Sailing License Plates
Drivers love to personalize their license plates, and that includes sailors. Virginia is a happy state of boating plates. Personalizing is inexpensive and very creative.
The most popular plate replicates that of the owner’s boat, although sometimes that’s a mystery to the rest of the drivers on the road. We have a “Columbine” motor yacht that presumably was named before the tragic shootings in Colorado. Putting that on a license plate would be confusing and perhaps bad taste.
Similarly, we have a motor yacht named “Honorble?” and his license says “Honrble.” The name of the yacht doesn’t make much sense to the uninformed, especially since the question mark throws everything into disarray. The license plate is merely a head-scratcher.
My favorite plates reflect imagination and sometimes require a little interpretation. These two are right out of the parking lot at York River Yacht Haven. Other plates have the “I’d Rather Be Sailing” holder to convey a second message.
Some states (not Virginia) don’t require a second plate on the bow of the car or truck, leaving room for clever sailing and boating motifs. Virginia also recognizes a certain plight of commercial fishermen. If they drive their pickup truck strictly to and from work, they are issued an inexpensive plate that says “Commercial Waterman.”
Virginia is big on vanity plates with a message, often environmental. Here’s one that represents Boat US, which has a big stake in Chesapeake Bay and lobbies Congress for boaters.
Finally, boats themselves have small license plates for their trailers. An antiques market for these exists, and boathouses in the Northeast have walls covered with old license plates.
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