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ABA Boat Maintenance & Repair Questions and Responses

The information contained herein is the opinion of ABA member and marine mechanic Tim Harrington of Madison Marine Service, Harwich, Massachusetts. Tim is responding to a question solely based on the information an ABA member provided. Neither ABA, nor Tim Harrington, nor Madison Marine Service assume any responsibility or liability for events that occur due to actions you or others on your behalf take based on the information given in Tim's response.  You are proceeding at your own risk.

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Serial Numbers

Q. I recently acquired a 1960's era rowboat. The serial number is worn off and I want to get it licensed. What can I do?

A. I would suggest you contact your State Boating Office to see what the regulations are in your state regarding registering a boat. Each state has its own laws, and I am not familiar with all the laws in all the states. You may get contact information for the Ohio Boating Office from the National State Boating Law Administrators website, www.safeboatingcouncil.org.

Q. I'm trying to locate the serial numbers for my boat and trailer so I can register it but I can't find them. Is there any stamped numbers on the trailer? It is made by Hustler. Also is there anywhere else I can find the numbers for the boat other than on the transom? The only reason I'm looking for all this is because I just bought the boat and the previous owner lost the title.

A. Thank you for your question regarding your Sea Ray. I hope I can help. It sounds like you have already purchased the boat and trailer in question. For future reference, as a surveyor, I won't even look at a boat for a client unless the owner can show me a clear title that includes the boat, motor, and/or trailer. This protects the potential buyer and may save future headaches.

I discussed this question with the Hyannis branch of the Massachusetts State Department of Marine and Environmental Office. (That is where I am located.) They were most helpful and informed me that if your Sea ray is prior to 1970 it may not have a hull I.D. (You may want to contact Sea Ray directly, http://www.searay.com, and see if they have further information for you.) The Massachusetts office was kind enough to point me in right direction as far as who to talk to in Ohio.

You need to contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at 614-265-6480. My understanding is that you will have to have the vessel inspected by either a state surveyor or an appointed officer. A contact name that I was given regarding this is Mr. Richard Barrera. He can be reached at 614-265-6490. Once the vessel is inspected and there is a record of that inspection, you may apply for a title for the boat.

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