help identifying make of aluminum jon boat

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by userdan06, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. userdan06
    Joined: Apr 2013
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    Location: MA

    userdan06 New Member

    hello, first post, hopefully someone can help me. I am trying to discover the make of a Jon boat I just bought, used. The previous owner had used an electric trolling motor on it but never registered it. I bought it with a bill of sale, but he did not know the make or model.

    There is no hull id tag on it, just a small tag on the front. But i need the make and year to pay my sales tax so i can get it registered.

    any help would be amazing, because unless I can figure out the make I don't think I will be able to register it.

    Pics are below

    Thanks a head of time


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  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The boat looks new enough to have a HIN, which will be embossed, stamped or engraved into the upper right hand corner of the transom. The first three letters of the HIN will be the manufactures prefix code. This will tell you who built it. If it doesn't have a HIN, the state it was last registered in will have assigned a HIN, along with a registration number (MS something in Mass). This number can lead you to the last registered previous owner (who still owns it, unless you've preformed a title transfer), which will have a title associated with it and the manufacture may be listed on it. The boat has a surprising capacity plate, suggesting somethings not right.
     
  3. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    well spotted PAR. Userdan06, you might want to take a peek underneath that plate.

    edit- On second thought, the fastener hardware looks right, so probably ok.
     
  4. userdan06
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    userdan06 New Member

    what is surprising about the capacity plate?

    The previous owner had bought it used in the early 90s, and said there was never a Hull id tag. I looked over the inside and outside of the hull, under seats and removed the board to check behind it. no tags or residue from adhesive anywhere.

    thanks
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A 3.5 HP rating, on a boat that could easily handle a 20 HP outboard suggests someone is trying to beat a rule or minimum HP law.

    What else I find suspicious, is all boats in the USA will have an affixed HIN, if built after the fall of 1973. It also appears this boat has had it's registration numbers removed. Even if it was built before 1973, it would still have a registration number on it flanks. Simply put, the boat looks newer then a 1973 and coupled with the lack of registration number means it'll be a real pain in the butt to get a registration or title for (you can preform a title search and file an abandoned vessel claim). The local sheriff or Harbor Patrol will assumed someone is trying to apply for different registration numbers or that it's stolen. Being cops at heart, they'll assume (correctly so most of the time) that it's stolen. Guess who gets dragged down to the police station.

    This sort of thing happens all the time by folks that haven't much experience with boat registration processes. If you want to be safe, ask for a title and registration for the boat. If you get anything other then "sure, here they are" walk away. My understanding of MA boat registration requirements is all motorized boats, except USCG documented, must be registered, unless it's a visiting boat (out of state registry).

    Lastly, if the previous owner never registered the boat, he still had to do a title transfer. One usually goes hand in hand with the other, so someone is blowing smoke up someone's butt. It's very possible the previous owner doesn't actually own the boat, because it's still registered in the name of someone else.
     
  6. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I did a little browsing, and that capacity plate isn't necessarily out of line for a narrow aluminum Jon boat. Lowe Boats sells a 12' boat with a 4' beam, and it's rated for two people, 335 lbs max weight, and a 3 hp motor.

    Of course, the next size up is only 6" wider -- but it's rated for three people and a 10 hp motor. And their 14' boat is another 3" on the beam, and rated for a 20 hp motor.....

    http://www.loweboats.com/2013/jon-boats
     

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  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The formula the USCG will use will permit (my assumption of size, based on the photos) at least a 15, likely more. I often don't agree with these maximum USCG recommendations, but . . .

    A trolling motor equipped jon boat in Mass, still needs to be registered, so where's the registration? Title? This is the fishy part. I see boats like this frequently, where someone thinks they can remove the registration and HIN numbers and re-registry it. It's just a great way to get put up on 2rd degree fraud charges (a felony) or worse.
     
  8. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Is there any guarantee that boat was built after 1973? It looks pretty weathered and well-used, and I don't see a bright spot where anything was removed from the transom. Or any indication that the capacity tag is any newer than the rest of the boat....

    I don't know how things are on the east coast, but out here I wouldn't be at all surprised to run into an old aluminum Jon boat that's been flying under the legal radar for thirty or forty years. The California DMV says boats propelled by oars or paddles (and presumably poles...) don't have to be registered, regardless of size. So as long as the owners stayed away from the waters where tourists like to blast around drunk and the law likes to catch them at it, it's a pretty safe bet no one would ever have noticed (or cared) that they were fishing the backwaters using an unregistered boat with a trolling motor on it.

    Obviously I'm not familiar with laws back east, much less with the boat under discussion. I'm just playing Devil's advocate....
     
  9. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    The "OBC certified" does suggest it is an old boat. The OBC became the BIA in 1964 (and is now the NMMA). Doesn't mean that there wasn't a stack of plates still in somebody's drawer ten or twenty years later though. I built some Dooley dinghies in Florida whose HINs came from a batch supplied thirty years earlier.
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Even it it was a 40 year old boat, without a HIN, I find it hard to believe it's been missed by Harbor Patrol all these years, when they focus on precisely this very thing as probable cause to board and look around for PFD's. I also see a hammer tone finish paint job on it, which could hide a lot of sins (and registration numbers).
     

  11. Thoneyc
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Thoneyc New Member

    I have 12 foot jon boat identical looking to yours.plate in front hammered looking metal.and lines running down top lip of boat.its manufacturer was Holiday boats out of Lakeland FL.they were only open about three years between 1985-1988 located on Combee Rd in lakeland.
     
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