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I left the sea in 1985, and have really only recently again become enthused by all things nautical, probably largely as a result of this site and similar others(obviously inferior, he said ingratiatingly!).

I note the propensity on here to quote IMO numbers-- obviously helpful for research etc.

Could someone please explain the difference of Official Number/ IMO. As an example, "Sheaf Field" was O.N. 337365, but research on fotoflyte shows they have recorded her IMO as 7035341.

Back in my seagoing days I PROBABLY knew something of this, but I'm not sure 21 years later! Is/was the ON issued by the relevant authority, eg LLoyds,Norsk Veritas etc -- did the ON change when ships got reregistered?
Is there anywhere listing the correlation between ON/IMO, to aid in researching the continuity of a particular ship through the many name changes/ reregistrations?

Thanks for any advice or help in clearing this particular mental fog bank. John
 

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John

Hope this helps

Vessel ID
Many vessels in the index have a Vessel ID, which is unique to the vessel, irrespective of changes of name etc. The Vessel ID may be

The vessel's Official Number - a 6 digit number - with a prefix digit which indicates the series of the Official Number. For most vessels in the index, the prefix digit is 1 indicating the number is in the British series which also includes Commonwealth countries. The U.S series of Official Numbers has the prefix 2.
The vessel's Lloyd's Register/IMO number - a 7 digit number used by Lloyds Register from around 1970 and more recently also used by the International Maritime Organisation.
The Global Ship Number which enables NZMI to link to the GSN database and display details of the vessel. The Global Ship Number project is described below.
If none of the above are known then a locally generated 9 digit number will be used.
The Vessel ID can be used to track a vessel through changes of name and ownership.
 

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Likewise I left the sea in a professional capacity at the end of the seventies when the IMO was still IMCO. In my recent ship spotting I have noticed an IMO number on the stern of many vessels below the port of registry and thought, "ah one of these new fangled things come in since my day." Is this the same as what you are talking about or is it something different again?
CBoots
 

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The official number relates only the ship's flag of registry. It is not unique. Should a vessel change registry, e.g. from U.K. to Panama, the official number will change.

The IMO number is what used to be known as the "Lloyds Number". This is a unique 7-digit identifier which remains with a ship no matter how many times it changes name, flag, owner etc. It was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a means of making ship identification easier. Since July 2005, it is compulsory for ships to display the IMO number on a prominent part of the ship.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all, and treeve particularly-- it's gone straight into a Bookmark on Firefox! a big help, cheers
 

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Thanks Treeve,
Have now managed to trace my first ship named the Moorcot.1949-1950
Original Moorby, then Huntsfield, then Elbow River.
I was beginning to think I had imagined it until I saw your guideline

Regards

Terry
 

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The official number relates only the ship's flag of registry. It is not unique. Should a vessel change registry, e.g. from U.K. to Panama, the official number will change.
Phil
Correct Phil. Should a British vessel leave the UK registry her official number would change; however, it is worth noting that if at a later date she came back into the UK registry she would resume her previous official number.
This link does not work. and GSN does not find my ship 357499....
The link is here Simon: http://gsn.ncl.ac.uk/ what was the name of your ship?
Regards
Hugh
 

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Correct Phil. Should a British vessel leave the UK registry her official number would change; however, it is worth noting that if at a later date she came back into the UK registry she would resume her previous official number.

The link is here Simon: http://gsn.ncl.ac.uk/ what was the name of your ship?
Regards
Hugh
Intrigued here!!! What if a british ship, went awol and then came back to br, registry, with a request for her old registered name, what takes precedence the old Official Numbe or her original name???
 

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Names come and go David but the official number would always come back with the ship to the UK registry.

Regards
Hugh
 
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