Having spent many years as a live-aboard, the coastie is technically correct. The truth is different.
First of all you want your vessel documented, not registered. The laws are complex and I won't go into them here.
It's basically 'don't ask, don't tell' on a boat. Most cruisers carry something.
Visiting foreign countries is a different prospect, you need to know their laws prior to visiting and sometimes silence is golden. There are sites for cruisers.
As a kid we cruised from Lake Michigan to the North Atlantic to Africa to South America. As an adult I've been limited to the Eastern Seaboard, the Carribean and South America.
Back in the dope runner days I carried an arsenal on board. It raised a few eyebrows at some immigration points but they understood.
Do be aware that if anything should go down that you are under the jurisdiction of local law. Being documented can count big time here.
NRA Patron Member