View Full Version : Placing boat name

red baron
11-14-2005, 11:55 PM
Hello, all:

I need some advice regarding the placement of the boat's name from someone familiar with marine etiquette, if that's the proper term.

I'm about to complete a 20' Maryland Crabbing Skiff, a double ender. Is it proper to place the name at the bow, or the stern, or does it matter?

It seems a trivial matter, but I'm naming the boat in memory of my son, Lance Corporal Allan Klein, USMC, who was killed in Iraq this past January.

The state of Michigan requires that the boat's registration number be placed at the bow, and I would not like to have both the boat's name and the registration in the same location?

I'd appreciate any advice.


Wild Dingo
11-15-2005, 12:08 AM
Gidday Red
Mate firstly sorry to hear about your son... be justly proud of him mate

Secondly Ive seen a Grey Seal (double ender) from the States with the name plates either side of the stern... so Im guessing that thats the way its done over there

Pics would be EXCELLENT!!

Oh and to be first! :D Welcome aboard!! :cool:

[ 11-15-2005, 12:08 AM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]

11-15-2005, 12:28 AM
the europeans prefer the bow , i see stern here in the usa some , i like the bow.

11-15-2005, 12:30 AM
im sorry about your son, i think it a great thing to honor him with the boat name.

11-15-2005, 03:17 AM
It seems a trivial matter,In no way trivial!

I once stood as a meer green speck with 20,000 other members of the 101st Airborne Division, at the memorial service for my fellow soldiers who died in the airplane crash in Gander Canada. That was in 1985. Only two of them were personal friends.

Your mention of your sons death brings back the same emotions I experiences then. :(

What a wonderful thing your doing, naming a boat you built by hand, after your son!

God bless your son, you, and your family!

Put the name anywhere you darn please, is my answer. smile.gif

11-15-2005, 03:38 AM
I'm with Brian.

You are rightly proud of your son - as we are grateful for his service - put the plates where you think they look best.

I took my wife past another boat on the weekend to show here the name and registration plates. They were scripted and in the sam style - relatively close to each other and about 40% and 50% aft - and they looked perfect where they were.


11-15-2005, 05:53 AM
As you can guess, every state is different...I would just check with the state for its requirements. If your boat was longer than 30' and you wanted to document it, some of the regulations are different but being only 20' you don't have to worry about that.

As are so many on this thread...I too am sorry to hear about your son and I am sure that he is proud that you are naming a boat you built after him. Best to your family.

Mike Vogdes
11-15-2005, 06:45 AM

A prominately displayed brass plate engraved with a message is a nice way to memorialize your son. And of course what Brian said... Taps to your son and God bless your family.

edit for spelling

[ 11-15-2005, 06:48 AM: Message edited by: Mike Vogdes ]

Russ Manheimer
11-15-2005, 08:19 AM

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What a great thing you are doing in keeping your son's name alive on a boat of your creation.

As far as name placement goes, I suggest the name be placed aft on the Starboard side. It's where Sjogin's name is and where most double enders have it. Here's a picture:

Best wishes,

Ian McColgin
11-15-2005, 08:32 AM
There's not law regarding boat name placement if the boat is not documented. If documented, the name must be on each bow and name and official port on the stern. If double ended, each side of the stern gets name and port.

All states require that the state numbers be at or near the bow, except fishing boats which have different regs.

Taking this as the guide, place the numbers as required and put your son's name on each side at the stern. Since you're not documented, you may chose whether or not to put the port beneath your son's name, but I think it most proper to do so, thus locating both your son and the boat.

It's traditional in this sort of naming to give the rank but not the service branch.

Four inch letters for the name and three inch for the port would look well.

You do your son and our nation great honor in this.

11-15-2005, 08:35 AM
Excellent idea. Some of my college classmates were commissioned in the USMC (I was Army); they were later killed in Beirut (sp?) in 1983. They won't be forgotten.
In our state, a 20' sailboat has to be registered, with numbers on the bow. On double-enders around here I've seen the boat's name and home port towards the stern.

11-15-2005, 08:40 AM
Ian...Uncas...being over 30' is documented...No name on the bow and no numbers on the bow.
The name has to be 4' high I think on the stern but have yet to see the coastguard measure the letters on any boat to see if they comply..I suppose they could but what a waste of time..Some sterns are too small...take a Concordia...for 4' letters. Mine are only 3' which means they do not meet the letter of the law. Also has to have the name of the home port including state beneath the name.
As far as numbers..Doc numbers have to be on the boat and placed in such a way that they can not be removed without damaging either the letters or the material they are attached.


[ 11-15-2005, 08:48 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Ian McColgin
11-15-2005, 09:17 AM
Even though Goblin and Granuaile were used for uninspected charter work, I followed the regulations for commercial boats and had forgotten that recreational is a bit more relaxed.

For documented commercial and recreational US vessels, all outside markings are supposed to be at least 4" high.

For recreational documented vessels, the name and hailing port can be pretty much anywhere that's clearly visible.

For commercial vessels, the name must be on each bow and the name and hailing port on the stern.

The official number must be in a permanent and visible location INSIDE the boat, starting with the abbreviation "NO." and the numbers in at least 3" high Arabic numbers.

Not at issue here but of general import, no documented vessel may have a name that could be confused with a distress call, "Sinking Feeling" for example, or pun to an obscenity like "Quuntum Diver." Both these names, by the way, may be seen in Nantucket Sound on undocumented Bayliners. 'Nuff said.

11-15-2005, 09:20 AM
Ian right on the numbers...on both counts...starting with NO and being inside..I should have included that to avoid problems

red baron
11-15-2005, 09:34 AM
My thanks to all of you, first for your expressions of sympathy and encouragement, second for the good advice on placing the boat's name. Thanks especially to "iron mule," Russ Manheimer (especially for the picture - it's exactly what I was looking for), Ian McColgin and "almeyer."

The consensus seems to be that the name be placed on the stern, which is good news. I plan to put the required registration numbers on the washboarda at the bow, or on a clear-finished plate at the bow (boat's hull is dark green).

Thanks also to "Wild Dingo" in Australia for his welcoming words, and "g'day" to you too, mate.

I'll try to put out some pictures soon. Since I'm not overly "computer literate," this may not work the first time, but I'll keep trying.

The boat will be named "Allan's Wings," and I'll try to fit a small globe-and-anchor next to the name.

From an old Sailor, to all of you "former" Marines out there, "Semper Fi!"

11-15-2005, 09:38 AM
Good luck, fair winds and many enjoyable days on the water. :D

John B
11-15-2005, 02:42 PM
My regards and condolences to you Red baron.

Please show us some photos of the finished job when its done.

11-15-2005, 02:55 PM
You've found a great place with great people. Please accept my regrets about your son, you're doing a wonderfull thing to honor him in this manner.

I put mine on the transom, but made the mistake of using too small letters. One more task on the to-do list!

BTW, I grew up in Wyandotte, so I know Monroe quite well. Where will you be launching her?

Rick Tyler
11-15-2005, 02:56 PM
My deepest sympathies, Red. I have two teenage sons, and I cannot imagine this tragedy. Naming your boat after your son is a great honor to his memory.

If you have any trouble posting pictures just email them to me at rhtyler@gmail.com and I will post them for you. God bless you and your family.