Homemade removable hull registration plate

by Phil Lyman

I want to make a removable wood plate to hold my registration letters and numbers.

I have a piece of mahogany cut and stained ready to go.

Do I apply vinyl numbers first than varnish or varnish first and apply the numbers after?

Any Ideas?

Thanks Phil

Comments for Homemade removable hull registration plate

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Engraved Name Plate
by: Johnny

Phil, there are several sellers on e-bay that offer engraved wood name plates.
Search under "routed wood signs" or google it.
If you are handy with a router, you can make your own. Print your numbers out to the correct size on plain paper, if there are some minor adjustments that have to be made, cut the paper and tape back together with scotch tape.
Apply a light coat of cheap spray glue to the
paper and glue onto your board exactly as needed. Then, route out the numbers, remove paper, prime inside of the routed letters with Kilz, paint the color, then varnish the entire board, removing the puddles with a Q-Tip or small brush from the letters.

Painting over varnished wood
by: Johnny

During my 40 years as a sign maker,I have made hundreds and hundreds of vinyl letters, paint masks and custom carved name boards.
Depends strictly on your budget.
Personally, vinyl stickers do NOT belong on a nicely varnished surface. Or ANY surface made prior to 1970 before vinyl stickers !!
You can get a vinyl paint mask for the same price as vinyl letters. This gives a much more professional look to your craft whether it is wood, aluminum or fiberglass.
And if I remember correctly, only boats longer
than 12 meters require the registration to be engraved in wood below the water line. (??).

So, after the beautiful varnish has "cured" correctly, apply the paint mask - hand paint the information and remove it gently but QUICKLY to get that nice wet edge. Wait too long to remove the mask and it will look like stuck on vinyl letters with that crisp edge (ugh).

Watch gas
by: Greg. Adurondacks

If you decide to use vinyl numbers over varnish, be sure to wait for the vanish to thoroughly dry.

Because off gassing from the varnish can cause air bubbles under the vinyl numbers.

Good luck.

Went With laser
by: Phil

Phil here.
I got the numbers lasered into the wood surface.

The guy misunderstood the layout so we will do the proper spacing.

Plus this time he will mask the board first so I can easily apply paint, white or maybe gold, then remove the masking and varnish.

Cost about $1.25/ letter for the laser.

Not bad.

My question is can I varnish over paint such as easypoxy?


Boat Registration Numbers
by: Jack


The mahogany will make a very nice removable plate for the registration numbers, however I wouldn't use vinyl numbers.

You can probably find someone or a local company that would engrave the numbers on the mahogany for you (or try doing it yourself). Paint the engraved numbers on the mahogany and install.

I'm building a 16' skiff and plan to do the same. A friend of mine did it for his sailboat and it looks great.

Good luck!

Vinyl Numbers
by: Mike

Hi Phil,

Varnish first.

Most of theses vinyl numbers are, I believe, best applied to a non-porous surface, eg. one which has been previously been painted or varnished.

The other thing is that your varnish probably won’t adhere very well to the vinyl.

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