Originally Posted by rmeador
I'm a noob, so take with a grain of salt, but I'm fairly sure this is not true. I've heard a couple of times that the US Coast Guard only keeps records for the most recent two names/owners of a vessel. If it has had more than that, you may be SOL. State registration with the US may go back further, and there may be tax records or such... Anyways, this is besides the point because the USA isn't involved in the OP's transaction anyways.
You may well correct.
I'd think though that exsting US registration would be sufficient to register as an Australian vessel.
The difficulty has always been in registering an older boat that has never been registered previously. Theoretically you need to have docs going back to the original builder but I do believe there is a way around this. I looked into it when we bought Raven as one of the boats we were looking at was not a registered ship.