USCG IF Found Stickers?

I am curious how many of you use the USCG If Found sticker on your boat?
If you do where do you place?
If not do you ID your boat in a different way?


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Use them! Place them in a conspicuous spot in the cockpit area. Clean the area with alcohol to improve chances of it sticking for a few seasons.

PS - usually includes one free if ordering something from them…at least they have the past couple t-shirts I ordered.

I don’t have one in my current canoe, but they will be going in the two I am picking up shortly. I’ll probably put them behind in the stern just out of where my air bags will go so they are visible

They’re in each of my three kayaks, in the cockpit behind the backband.

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4 canoes have them inside the hull towards the stern. 2 kayaks have them in the cockpit.

I use a Sharpie. If I had one on hand I’d use a sticker.

Apparently, you can order them from here.

On a similar note, has anyone ever used a sharpie to write an informal name for their boat on the hull?

I would use a paint marker. A sharpie will likely wear off in short order


Speaking of ID stickers for your boat, I also carry an expired driver’s license in my PFD pocket.
That was a great tip given here by Celia some years ago.

At the last symposium I attended, the organizer had us write the name and phone number of our emergency contact on a card small enough to fit in a PFD. Those cards were later laminated and returned to each participant with the instruction to carry it.

Fortunately I made it through the symposium without the need of that card, but I’ve left it in my PFD pocket since I’m a solo paddler.


We have them on the sides of our cockpits. A Sharpie Extreme works well and can be reapplied if necessary. I’ve also heard of people placing a second one in a hidden location inside of a hatch in case of theft if there is no permanent serial number on the hull.

If you have a local Coast Guard Auxiliary, they will often mail out a couple for free. Harbormasters and other marine government agencies sometimes have them as well if you call or stop by.

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Inside the cockpit about even with my right thigh and I use a paint marker to write on it. Last name, and one has the home landline and my cell, the other has the home landline and the daughter’s cell as she is most likely to be using that one away from our local area.

Anyone ever put a boat name on the outside? I know registered names don’t apply, what about an informal (just for fun) boat name?

I’ve heard that when you go through a canal lock and call ahead to the lockmaster you give them your boat name, but for paddlecraft you just give them your last name instead (plus the number of boats in your party). With a boat name on the hull, you could possibly give them that name instead.

Funny you should comment, the other night I was asking my wife if she was thinking of a name for her new boat. I really like that idea

When I was a kid we had a two-person inflatable raft - back when they were rubberized canvas. Obese Innertube.


If you do a Google search on where to get them one of the links takes you to the USCG. They will mail them to you if you contact them via email provided at their site.

You can get them free from the USCG or the Auxiliary. Or check your local shop. We normally have them in stock and give them away.

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My local harbor master has a stack of them on the front counter. Free for the asking. I took a bunch and hand them out to anyone in our neighborhood who needs one. (Neighbors all have shared access to a local kettlepond…)

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I couldn’t bring myself to put a permanent sticker on my boats, but I did get some dog tags made with my name and phone number, and used clear waterproof tape to affix them inside the boat in a visible location. Not as eye-catching as a bright orange sticker, but hopefully if the Coast Guard is ever having to ID my boat it’ll be easy enough to see. I had to remove one when I sold the boat, so I cut beside the raised edge of one end of the dog tag, which gave me a grip to peel off the tape. Came out cleanly, though if the tape were older perhaps I would have had a task of dealing with adhesive residue. Maybe there’s some reason the dog tag approach is a bad idea and it just hasn’t occurred to me.

There are a number of sprays and a rubber drill operated wheel specifically designed to remove permeant vinyl decals quickly and safely.

When a motorcycle dealer received a new fairing with the wrong color pinstriping, I was horrified to see how quickly a spray decal remover removed the old pinstriping to apply the correct ones.

Every boat…

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