercraft is currently registered?

Check if the watercraft is required to be registered with the relevant maritime authority in your state. If yes, ask the owner if you can view the registration paperwork to confirm the hull identification number (HIN) or official number. Check the serial number you have searched on the PPSR matches the serial number on the registration papers.

For details on how to complete a search of the PPSR see Searching for Watercraft

To search the PPSR you will need to pay a fee.