Frequently Asked Questions
- How exactly do I order my boat number plates?
Simply call, click, or visit one of our retail locations and purchase a pre-paid code package. This is a plastic sealed package that contains a form with all the instructions and codes for redeeming online. If you order online from a retailer, you must wait for them to mail you the package (shipping charges may apply). Once you have your pre-paid code package in hand, return to www.boatnumberplate.com and follow the instructions written inside the package to redeem your code. After we receive your redemption we custom make your boat number plates in 3-5 days and ship them directly to you or wherever you designate as the ship to address.
REMEMBER: This is a CUSTOM set of numbers that you cannot buy off the shelf! back to top
- Do your number plates meet the US Coast Guard standards set forth in 33CFR173.27?
Yes! The US Coast Guard set the standard of 3 inch high block style letters of contrasting background. Each state is responsible for legislating their boating registration laws and all have adopted the USCG standard for inflatable boat numbers. Though each state may have some small differences associated with the "state decal" in reference to size and specific location. We provide a custom one piece design that meets every states legal requirement for their boating registration laws concerning inflatable boat numbers. back to top
- Do you Recommend gluing the number plates on like a patch or the self-adhesive option you offer?
We always recommend that you glue your new boat number plates on like a patch. The number one reason, you never have to worry about those silly numbers again.
Whether inflating and deflating or just plain theft.
Even if someone stole your inflatable boat and took the plate off...It will show (as long as you glued it on like a patch).
The installation is so easy, why not get it done right...the first time? back to top
- Do you provide the adhesive (glue) with the plates?
No, With every order, we include a easy to follow instruction sheet that recommends the patch adhesive (glue) that came with your inflatable boat. Also, in the instructions, we recommend where to get adhesive (glue) at your local marine supply (e.g. West Marine Items - Hypalon 349202 / PVC 492556,etc.) We do not sell or ship any adhesive (glue) products, as the shipment of hazardous materials is very cost prohibitive. Most all the materials needed, being a boat owner, you probably already have. back to top
- If I use a 2 part adhesive, what is the required amount to install my boat number plate?
Because the size of the boat number plate varies slightly from State to State, the exact amount can vary.
One customer, from Maryland writes; "I used the Polymarine adhesive for PVC. Since it is a two-part system, you need to know how much to mix up. I found that 75 mL and 3 mL of accelerator (approximately 6 tbsp and 3/4 tsp) was the right amount to do two plates." This might help as a reference point. back to top
- Do you offer other products such as name plates?
While we make every effort to not compete with our retailers, we do have upgrades that we offer during your redemption for boat number plates. These items are boat name plates (9 fonts available), self-adhesive backing, reflective lettering, rush service, and flags. back to top
- I only need to label my boat as a tender, Can you offer a solution to this?
If you are labeling your tender, you can simply place the tender infomation in the boat registration number information during redemption of your pre-paid code. Because tender identification does not require a registration decal, we exclude that space. States have specific limitations for tender identification, please check with your local authority for those requirements. If your tender ID is a name, we will only offer the block font for this. If your are wanting a name plate with different fonts, there are additional upgrade fees for that. See question #5. back to top
- How does the price of boat number plates compare to vinyl letters at the marine store?
When you add up the price of the individual letters and the state decal holder, the total price is approximately $46 (approximately $1 per letter, average 8 letters per side, port and starboard, plus approximately $30 for the state decal holder).
Our boat number plates average retail of $45 is the same.
Whether you have boat number plates or a decal holder, you need to purchase PVC cement or Hypalon adhesive, so that cost is the same.
The biggest difference is we GUARANTEE our boat number plates for 10 YEARS when attached to your inflatable boat and RIB. Vinyl letters must be repurchased when they fall off, which they always will. Paint and stencils rub off, leaving nasty streaks everywhere. Individual glue on letters are difficult to align and easy to take. Our unique process, produces CUSTOM boat number plates that cannot be easily removed.
When you compare the cost of our plates to the overall cost of vinyl letters, I think you'll agree your boat number plates are the better value.
Isn't the best value really what you want? back to top
- Don't some states allow plastic boards to be legal?
The following is an exerpt from an Official Newsletter distributed by the head of the Vessel Examination Dept of the USCG Auxiliary.
STATE REGISTERED VESSELS -- The Requirements Are:
Use of Block Style letters and numbers only; Letters & numbers must be at least Three (3) inches in height; Letters & numbers must be of Contrasting Color (not outlined, shadowed or rounded); if the background is multicolored or patterned, a block out area of a single color may be required to facilitate readability. The Letters
and numbers must be separated by the width of one letter or number - not including the number one (1) or the capital letter (I). Use either a blank space or a hyphen and they must be read from left to right. The validation sticker must be visible and placed within six inches of the registration numbers. Placement either in front of or behind the numbers is determined by state regulation. The Registration Numbers, Letters and Sticker must be PERMANENTLY ATTACHED and on the Forward Half of the Vessel. Adhering registration numbers and stickers on glass or plastic windows or using placards (signboards) are NOT considered Permanent and can no longer be used unless they are bolted or screwed in place on the hull or superstructure (including on dinghies). Signboards
cannot be attached to railings. Inflatable boat manufacturers should be contacted for letters and numbers made of the same material / adhesive as the boat to attain permanency. Validation stickers issued by states can be adhered to metal or plastic plates and mounted on grab straps with non-reversible wire ties, but must be within 6
inches of the registration number and visible to law enforcement officers. Contact your state for guidance and acceptability.
Above reviewed by the United States Coast Guard office of Boating Safety on: 12/16/04
-----I would contact your local jurisdiction and Coast Guard Auxiliary to learn the rules of the water----- back to top
- How do these plates stick on my inflatable boat?
There are two methods of 'sticking' your boat number plates on your inflatable.
1. Glued (i.e. like a patch) directly to the inflatable boat. Standard method for both PVC or Hypalon inflatable boats. Glue must be purchased separately.
2. Self-adhesive backing. Optional feature for both PVC or Hypalon inflatable boats.
Self-adhesive backing is provided as a SEMI-PERMANENT alternative to gluing and works best if the inflatable it is affixed to is kept inflated. Because it is semi-permanent, you may experience edge peeling over time. Boatnumberplate.com does not warranty against loss orders with self-adhesive backing and cannot guarantee the length of time your plates will remain affixed. back to top
- Is my boat PVC or Hypalon?
Inflatable boats are typically made of 2 different materials- Polymers or Synthetic Rubber.
Synthetic Rubber is more commonly known by it's trade name Hypalon or Neoprene or CSM. Polymer boats are made up of several different types of material. The 2 most common is PVC and Polyurethane. Some trade names that may fall under this category is Strongan and Sharc. For our purposes all of these fall under the PVC category. Here is a link to more information, https://www.polymarine.com/advice/pvc-or-hypalon/ back to top
- I have a decal holder installed, can you make me a set of registration numbers without the decal space?
Because we guarantee your boat number plates to be legal in every state, we manufacture your boat number plates to every states requirements. For example, California requires a 3in. space between the numbers and decal. We provide that space. If you are trying to use an existing decal holder or have space restrictions, we cannot uphold our compliance guarantee and therefore we cannot manufacture any boat number plates that are not 100% legal out of the box. We recommend you simply remove the decal holder and glue your new boat number plates over that spot. back to top
- Can I deflate and inflate my boat with my new inflatable boat numbers?
Yes! Your inflatable boat number plates are made to be as flexible as your inflatable boat. Please check out the "INFLATE/DEFLATE" button on the main menu for a great look at how boat number plates work. back to top
- How do I put my new inflatable boat numbers on my boat?
Great question! If your buying a new inflatable boat, this is a great time to have your local dealer install your new inflatable boat number plates. An hour of their labor can be well worth it!
Or, if you want to do it yourself, we include with every order an easy to follow step-by-step instruction sheet. Basically, if you can operate a pencil, masking tape and sand paper you can affix your new inflatable boat number plates. Your boat number plates make number alignment a snap because of our one piece custom design. And, no more guessing where the state decal goes, we include a marked spot. Our high energy surface ensures your state decal stays put. No more transom mounting (which is illegal in most states). back to top
- What if my state decal is not a 3 inch square like what is shown here?
No Problem! We custom make every set of boat number plates to your states legal requirments. For example, the state of Delaware has a diamond shape, or Florida has a 3x4 inch rectangle shape only on one side. When you receive your inflatable boat number plates there ready to simply attach. back to top
- Why can't I attach a PVC plate to my hypalon inflatable boat?
Without getting too technical, the PVC and Hypalon materials are extremely different in composition. The PVC is a polymer and the hypalon is a synthetic rubber material. Vinyl cements don't adhere to rubber very well and rubber cements don't adhere to vinyl very well. Please be sure to order your boat number plates and name plates in either PVC or Hypalon which are both available (please go to the home page and click on the "Price Info" tab for more info). back to top
- I have the self-adhesive backing, and I want to permanently attach my plate now. How can I do that?
Using a solvent (MEK or acetone) and alot of elbow grease, you can remove the self-adhesive backing and then attach your boat number plates following our instructions for attaching your boat number plates to your PVC or hypalon inflatable boat originally ordered for. back to top
- If I sell my inflatable boat can I remove my glued on (like a patch) number plates?
Yes, You can simply remove your boat number plates with a putty knife and a hot air gun. If your boat number plates have self adhesive backing, you can pull the plates off. back to top
- How can I tell if my inflatable boat is PVC or Hypalon?
I spoke with an authorized Zodiac repair facility and was told two easy ways to check.
1) Using a small amount of acetone in a small unnoticeable area of your inflatable boat, you put a little on a rag and wipe on the inflatable boat and check area for getting sticky. If it does get sticky it's pvc, and if not, it's hypalon.
2) Check very closely at the seams to see if any glue is seeping out. If you see some glue it's hypalon, and if not it's pvc.(all hypalon boats are glued with basically a contact type cement and can usually be seen at the seams).
If your still unsure or don't want to use the checks above we recommend you contact the manufacture of your inflatable boat and give them the information off the transom plate to verify. back to top
- Is the self-adhesive the same as gluing the number plates with my patch kit adhesive (glue)?
No, We recommend you glue your new number plates like you would a patch. This is especially a good idea when you plan on inflating and deflating alot.
The reason is the self-adhesive is strong but can shift when boat is inflated and deflated alot. It will not fall off but it can be pulled off with some effort. back to top
- I use boards that tie to the hold lines and hang on my inflatable boat. Why do I need your product?
One of the best reasons to buy your boat number plates is it meets all the legal requirements of US Coast Guard and every states laws which require your boat registration numbers be permanently affixed to the forward half of your boat including inflatable boats and RIBS.
So all inflatable boats and RIBS that use hanging boards are just opportunities for law enforcement (local police and or US Coast Guard) folks to write tickets. PS, even if your state (AK & PA) allow hanging boards, they are still considered illegal by the US Coast Guard (and they still can ticket you). back to top
- Are your boat numbers tough enough to withstand gasoline spills?
Yes! Your new inflatable boat number plates are very chemical (gasoline, oil etc...) resistant, unlike painted (stenciled), magic markered, crayoned or typical vinyl letters, that will smear, run or fall off when gasoline or other chemicals come in contact with them.
We guarantee your boat number plates for 10 years when attached to your inflatable boat or RIB. back to top
- Can I order my inflatable boat numbers in any style font?
No, We only manufacture your boat number plates to meet the US Coast Guard promulgated standards set forth in 33CFR173.27. This means that the US Coast requires plain (boring) block letters. We guarantee your boat number plates legal by all standards. Call your local US Coast Guard office to confirm your boat number plates. back to top
- Florida Boat Registration requires a 3x4 decal on the port side only. Do your plates meet this requirement?
Yes, we manufacture your boat number plates to meet every states specific requirements. Whether it's a set Florida Boat Registration Numbers with a 3x4 decal on the port side only, or a set of California Boat Registration Numbers with a 3 inch space between the numbers and the decal, we guarantee your boat number plates 100% compliant out of the box for every state. back to top
- I purchased my pre-paid code online and was emailed my codes. Do I need the actual package.
Yes! The Pre-paid Code Package is your proof of purchase and contains your warranty information. If you did not receive a pre-paid code package, please contact your retailer to obtain the package. Additionally, without the pre-paid code package we cannot validate claims of improper or incomplete codes and online fraud. back to top