V C Section 9840 Definitions
9840. As used in this division, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(a) "Vessel" includes every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, except the following:
(1) A seaplane on the water.
(2) A watercraft specifically designed to operate on a permanently fixed course, the movement of which is restricted to or guided on such permanently fixed course by means of a mechanical device on a fixed track or arm to which the watercraft is attached or by which the watercraft is controlled, or by means of a mechanical device attached to the watercraft itself.
(3) A floating structure which is designed and built to be used as a stationary waterborne residential dwelling, which (A) does not have and is not designed to have a mode of power of its own, (B) is dependent for utilities upon a continuous utility linkage to a source originating on shore, and (C) has a permanent, continuous hookup to a shoreside sewage system.
(b) "Owner" is a person having all the incidents of ownership, including the legal title, of a vessel whether or not such person lends, rents, or pledges such vessel; the person entitled to the possession of a vessel as the purchaser under a conditional sale contract; or the mortgagor of a vessel. "Owner" does not include a person holding legal title to a vessel under a conditional sales contract, the mortgagee of a vessel, or the renter or lessor of a vessel to the state or to any county, city, district, or political subdivision of the state under a lease, lease-sale, or rental-purchase agreement which grants possession of the vessel to the lessee for a period of 30 consecutive days or more.
(c) "Legal owner" is a person holding the legal title to a vessel under a conditional sale contract, the mortgagee of a vessel, or the renter or lessor of a vessel to the state, or to any county, city, district or political subdivision of the state, under a lease, lease-sale, or rental-purchase agreement which grants possession of the vessel to the lessee for a period of 30 consecutive days or more.
(d) "Registered owner" is the person registered by the department as the owner of the vessel.
(e) "Waters of this state" means any waters within the territorial limits of this state.
(f) "State of principal use" means the state on which waters a vessel is used or intended to be used most during a calendar year.
(g) "Undocumented vessel" means any vessel which is not required to have and does not have a valid marine document issued by the Bureau of Customs of the United States or any federal agency successor thereto.
(h) "Use" means operate, navigate, or employ.