Section 38. As used in sections 38 to 48, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
''Abandoned'', unoccupied, deserted, forsaken, derelict, wrecked or sunken vessel or other shipwrecked property, on the shores or waters of the commonwealth and not in the custody of the owner or his agent or of any other person lawfully authorized to take possession of the vessel and deemed by the department or the harbormaster of the city or town, in whose jurisdiction the vessel lies or whomsoever is so empowered by said city or town, to be an obstruction to the safe and convenient navigation or other lawful use of such waters.
''Certificate of number'', a document issued by the director stating the name and address of the owner and the number awarded to a vessel pursuant to this chapter, except such vessels, other than livery boats, owned by a manufacturer of, or dealer in, boats.
''Certificate of documentation number'', a document issued by the United States Coast Guard stating the name and address of the owner of a commercial vessel and the identification number awarded to a vessel pursuant to this chapter.
''Claimant'', the commonwealth, its political subdivisions, or any person or entity, public or private, which desires to acquire title to an abandoned vessel.
''Department'', the department of conservation and recreation acting through the division of waterways.
''Director'', the director of law enforcement within the executive office of energy and environmental affairs.
''Identification number'', the number awarded to a vessel pursuant to this chapter and upon approval of an application for a certificate of number or certificate of documentation number.
''Lienholder'', a person or entity holding a lien on a vessel pursuant to generally accepted admiralty or maritime law.
''Office'', the office of law enforcement within the executive office of energy and environmental affairs.
''Operator'', a person who operates or who has a charge of the navigation or use of a vessel.
''Owner'', a person, other than a lienholder, holding title to a vessel, including a person entitled to the use or possession of a vessel subject to an interest of another person, reserved or created by agreement and securing payment or performance of an obligation, but excluding a lessee under a lease not intended as a security interest.
''Person'', a natural person, corporation, association, partnership or other legal entity.
''Removal costs'', costs associated with the removal or destruction of any vessel from land or water, including the reimbursement of any costs incurred by the claimant in the course of acquiring title to an abandoned vessel.
''Vessel'', a boat or watercraft of every description, motorized and non-motorized, except a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water including, but not limited to, documented boats and ships, flat-bottomed boats, barges, scows and rafts and including all equipment, modes of power and property aboard the vessel.