If the boat is documented, you should be able to check the liens via the USCG documentation site IIRC.
The long-term costs of maintaining a USCG documented boat are about the same as a state-registered boat. Some states do not require that you pay the state registration fees, so it can be less expensive, but others do not.
If you are planning on taking the boat into foreign waters, it would be a serious error IMHO to not document the boat. You should be able to document the boat with the two of you listed as co-owners, since she is a citizen.
Many foreign countries do not recognize state-registration, and state-registered boats often have to do more paperwork and pay more fees than USCG documented boats. Also, a USCG documented boat is a flag vessel of the United States and has some diplomatic reprecussions as well when sailing in foreign waters.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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