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Thread: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Chicago, IL, USA
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    4

    Default Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    In Illinois, if I build a little 8' sailing dinghy -- I must register it and I can't do that until I get a state issued HIN, and I can't do that until I convince a Conservation Policy Officer to come out and inspect it and confirm that it is homebuilt I guess.

    But.. they never respond to requests.

    I've read that a Manufacturer's Identification Code from the USCG is free -- and then I could self-assign HIN. But.. I am not sure how much extra red tape that path involves. The first step is to email them. The request must indicate the manufacturer's name and U.S. address along with the general types and lengths of boats that will be manufactured. But.. I am not sure how many extra steps come after that.

    I am currently building 3 small boats, and have plans to build quite a few more. Also, eventually I will need to sell off my old boats to make room for new boats.

    I am getting into designing boats which can be cut via CNC, so I could see myself getting into selling kits at some point. As a kit seller, I think I would be required to issue HINs.

    So.. the question is -- at what point is it easier to get an MIC instead of dealing with getting the state to come out for an inspection anytime I want to nail a few boards together and call it a boat?

    Let's assume I will build more than 1 boat per year, and that I am willing to establish a legal business entity (which I may need to do for other reasons anyway).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
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    25,120

    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    If you register as a manufacturer, I would suggest speaking to a lawyer. Were anyone to get hurt using one of your boats you might find yourself liable.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    PNW, an island west of Seattle
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    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    Are you sure that you have to register an 8' dinghy? Here in Washington the lower limit is 16'. I didn't bother to register my Somes Sound for several years because it's a few inches short of 16'. Then I decided to get it registered just in case it went adrift or was stolen. All it takes to do this is to show material receipts to the state licensing agency and fill out an application. They assign a HIN and tell one where to permanently mark the boat with it. There is no inspection required. The process is very easy but, perhaps, aided because our local contract office is staffed by a guy who is sympathetic to all manner of unusual requests.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    East Quogue,NY
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    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    ^ I don't know about Illinois or Washington, but in NY, if you put a motor on it, you have to register it, regardless of size.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Chicago, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Are you sure that you have to register an 8' dinghy? Here in Washington the lower limit is 16'.
    I would love to be wrong, but this is what the Illinois FAQ says,

    Do I have to title my boat?

    Titling is optional for watercraft under 22 feet in length. Registration requirements have not changed. All watercraft powered by machinery (this includes trolling motors) or sail are required to be registered in Illinois.

    What class is my boat?


    • Class 1- All powered watercraft less than 16 ft. and all motorized canoes, kayaks and paddleboats regardless of length.
    • Class 2 16 ft. to less than 26 ft.
    • Class 3 26 ft. to less than 40 ft.
    • Class 4 40 ft. and over

    https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/boatin...tions.aspx#h29

    As noted in the first section 'All watercraft powered by machinery or sail are required to be registered'. And Class 1 includes all boats under 16ft that are not 100% human powered. Until recently human powered boats need a water usage sticker -- but they finally did away with it.

    I am hoping if I email enough conservation officers I'll eventually find one that is actually excited about inspecting small, homemade boats.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
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    10,556

    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    Boating and trailering became so much better and less buried in stupid red tape when I moved out of Illinois.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,637

    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    As I understand it, if you manufacture kits, you can issue HINs with the kits to customers. You become a boat builder, even if you don't put the pieces together.

    In Pennsylvania, the distinction is important because there's now a law that says you can't sell a homemade boat in the state. But if you build one from a kit purchased from a boat manufacturer, you'll have an HIN and can sell that boat, even if you did assemble it in your garage.

    Insane, but that's where it is in this state now.
    -Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Travelers Rest SC USA
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    225

    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    All watercraft powered by sail are required to be registered? Even a windsurfer?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brewer, Maine
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    128

    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    In Maine I was recently able to obtain a MIC for a home-built boat through electronic communication supplemented by photos. It took about a month.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    "Driftless" Wisconsin
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    988

    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Boating and trailering became so much better and less buried in stupid red tape when I moved out of Illinois.
    Funny but I've found that to be true Todd, and not for just boats & trailers. You beat me out by several years too....

    CLC issued an HIN for the Waterlust kit I bought back late in 2016. As I'd intended to use the sails it can mount I got it registered in WI with no problem.
    When the people wanted the Constitution amended, it was amended. When the elites wanted the Constitution amended, but the people did not, that is called democracy."

    Thomas Sowell, JWR August 3, 2022

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
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    4,914

    Default Re: Should I get a Manufacturer's Identification Code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Boating and trailering became so much better and less buried in stupid red tape when I moved out of Illinois.
    When I left Chicago to come out west in the late 1990's Illinois was still trying to wrap it's head around the idea that a pickup truck could be a personal vehicle as opposed to a commercial one.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

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