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Old 03-09-2014, 03:33 PM   #1
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Hailing port letters...

Got word that the Coasties in our area are goin' to tighten up on the hailing ports on the back of documented vessels. Must be block letters and 4" high. Is this a national thing, or just here in San Diego?
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:45 PM   #2
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It's a nationwide, USCG requirement if your boat is USCG documented. Four inches is the minimum. The location needn't be your home port. Any USA town, city, or village is OK.

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Old 03-09-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
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I always wondered why some "home ports" don't have enough water to float a canoe.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:02 PM   #4
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I'm glad to hear there is at least some enforcement of this. Illegible boat names and ports is a pet peeve of mine. Half the time it's the owners selection of a fancy font that makes it illegible.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:41 PM   #5
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Ranks right up there with names that are impossible to pronounce

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Old 03-10-2014, 12:59 AM   #6
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When I was doing the transom name, it was made clear to me to make the hailing port 4 inches minimum and all capital or block letters.



Now that USCG Station Vallejo is located about 50 ft off my transom, I'm relieved to know I did it right. Every day when they back out of their slips, they see my transom.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:33 AM   #7
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And the Vallejo USCG has the firepower to enforce.

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Old 03-10-2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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Here's ours.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:46 AM   #9
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Ancora,
I agree .. hailing ports should have nothing to do w where the owner lives. It's all about where the boat lives. Walla Walla WA (in the middle of Washington state) is not a port.

Mark,
Looks like the USCG boat is about ready to go down stern first.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:49 AM   #10
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From the USCG Documentation website:

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.

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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Old 03-10-2014, 11:56 AM   #11
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Walla Walla WA (in the middle of Washington state) is not a port.

Shhh, don't let these guys find out ...

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Old 03-10-2014, 12:02 PM   #12
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From the USCG Documentation website:

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.
So, where is the requirement that the name or port be in block letters, as long as they are clearly legible?
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:18 PM   #13
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I don't see that there is a requirement for "block" letters. If the boat is not documented but state registered, the state (my state, anyway) requires 3 inch "Block" letters and numbers for the registration number. There is usually no state requirement for a name or home port. So on a state registered, non-documented vessel you can use all the frilly, unreadable letters you want for the name. But the registration numbers must comply with state requirements.

The "Block Lettering" confusion may come from the Official Number requirement that goes on the interior of the boat: "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."
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:24 PM   #14
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Ours isn't block lettered and it's over 4" tall (actually about 7") so I guess it qualifies...

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Old 03-10-2014, 12:28 PM   #15
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I'm not sure this name would pass the "may not contain or be phonetically identical to obscene, indecent, or profane language" requirement.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:42 PM   #16
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According to these two sites, block lettering is NOT a requirement for US federally documented vessels.

https://www.usps.org/national/vsc/po.../vesselreg.pdf

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Old 03-10-2014, 01:31 PM   #17
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According to these two sites, block lettering is NOT a requirement for US federally documented vessels.

https://www.usps.org/national/vsc/po.../vesselreg.pdf

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Interesting bit on the Dink.....
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:35 PM   #18
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Mark,
Looks like the USCG boat is about ready to go down stern first.
Does this answer your question?

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Old 03-10-2014, 03:45 PM   #19
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Stainless-steel lettering:

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Old 03-10-2014, 08:46 PM   #20
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Here's ours.
That's a good one. It's got some personal style to it, but it still totally legible.
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