Launch Permit Stickers

-- Last Updated: Apr-07-14 12:21 PM EST --

We are an outdoor sports dealership in north central Pa. We also rent kayaks. Our state requires the use of launch permits. They are 3" square stickers with adhesive backs that will not stick to many of our boats especially ones that don't have a smooth surface. I was wondering if anyone had any insight on this problem or have heard of someone who may have experienced a similar issue and found a solution to it. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide.

Velcro stick pads is something I have
used in the past, the few times I have needed to stick something on a plastic boat. I use aquaseal to afix one part of the velcro to the boat, then afix the other part of the velcro pad to the “permit”. It’s clunky to do but works, plus I can take the “permit” off if I need to.

Mounting plate
I’ve never faced that problem with a boat. But, my wife brought home adhesive backed house numbers that she wanted mounted on the rough hewn cedar mailbox post. I mounted them to a piece of aluminum and screwed the aluminum onto the post, and the numbers have held on there for years beyond the expiration period of your Keystone stickers.

So, try mounting the numbers on a 3x3 piece of aluminum, plastic or wood, then pop-rivet the mounting onto the boat. Being an outfitter, if you use aluminum, and I think a piece of flashing might do, you will want to make sure there are no rough edges for clients to catch their body parts on (cut larger, fold edges). Also, mount the plate somewhere it is less likely to get ripped off by passing rocks or snags, carelessly dragged boats, etc.

As a last alternative, you could just try to avoid those state launch points that require stickers.

Good Luck.


This is strange
As a Pennsylvania resident who has put up with these stickers for many years, I’ve never had a problem. We’ve had everything from nice new gel coat to crappy textured polyethylene, and long as we made sure the surface was super clean and free of any 303 or other slippery stuff there were no issues. Perhaps you received a bad batch of stickers?

I think so too
Its not possible for a rental agency to avoid certain launches if they are in the liveries area.

I think you best get in touch with the Commonwealth. They have a problem. I have one boat that sports PA launch stickers and my issue is the sticker sticks to everything, but this year I have not gotten a new sticker.

Make a smooth area
Mask. Skim with G-Flex. Let dry. Stick.

Put the sticker on your person, under
your shorts. When Ranger Rick asks to see your sticker, show it.

You can get launch permits from two different agencies, which one are we talking about? 3" square sounds like the Fish Commission sticker. I put one of those on in March and paddled in cold weather and didn’t have any problems. The rest of my boats get new stickers next year.

If they aren’t sticking, you should contact the agency. They may have had a bad batch.

tape it on
I would just tape over it with clear plastic packing tape.

That’s probably not allowed
The instructions with most kinds of stickers like that is that they must be permanently affixed in such a way that they can’t be transferred to some other boat (or depending on the nature of the permit, it could for a vehicle instead of a boat). When attached by its own adhesive backing, the sticker can’t be transferred to another object (boat, vehicle, whatever the case may be) without being destroyed in the process, and that’s what they want, so that they know the sticker represents a fee that was paid for THAT boat (or vehicle, etc.).

same problem here
I’m a PA kayaker and caneoist who has always had folding kayaks as well as hard boats. Obviously, the launch permits won’t adhere to the coated nylon and rubber fabric of my Feathercrafts and Pakboats. So what I have done is place the stickers for the boats inside those clear plastic name tag or hunting license pouches with secure clips on them and attach them to the kayak rigging while I am using them. I also carry a plastic-sealed copy of the registration form I had to fill out for each permit which identifies that the particular sticker is paid for and allocated to that exact boat in case I am challenged by a DNR or Fish and Game commission official for not having the sticker affixed permanently.

Honestly, in 11 years of kayaking extensively here in the state I have yet to be checked or challenged. In fact, I usually only put one of the pair of stickers on the boats (just laziness, I suppose).

I realize that my detachable tag solution would probably be unsatisfactory for a rental fleet, but I am just offering my experience as an example of the need the state has to be more flexible in applying the standards for these launch permits. If I was the outfitter, I would contact somebody at one of the park offices or the boating commission and explain the problem and ask them for options.

It does seem odd to me also that the stickers won’t adhere to plastic kayaks as I have never had that problem (and I’ve been buying 5 to 8 stickers every other year for our “fleet”). As others suggest, this may be a bad batch.

Pebbled surface
Have you tried using non-adhesive stickers and glueing them on with Barge (shoe) cement? It is a type of rubber cement that’s waterproof. I’ve used it to glue minicell foam to both smooth (varnished) and rough (fiberglass) surfaces.

spray adhesive
I’ve had pretty good luck getting them to stick to our plastic kayaks by masking off an area, cleaning it really well with denatured alcohol, then spraying it with 3M adhesive - the 77 or something like that? Once it is relatively dry, I put the stickers on that spot. Once you get the first set of stickers to adhere, the next time you have to get new ones, you can just put them on top of the old set.

I have problems with the Pa.launch permits not sticking to my boats. I talked to an officer who told me as long as I have with me there would be no issue.

I have been checked a couple timesby officers and as long as I produced the sticker they were fine with it.

PA is a PITA.
Paddle tripping down the Delaware next month:

PA requires a permit to launch or land on their side of the river–No such requirement on either the NY or NJ sides…Makes a lot of $en$e, right?

If I had a PA livery fleet, I’d get in touch with another non-competing rental outfit in the state to compare notes and ask what they do. Just a friendly call between fellow proprietors.

Did you try to just lightly sand the area? In my experiance, getting them off is a LOT harder than getting them on.

You only need the permit if you are going to use the facilities. You can launch at a private place and take out on private land and not buy a sticker.

PAFBC is user paid. No state general fund tax dollars go into it. I am pretty sure that they get Pittman Robertson funding along with some Fed stuff, but most of it is through that sticker at 18 bucks for two years and fishing lic. sales.

I’d rather pay the 18 and keep them accountable.

Last I checked…
Most “private” land is posted no trespassing. So one either has to know someone, use stealth, or also pay for the privilege of landing(as with commercial campgrounds along the river).

“Public Access” is what the topic is on–If I land to simply stretch my legs on the PA side of the river, without actually using “the facilities”(no pee-pee, no pooh-pooh, no trash disposal, no camping or parking, etc.,)–I can still get fined for not buying the lousy sticker.

And why then would a PA canoe-kayak livery service, be required to have such stickers, presuming they would only be launching and/or taking-out at their own rental bases? (That is, besides the funds going to “facility” maintenance.) Answer: Because their clients may choose to pull over at any public access ramp along the PA side at any time during their rental.

I’m not at all dismayed by any of this, as there is plenty of NY, NJ and National Forest Service lands that don’t require any stickers–Whether I choose to use their “facilities” or not. And the price for the sticker to land “legally” everywhere else on the PA side is so nominal, it’s not a really problem(just a PITA!)

But by all means, keep your state “honest.”;-

PA Launch Permit Stickers Two kinds.
In addition to the PA Fish and Boat Commission who sells Pairs of stickers (one for each side) with matching numbers, for each boat,

PA State Parks with lake or river launch sites sell sticker that are recognized by all PA State regulatory agencies. They are the same price $10 per year or $18 for two years. The Park stickers are to be displayed on the boat “on the starboard side, to the rear of amidships” (right side rear for those who prefer English) The nice thing, there’s only one sticker to put on each boat. ;-o