Recently acquired a Wilderness Tchaika (produced between 95-03)-
In the cockpit near the left thigh brace - there is a sticker under the epoxy indicating its a Wilderness systems, by Andy Singer and hand written numbers: “07950254”
On the other side of the cockpit near the right thigh brace - there are almost indiscernible etch/scratched in :
or some mixture of the above or complete guess on the marks
I would assume the Wilderness Systems label w/ Andy Singers name on it under the coat of epoxy is the official serial #? --> if so can anyone shed some light on how to read it to see when this kayak was produced?
My guess is it was built in 1994
for the 1995 model year. Boats were often constructed later in the year prior to the model year in which they were sold.
The manufacturer code for Wilderness Systems is WKY. I suspect that “9” is really a Y. The next 5 characters of that 12 character HIN were used at the discretion of the builder in any way they wanted. Most used it to identify the model and serial number. The last 4 characters identified month and year of manufacture and the model year.
Usually the 4th from last character was an alphabetic character indicating month of manufacture (starting with A for January in this style of HIN). I suppose if the 4th from last character is really a 7 it could indicate it was built in the seventh month. Again, are you sure it is not a letter?
The third from last character indicates the year of build, in this case 1994. The last 2 characters indicate model year (1995).
I will try to post pictures of the marking sometime…its hard to believe the serial number would look like something scratched on with a rusty nail, but the label under a coating of epoxy is not…or maybe the one under the epoxy was used for some other accounting reason…
I’ll try to post pics soon…
I have a '94
Wildy Sparrow Hawk. The S/N looks like it’s scratched on with a nail (OK, probably a hand engraving tool). You can try to take a rubbing of it on paper with pencil/graphite. Sometimes that works to read the letters and numbers better, or smear mud on it and wipe off. I’ve done both to read S/Ns.