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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter #1
Our new boat is CG documented, so the old name needs to come off and the new name put on. We're taking this opportunity to pick a nice font and a little graphic and have something made up in vinyl by a local sign company.

How big should it be and where should we put it? We have a stern ladder and davits on the stern, so it would be very hard to read the name with the traditional stern location. Friends of mine who circumnavigated had their boat's name on the port and starboard quarters of the hull and their name was about 1ftx2ft. They were easy to identify and hail because of it.

What you do think? Port and starboard quarters (below the cockpit) or port and starboard bows? How big should we go to be easy to identify and hail but not garish?

MedSailor
 

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Does CG documentation dictate location and size of identifying name? Canadian registry does but I don't think it's heavily enforced, and size specs are often minimums rather than maximums so it may not matter.

I think it's a tough job to match the name/graphic choices to what's appropriate for the style of boat - generally if I see a boat with a over large name on the bow the first thing I think is 'charter boat'. Graphics work best on the transom or the quarter, IMO, and large splashy graphics seem to fit best on racier boats.. again JMO...
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe if I look like I'm a charter boat everybody will stay out of my way and nobody will anchor near me.... hehe. ;)

MedSailor
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter #4
Faster's post prompted me to look up the USCG requirements. They are indeed minimums but it's useful to know that the name and port must be together. So, I can't have the name on the side and hailing port on the stern for example. I could, it appears, have the name and port together on the stern for compliance and just the name on the sides if it want...

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Fee Page

MedSailor
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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IIRC, the USCG requires that the letters be at least 3" high (someone else will soon look it up and correct me - if necessary). I chose 4" letters on my boat, because I'm an over achiever.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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... and here I am to correct myself;
Documented vessels do not display their official numbers on the outside of the hull, but are identified by the name and hailing port. The application for documentation must include a name for the vessel composed of letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals and may not exceed 33 characters. The name may not be identical, actually or phonetically, to any word or words used to solicit assistance at sea; may not contain or be phonetically identical to obscene, indecent, or profane language, or to racial or ethnic epithets. Once established, a vessel's name may not be changed without application, fees, and the consent of the Director, National Vessel Documentation Center. There is no rule against duplication of names for documented vessels, so hailing ports are helpful in identifying vessels.

HOW DO I MARK MY VESSEL?
The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded by 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.

The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. The vessel name of a commercial vessel must also be marked on the port and starboard bow and the vessel name and the hailing port must also be marked on the stern. All markings may be made by any means and materials that result in durable markings and must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.

HOW DO I CHANGE THE NAME OR HAILING PORT OF MY VESSEL?
The name and/or hailing port may be changed by filing an application for change on form CG-1258 with the appropriate fees. If your vessel is subject to a mortgage of record, you must obtain permission from the mortgagee on form CG-4593.
I guess that I am no over achiever either...
 
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Old as Dirt!
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Our new boat is CG documented, so the old name needs to come off and the new name put on. We're taking this opportunity to pick a nice font and a little graphic and have something made up in vinyl by a local sign company.

How big should it be and where should we put it? We have a stern ladder and davits on the stern, so it would be very hard to read the name with the traditional stern location. Friends of mine who circumnavigated had their boat's name on the port and starboard quarters of the hull and their name was about 1ftx2ft. They were easy to identify and hail because of it.

What you do think? Port and starboard quarters (below the cockpit) or port and starboard bows? How big should we go to be easy to identify and hail but not garish?

MedSailor
Subsequent to buying our yacht, I discussed this matter with one of the shipboard Officers at the Coast Guard station in St. Pete, Florida. He indicated that while the hailing port needs be on the stern, where possible, that it is wiser to have the yacht's name on the quarters where it can be more easily seen, particularly so by SAR authorities when necessary. It is also helpful to have the yacht's name in smaller scale near the bows. Following is a snap of our solution using 20" lettering on the Quarter:
 

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Make it big enough and you'll be fine with the name on the sides. I once had a Navy warship hail me by name from miles away on the open ocean, I could barely see him.
 

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The USCG rules for charter boats are a bit different for charter boats than pleasure craft, but it's unlikely anyone you wish to have stay out of your way, would know the difference.
Often enough, when there is a vessel missing or in trouble, we get a plane or copter come around the stern and check out the name, so it doesn't hurt to have the name considerably larger than required, if one doesn't want these noisy interlopers hanging around any longer than necessary. We have seen names (mainly on foreign flag vessels) where the name is almost impossible to read because it's too small and/or too fancy. I'm sure that curries no favors with the authorities.
Also, keep in mind that some names do not work very well on the radio, which can lead to a great deal of confusion in an emergency.
 

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Hey, Med, now you have the rules set out theres then the most important thing: the look of your name, font etc.
You may be a medical quack of the Nth degree but graphic artists have a talent for putting the psychology of you and your boat into text.

My dinghy is called Li'l Dink and I told the graphic artist I wanted her name to be FAST, Fun and HAPPY. Damn me if they had a fast fun and happy font right there, printied it straight onto vinyl lettering at a cost so affordable.

So give credit to talent where a person has that talent and get a graphic artist to make your name fit with you and your boat :)


Mark
PS No one has ever cum up an measured the letters of my boats name!
 
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If I had it to do over again, I would have gone with a much larger graphic. My hailing port on the stern is in 4” Gothic.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter #15
If I had it to do over again, I would have gone with a much larger graphic. My hailing port on the stern is in 4” Gothic.
Yeah, I think I'm going to go big. Don't have AIS yet, so if you want to call me, get out the eyeball glass and read our name. I think I like the quarters better than the bow.... it just looks right.

MedSailor
 

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While not technically compliant, having the hailport on the transom and name on the aft quarters is, by far, the most common placement. If you can fit them both on the transom, that's terrific, but transoms often don't allow it. Our hailport is in 4" lettering between the sugar scoop steps. The name is either 6" or 8" on the aft quarters. I've never heard of anyone who has been cited for this being a problem. I would not put the name and hailport on the quarter, that would look very odd.

Personally, I think color contrast and font have more to do with readability through binoculars than size. Some funky fonts or $cript fonts are tough (don't ask me why they proper spelling of $cirpt is blanked out by SN when saved). The size of the font should not overwhelm your topsides either. If you can't read a 6 or 8 inch font through binocs because its too far away, I have to wonder what you're worried about in the first place.

In the end, do what makes you happy.
 

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Old as Dirt!
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Our new boat is CG documented, so the old name needs to come off and the new name put on. We're taking this opportunity to pick a nice font and a little graphic and have something made up in vinyl by a local sign company.

How big should it be and where should we put it? We have a stern ladder and davits on the stern, so it would be very hard to read the name with the traditional stern location. Friends of mine who circumnavigated had their boat's name on the port and starboard quarters of the hull and their name was about 1ftx2ft. They were easy to identify and hail because of it.

What you do think? Port and starboard quarters (below the cockpit) or port and starboard bows? How big should we go to be easy to identify and hail but not garish?

MedSailor
Further to my earlier comment, the following is taken from the FAQ section of the US Coast Guard Vessel Documentation Center web site:

HOW DO I MARK MY VESSEL?

The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded by 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.

The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. The vessel name of a commercial vessel must also be marked on the port and starboard bow and the vessel name and the hailing port must also be marked on the stern. All markings may be made by any means and materials that result in durable markings and must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.
 

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I work with print for my vocation and I dabble in design for avocation, so when it came to boat graphics I fretted endlessly over font and size.

I ended up choosing Mistral, a sscript font. For print work I hate sscript fonts and almost never use them (Brush Sscript is the bane of my existence), but it seemed the only thing that had the right casual feel for my little boat with a goofy name. I think I got the size right, but if I had to do it again I'd place it a little further forward and down, it looks cramped against the corner right now.



You have a more stately, serious boat (viewed from the outside no one would know it has a sauna). Something traditional with serifs would probably look nice. People get paid good money to pick (or design) the right font, the most we lay people can do is guess and hope.

The good news is that vinyl graphics are incredibly cheap now. I think mine cost $30 per side. So if you choose poorly it's not a big deal to do it again.
 

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(I think the reason the censorbots hose the s-word is in some misguided attempt to keep malware sscripts from being uploaded)
 

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(I think the reason the censorbots hose the s-word is in some misguided attempt to keep malware sscripts from being uploaded)
I suspect you're correct there, Minne, but misguided or not it's there. It may also be there to block/thwart ED and other preSCRIPTion spams...
 
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