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Inscribing a Hull Information Number


New Member
I bought a 1968 Starfish about 3 weeks ago from someone who lives in Oklahoma. I obtained a title for the boat. The title contained a HIN, but that HIN is nowhere on the boat. My state requires boat purchasers to take a picture of the HIN or do a pencil rubbing of it. Since mine has no HIN on it, I had to submit pictures to Game and Fish, who will then assign a HIN. My question: How should I permanently inscribe this HIN on the outside of the transom? Do any of you have any experience with this?


Alan S. Glos

Active Member
I had to engrave a VIN on a homemade trailer once and used a vibrating carbide tipped pen that could engrave the number on the steel trailer frame.
This kind of pen would work equally well on a fiberglass transom. I borrowed the pen from the Campus Safety Department of the college where I work; they loaned it out to students who wanted to put their names on personal property (bikes, computers etc.) to make them less likely to be stolen. Your local police department may have one to loan.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Hopefully you can borrow it from the cops. If not, Home Depot sells the below for $10.94.
Variable-Depth Carbide-Tipped Engraver for Wood and Metal

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Some states will also allow you to attach a small engraved metal plate to the boat... you can get that sort of engraving done at a key or trophy shop. I went with anodized aluminum when I had to do this for my "home-built" Minifish which lacked all paperwork. Didn't cost that much, and I used pop rivets to attach the plate to the hull. Worked great, no worries about reading the number, problem solved... you might check with your state to see if this is allowed, all you'll need then is a little money and a drill with a bit that matches the pop rivets in diameter. I used a little sealant as I installed each pop rivet, never leaked one drop. Cheers!!! :cool:


New Member
I appreciate the responses and suggestions. I have an engraver, but I kind of shuddered at doing this to nice gel coat. I found that, as Cactus Cowboy mentions, Arkansas allows an engraved metal plate.