Boat Building Forum

Find advice on all aspects of building your own kayak, canoe or any lightweight boats

NH registration stickers

: My state (NH) requires them.

So much for the state motto of "live free or die" !

: If I ever get my stripper done, I
: would probably play dumb if questioned. After that, I think I'd
: rather pay the fine than put those stickers on my boat. That's
: the libertarian in me, and I must protest having to register a
: tiny, human powered craft.

When the libertarian in you goes up ainst the authoritarian in the local ranger, your boat gets confiscated. Without it being registered how are you going to prove to them that it is yours? Could be a lengthy and costly battle to get your boat back before they sell it at some auction.

Besides getting tax dollars which are usually funneled back into watercraft and water-related activities, there are some valid reasons for registering boats. One of the more morbid ones is to help in identifying the bodies found in them. Or to alert rescue parties to look for bodies when the boat turns up empty. Hull identification numbers are fairly small. The registration papers literally register that number with the state in much the same way your auto's registration sends the vehicles VIN to the state, and associates it with your name and address. For that they give you license plates for yor car, and a tag or number decals for your boat.

If you want to protest the stickers on your boat, write a letter--or several letters-- to your representatives in your state legislature.

If you don't like the esthetics of the stickers, see what you can do to change them.

One option would be to make a removable frame for the registration. Mount it when on the water, and remove it when you are on land, and close enough to people so they can see your boat. Some small boats are not required to actually display the numbers. Usually that would be the case for inflatables, but it might apply to other small craft. Check local laws--and follow them. Or, go to court and ask for a waiver. If you get a legal judgement saying that you don't need to display the decals, then you have set a precedent for others. It amy not be cheap, but it is possible youcan get some assistance from Libertarian and ACLU organizations.

Good luck with this. It oculd be a battle. When you are tilting at windmills this year, people are rooting for the windmills.

PGJ