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  Missing Hull ID for 13' must Register as Home Made inTX?

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Author Topic:   Missing Hull ID for 13' must Register as Home Made inTX?
vdbgroup posted 06-29-2002 07:49 PM ET (US)   Profile for vdbgroup   Send Email to vdbgroup  
I am trying to buy a restored 13' Whaler late 60's vintage. The hull I.D. was gelcoated over and they forgot to take note of hull ID number.

In order to get title I have to register boat as home made, but will need to get Coast Guard plates/ratings.

Anyone had similar experience? Any help would be appreciated.

Sabine Sportsman posted 06-29-2002 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sabine Sportsman  Send Email to Sabine Sportsman     
Just went through this very thing with my early 60's 13 footer. I finally found the hull ID number in the bottom center of the bow locker under some paint. Then a Game Warden had to inspect the hull ID number before he would sign off on the boat and it could be registered in Texas. The number was stenciled under the clear gel coat on my boat. Once again......the bottom center of the bow locker. Good luck........


dangc78 posted 06-29-2002 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for dangc78  Send Email to dangc78     
the hull id number is also listed on the transom of the boat
acseatsri posted 06-29-2002 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
The hull ID number is INSIDE the transom, centered just above the point where the transom thickens.
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Tom W Clark posted 06-30-2002 02:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Uh, guys? I think vdbgroup has said the number was is now covered. On a 1960's 13' the factory serial number was stenciled with paint, not "stamped" or otherwise engraved in the hull. This stenciled number is on the inside of the transom in the splash well and may, or may not, also be found in the bow locker. Once this number is painted or gel coated over it is gone.

Do not confuse a HIN (Hull Identification Number) with the factory serial number. They are different. A HIN will only be found on boats built after 1972, so vdbgroup's boat does not have a HIN. A HIN takes the form of (on Whalers) an aluminum tag pop riveted to the outside of the transom on either the starboard or port side near the top. For more on HIN's and Whaler serial numbers see:

To answer vdbgroup's question, it is very common for a state licensing agency to issue a HIN with a "home built" designation if there is no HIN even if there is the Whaler serial number. A state issued "home built" HIN will have a specific three letter MIC (Manufacturer's Iidentification Code) in lieu of the manufacturer's MIC, BWC in the case of a Boston Whaler.

vdbgroup. don't they have an old registration or bill of sale that has the serial number recorded on it or is that not satisfactory to the state of Texas?

vdbgroup posted 06-30-2002 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for vdbgroup  Send Email to vdbgroup     
Thanks for the Help.

The Hull ID or Serial Number,the "number", of this boat which was a 15" transom 1969 or 1970 hull, now modified to 20", was gelcoated over. I think that the number was in the bow locker stenciled (painted-on), however, they forgot to make note of the number before painting. (Tom Clark is correct that the HID was/is tagged on "newer" whalers at starboard transom location)

The previous owner info does not exist as the ownership history is not documented and the dealer that took it in on trade no longer has the records pertaining to this transaction.

What I have been told is that,I need to get a USCG compliance certificate, i.e. capacities, persons, HP, etc. and then the state will allow a "Home Made" titling.

I have not found data on TX Parks and Wildlife database and they are hard to contact by phone. When I find out I will repost here for your info.

In the meantime, I appreciate the help.

acseatsri posted 06-30-2002 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
You may find that sanding in the indicated area will expose the stenciled number. It's a pretty heavy stencil job, not easily removed by sanding- otherwise I would have sanded through it when I restored mine. Mine was painted over- found it by accident. It was registered as a 1958, serial number said it was a 1966.
Whaler Proud posted 06-30-2002 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler Proud  Send Email to Whaler Proud     
I went through the same thing this year registering in Texas. The original HIN (serial #) was gelcoated over but I had the paperwork from the previous two owners. Doing the stencil (or rubbing) of the HIN was no problem. Parks & Wildlife instructed me to engrave a plate with the number on it and mount it on the boat. I did this and maounted it on the transom (similar to what Tom posted).

I was required to have a bill of sale that included the boat registration number, serial number and Title numbers from the last owner, in this case my mother. The engine registration was handled by the dealer since it was a new engine. After filing this paperwork, I was issued my tags.

The feeling I got during this process was that the State was not so much concerned about the HIN as they were being able to establish the paper trail of owner ship.

Whaler Proud posted 07-01-2002 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler Proud  Send Email to Whaler Proud     
vdb: Have you tried this link to Texas Parks and Wildlife?

vdbgroup posted 07-01-2002 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for vdbgroup  Send Email to vdbgroup     
Yes. And also the Coast Guard site. The information I am seeking is probably available by phone. Called today and did not make it through to right person.
vdbgroup posted 07-03-2002 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for vdbgroup  Send Email to vdbgroup     
I spoke with Tx Parks and Wildlife.

They said if you can't prove ownership history, and can't prove that is a "home made" vessel. They said you are "SOL".
YOu have two options:
1) You could provide affidavits where I assume everyone involved in or near the transaction states what the ownership history is, but you must prove the boat was previously registered.
2) They said you might be able to get a court order to compel the state to provide a serial number to allow you to register the boat.

It appears this is a law enforcement measure to deter theft of boats.

If it was homemade, you would have to get a Game Warden to inspect the vessel, and if it passed muster could go on to register the boat.

So I am still trying here. Any further information would be helpful.

But thus far the moral of this story is don't paint over your stenciled BW HIN, or at least photograph and document it. And, of course, if you don't know origin, ask the state to run a title check.

Happy 4th and safe boating.

jimh posted 07-03-2002 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I offer this advice tongue in cheek:

Do what the boat theives do: "sell" the boat to someone in a state with less restrictions, have it titled there, then sell it back to you.

It is too bad that in this case the law, designed to hinder the criminal, is really hindering an honest man. Little problems like this don't stop boat thieves.

Even molded-in HIN numbers can be changed. As many people have found, gelcoat is quite easily repaired and it can be extremely difficult to detect a repair if well done.

vdbgroup posted 07-03-2002 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for vdbgroup  Send Email to vdbgroup     
This would certainly be less troubling to my conscience rather than hiring an attorney. The spirit of Huey Long lives on. Cest Bon, Cest Bon.
rsgwynn1 posted 07-05-2002 08:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
I got a registration for an aluminum boat that had no vin or any other identifying marks. In Texas too. The P&WL guy just went over it to make sure there were no marks, then issued me a number. I don't know if this would wash with a Whaler though. An aluminum boat could have been purchased for use on a private pond.
rsgwynn1 posted 07-05-2002 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
Did the boat have previous Texas i.d. numbers on decals?
simonmeridew posted 07-05-2002 09:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
Many times owners of older whalers do considerable repair work and rebuilding in order to make the vessel "right". New parts, new fittings etc. It could be said that "homemade" is then only a matter of degree.
Eric Hinz posted 07-13-2002 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric Hinz  Send Email to Eric Hinz     
My story is related to yours, but not directly applicable to the HIN issue. This occured in Texas last year:

I bought a used 13' Whaler (1961), but the paperwork said it was a 16' boat. When I registered the boat I filled out a form stating the problem and the correct information. My final copy of the registration reflected the correct information.

The rest of the information on the transfer paperwork was o.k., so the office I dealt with made the changes without difficulty.

vdbgroup posted 07-14-2002 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for vdbgroup  Send Email to vdbgroup     
UPDATE, We found the prior owner who is now trying to find documentation. It is likely we will not find paperwork as the owner is a private yacht club.

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