FAQs about Boat Naming
(frequently asked questions)

1. How do I remove the old vinyl name?
There are several methods for removing vinyl names.
     In order to remove the existing vinyl name and hailing port without damaging the gel coat      you'll need a hand-held hair dryer and a plastic ice scraper. DO NOT USE a METAL      scraper. Hold the hair dryer about 6" from the surface and set to the low heat setting.      Slowly move the nozzle of the hair dryer back and forth while gently lifting the edge of the      vinyl by applying only light pressure. The heat from the dryer softens the vinyl but if too      much heat is applied, the vinyl will melt and leave a scorch mark on the gel coat.

    See complete explanation at the following link:

2. What is the difference between documented and registered vessels?

An undocumented vessel (registered) is registered by the DMV and does not have a marine certificate issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Registration fees vary from state to state.

A documented vessel is registered and issued a marine certificate by the U.S. Coast Guard. It does not require DMV registration. See # 13 below for fees.

3. What special markings must a documented vessel have?

  1. The official number, preceded by the abbreviation "NO" will be marked by some permanent method on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number shall be in block-type arabic numerals not less than three (3) inches in height.
  2. Pleasure vessels will have the name and hailing port of the vessel marked together in clearly legible letters not less than four (4) inches in height on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull.
  3. Other vessels will have the name of the vessel marked in clearly legible letters not less than four (4) inches in height on some clearly visible exterior part of the port and starboard bow, and the stern of the vessel. The hailing port of the vessel shall be similarly marked on the stern of the vessel.
  4. The means and materials used to display the name and hailing port shall result in durable markings. A board attached to the vessel with the name and hailing port marked on it is NOT an acceptable marking.

4. What size does the hailing port have to be?
Only documented vessels have size requirements for hailing ports.
      See # 2 for more  information re documentation requirements.

5. What Are the Regulations for the Vessel Registration Number?

The vessel registration number must be displayed as follows:

  • Painted on or permanently attached to each side of the forward half of the vessel.
  • Be in plain vertical block characters of not less than 3- inches in height.
  • Be arranged so that it it reads from left to right.
  • Contrast with the color of the background so that it is distinctly visible and legible.
  • Have spaces or hyphens that are equal to the width of a letter other than "I" or a number other than "1" between the prefix and the number, and the number and the suffix.
6. Can I use any font I like ?
 For registration #s the font must be block-type lettering.
     For boat name and hailing port you can use any font you like.

7. How long will the vinyl name last?
Standard vinyl has a 5-7 year warranty. Metallics usually have 3-5 years.

8. Why doesn't the vinyl color match the existing vinyl on the boat?
The sun and elements have faded the color.

9. Can I name my boat anything I want?
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. The name does NOT                have to be unique.

10. Can I use a name that someone else has used?
Yes, the name can be used , even if used on another vessel.

11. How difficult is it to apply the name?
      Applying your vinyl graphics is simple if you follow some basic guidelines.
      The boat names generally come in one piece and are sandwiched between a paper layer of        transfer tape and a wax layer of backing. You may print the instructions at the following        link.            http://www.yachtsee.com/installation.htm

12. My vessel is documented. Where do I put the numbers?
The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded of the abbreviation "NO."         must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least 3-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.

13. Are there any fees associated with documenting a vessel?
      Yes. There are fees associated with the original documentation and documentation       surrender and/or replacement. They are:

  • When marine documentation is issued to a yacht, the owner shall pay a fee of $100.
  • When marine documentation is replaced, the owner shall pay a fee of $50.
  • When the owner of a vessel has used parts of an existing vessel in construction of that vessel and requests a determination that the vessel is new, he shall pay a fee of $200.
  • There is no fee for renewal of a vessel's documentation.


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