2014-07-18

Vessel Registration Numbers

In Washington State, each vessel that doesn't have a Coast Guard registration must be assigned a state Vessel Registration Number. Catalina 22s are too small for Coast Guard registration. The rules for the registration number are specified in WAC 308-93-145. Section 3 says:
(3) How do I display the assigned vessel registration number on my vessel? The registration number assigned must:
(a) Be painted on or permanently attached to each side of the forward half of the vessel and easily visible for law enforcement except as allowed by subsection (6) of this section or required by subsection (9) of this section and must be on a vertical surface;
(b) Be in plain vertical block characters of not less than three inches in height;
(c) Contrast with the color of the background and be distinctly visible and legible;
(d) Have spaces or hyphens that are equal to the width of a letter other than "I" or a number other than "1" between the letter and number groupings (example: WN 5678 EF or WN-5678-EF); and
(e) Read from left to right.
The numbers on our boat are not right as there are no spaces between the groups. We will fix our numbering next year when we get the new annual registration stickers, as we cannot move the ones for this year. We will get the annual registration stickers in exactly the right spot and then put new registration number stickers on the hull with spaces or dashes.

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