Where's the hull number?

Thread starter #1
I recently was given an old Sunfish by a friend. He has no paperwork anymore. We think it is a 1976 because it has a 1977 NJ registration sticker and it fits the description of that era (metal gun'l, etc.) Per the Sunfish Age and Hull Identification resource of this website" Hull Identification NumberIf there is a serial number molded into the hull, it will be in the upper right corner of the transom. It can be deciphered to give you the manufacturer and model year." I've looked all along the transom and across the deck at the stern as well and see no hull id. What am I missing?

I should have a hull number to get a launch permit in Pennsylvania.
 
#2
Should be appx 2/3 between rudder and right side of the transom about 3 inches below the lip joining the hull to the deck. It should be easy to find by running your hand over the surface because its deeply impressed in the fiberglass.

http://i.imgur.com/EIsrRI8.jpg

Pic is a 1978 Minifish, not Sunfish, but you can see where your serial number should be as the dark "line" in the position described is some dirt in the serial number. The Sunfish number is in the same place.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#3
They started putting the HIN on the transom in '72 or '73, so if the HIN is not there, the boat is older than you think. Have you looked for a metal plate or metallic sticker behind the splashrail on the deck? That is where the numbers were before the stern. If there, you need to go to the decoder page on this site to see when the boat is from. Hints that is an older boat: no racing stripes on the deck, or stripes on the bow only, a bronze rudder mount, the boat is made of wood, or no cubby in the cockpit.
 
#4
dave im from PA, dont bother too much about hull ID for launch permit, do the permit online and in the hull id section, just type nohull123 or something.
You wont have any problems. If you want to register thats another story , but launch permit you wont have any problems
 
Thread starter #5
Thanks to all for responding. All three have been helpful. fhhjuber's picture verified I was looking in the right place. beldar's description told me I was indeed looking at a post-73 boat (it is fibre glass, has aluminum rudder mount, cubbies fore and aft of the cockpit, and racing stripes on the foredeck). And jaas75 told me how to get around it. I still see no hull number (btw, I had already checked for a plate near the splash rail, to no avail). I rubbed red chalk on the area and got some indication that there may once have been a number there - a possible 7, a vertical line, and a curl that could have been a 0 or 9. Is it possible that 40+ years of wear thinned the hull to make imbedded number unreadable? Did someone smear some hull repair compound on it? Rhetorical questions. I'll take jaas's advice. As long as I can sail it, that's what counts!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#6
Sunfish don't come with cubbies ahead of the cockpit. Are you referring to a round port installed ahead of the cockpit? What about the cubby behind the cockpit? Do you have any pics? BB
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#7
BTW the aluminum rudder fitting can be retrofitted on an older boat, usually via a port on the rear deck. Having three stripes only on the bow and having the alu rudder fitting was a 1972 only combination I believe. After that there were rear deck stripes, and before that boats came from the factory with bronze rudder fittings.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#8
A cubby "forward" and an "aluminum" rudder mount don't add up. :oops: Are you sure you were given a Sunfish? The rudder mount is stainless steel on later Sunfish, and there should be only one (deep) cubby aft.

My latest Sunfish (pictured below) is a mid-70s model, with stainless steel rudder mount and aft cubby, but the required HIN does not appear. I suspect a repair was professionally made, and the state required new "damaged-HIN" numbers from the repair shop. There is a rectangular spot on the left side of the transom where some other number was impressed. :(

The State of Florida doesn't care—I don't care—I get to go sailing without a hassle. :)

GEDC0002-001.JPG
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#9
Post a picture please. It may not be a Sunfish.

The early 70s boats also had a metal sricker on the deck, by the coaming. Those usually peeled off.

If you have a section of the trim notched out back by the rudder fittings then the rudder was converted and the boat is pre 72. Pre 72 boats had a metal tag up by the coaming and those fell off as well or got removed during refinishing.

If there is a factory cuddy forward of the cockpit then it is not a Sunfish
 
#10
Post a picture please. It may not be a Sunfish.

The early 70s boats also had a metal sricker on the deck, by the coaming. Those usually peeled off.

If you have a section of the trim notched out back by the rudder fittings then the rudder was converted and the boat is pre 72. Pre 72 boats had a metal tag up by the coaming and those fell off as well or got removed during refinishing.

If there is a factory cuddy forward of the cockpit then it is not a Sunfish
A cubby "forward" and an "aluminum" rudder mount don't add up. :oops: Are you sure you were given a Sunfish? The rudder mount is stainless steel on later Sunfish, and there should be only one (deep) cubby aft.

My latest Sunfish (pictured below) is a mid-70s model, with stainless steel rudder mount and aft cubby, but the required HIN does not appear. I suspect a repair was professionally made, and the state required new "damaged-HIN" numbers from the repair shop. There is a rectangular spot on the left side of the transom where some other number was impressed. :(

The State of Florida doesn't care—I don't care—I get to go sailing without a hassle. :)

View attachment 20103
Hi, new owner here. I have the same issue with a boat I just bought--no hull number on the upper right of transom, a six-digit number stamped into the upper left of transom. A sticker in the cockpit says AMF Alcort Sunfish, but no other information. Boat has red and blue stripes fore and aft, aluminum strip on the gunwales, and a cubby, so I know the range of dates, but I know no way to identify the date of manufacture based on the six-digit number. Any suggestions welcome.

There's a two-digit number decal on the right rear of the transom and on the sail, so I would guess it was a club or rental boat at some time in its history. It has seen some hard times. But the hull's dry!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#11
Hi, new owner here. I have the same issue with a boat I just bought--no hull number on the upper right of transom, a six-digit number stamped into the upper left of transom. A sticker in the cockpit says AMF Alcort Sunfish, but no other information.
In addition to not having a serial number on the right side of the transom, my newest Sunfish doesn't even have a sticker!

But, in the interest of uncovering the source or reason for the "left-side" serial number, here's the [digitally restored] number that does appear:

PB290014-001.JPG
 
#13
In addition to not having a serial number on the right side of the transom, my newest Sunfish doesn't even have a sticker!

But, in the interest of uncovering the source or reason for the "left-side" serial number, here's the [digitally restored] number that does appear:

View attachment 20586
Thanks, L&VW. Maybe it's a mold number. Or the ZIP code of the guy who put the stripes on. Or something they do at the factory just to mess with us. Someone must know. If not, then we can offer fabulous prizes--well, a congratulatory reply in this forum--for better, more plausible, or more humorous explanations.
 
#14
maybe yall have Canadian boats...
Could be, I s'pose, although I read that Canada and the US recognize each others' hull numbers by agreement. Don't know how far back that goes. Some other country? Something other than a hull number? The winning numbers in a Powerball lottery, one that took place a week or two before I bought the boat?
 

danpal

Active Member
#15
Amazing, you have one of the very first fiberglass Sunfish which was manufactured on January 2nd 1955!!

This was an experimental model which used the stainless steel grudgeon and new kick up rudder 17 years before it went into mainstream production. Cortland Heyniger actually came up with the design but Alex Bryan didn't think anyone would buy it. Take good care of this boat it may be the only one of its kind collector's item.... or not.
 
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