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  #21  
Old 04-19-2009
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You can order a board from West Marine. Technically this would have to be permanently attached to the structure.

"The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded of the abbreviation "NO." must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least three inches high on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area."


A less expensive way to do it is to pick a spot on the structure such as inside a locker and use the 3" stick on numbers covered with a layer of transparent epoxy.
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  #22  
Old 04-19-2009
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Traditionally documnetation numbers would be permanently graven into a main timber of a boat, or burned in welding bead into steel plate, and so on.

What you want to do is make it obvious that a set of permanent numbers has been made a part of the hull, in a way that they cannot be easily removed or covered.

As Herb mentions, epoxy over black vinyl letters is common on plastic boats these days. That apparently satisfies the USCG criteria, although some of us would say that could "easily" be removed and replaced by anyone with a grinder.

As a backup, many folks would add the numbers in marker or crayon in some obscure location, i.e. on the bottom of the fuel tank or inside the transom above the rudder tube, so that a casual glance would never find them but they were readily found by someone who had been told where to look.

"Arabic numerals " That really bothers me. I don't read or speak Arabic, and whenever someone asks that I do, I remind them that I'm entitled to a translator. I do English, Binary, Hexadecimal and Roman numerals. I don't do Arabic unless I'm in Arabia. (VBG)

Last edited by hellosailor; 04-19-2009 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 04-19-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Traditionally documnetation numbers would be permanently graven into a main timber of a boat, or burned in welding bead into steel plate, and so on.

What you want to do is make it obvious that a set of permanent numbers has been made a part of the hull, in a way that they cannot be easily removed or covered.

As Herb mentions, epoxy over black vinyl letters is common on plastic boats these days. That apparently satisfies the USCG criteria, although some of us would say that could "easily" be removed and replaced by anyone with a grinder.
I think it is up to the USCG officer that sees it... The local USCG I spoke to said it would NOT be sufficient, since it could be easily removed by fairing the area and painting it. My USCG documentation number is a 16 gauge copper plate with the number etched into the surface, actually it is a hot-foil stamping die, and it has been bolted and epoxied to the interior of the boat. Removing it would probably require destroying the part of the boat that it is attached to.

Quote:
As a backup, many folks would add the numbers in marker or crayon in some obscure location, i.e. on the bottom of the fuel tank or inside the transom above the rudder tube, so that a casual glance would never find them but they were readily found by someone who had been told where to look.

"Arabic numerals " That really bothers me. I don't read or speak Arabic, and whenever someone asks that I do, I remind them that I'm entitled to a translator. I do English, Binary, Hexadecimal and Roman numerals. I don't do Arabic unless I'm in Arabia. (VBG)
I do have a second USCG documentation number elsewhere in the boat.
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  #24  
Old 04-19-2009
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"I think it is up to the USCG officer that sees it... "
Yeah well...that's like the way the USCG got into trouble about overboard discharges being sufficiently "secured" or not. Good statutes leave no room for questions, poorly written ones are subject to interpretation and then ultimately to lawsuits throwing them down as "arbitrary and capricious".
USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, FAQ Page
"How do I mark my vessel?"
"The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded of the abbreviation "NO." must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least three inches high on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area."

Since the statute says "affixed" that means "attached to" and grinding off epoxy, or a bronze plate, would render anything "affixed" a-goner. One could argue that welding onto a steel bulkhead is not permanent or sufficient, since welds can be ground down and panels cut out and replaced for that matter as well.

There are, ah, diplomatic ways to remind an officer in any service that what he is about to conlcude has been concluded differently by large numbers of his colleagues, and that should he force an issue into the courts, it is likely to become an adverse mark in his jacket regardless of how the courts ultimately rule.

Now, if you really wanted to pull the tiger's tail...the letters can be 3 or 4 inches tall and engraved by laser--leaving them quite literally hairline thin and quite close to invisible to the naked eye. That's how a lot of contract boilerplate winds up meeting standards for type size, and being totally illegible at the same time. (Long lines of cramped all-uppercase text...there are ways to make things perfectly legible but totally unreadable, without using invisible ink.)
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