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 What Do I Have?

Many people wonder what Thompson, Cruisers Inc. or T & T boat they own.  Rarely do state registration forms and sales receipts, (unless they are the original when the boat was sold new) ever tell the right model or year the hull was built.

Since starting the Thompson Dockside five years ago, about 35% of the subscribers own a different model/and or year Thompson than they were led to believe.  Updated information is one of the the most requested items by folks who email, call, or write me.

In an effort to make things a little easier in identifying your boat here is what I need:

1.  Exact Length

The exact overall length of your boat from the tip of the bow straight back down the center of the boat to the transom.  Don't let the height of the windshield give you a false reading.

2.  Beam

The beam at its widest point.

3.  obc Plate

The information on the red (if the paint is still there) aluminum obc plate.  It is about 1 inch by 2 inches.  The plate can usually be found on the starboard side, inside of the transom, assuming someone hasn't removed it, and your boat was made in the early 50's or later.  Sometimes the battery box or the starter solenoid box covers the plate.  This plate will give the maximum recommended horsepower and carrying capacity in weight.  Very nice bonus if you can find it.  On Cruisers Inc. boats, the plate may be on the port side.

4.  Hull Number

Around the same area on the starboard inside transom are some letters and numbers about a half inch high burned into the wood.  These numbers and letters represent the hull number.

5.  Serial Number

On Thompson Brothers Boats starting in the mid 1950's in addition to the hull number they also had a serial number.  This serial number is on a small metal plate with the "Thompson" name and "Peshtigo Wisconsin".  This number is different than the hull number and was placed on the dash board.  Often, owners would remove it when they refinished the dash and didn't put it back on. 

The serial number and the hull number are the same for the Cortland made boats.  Cortland continued this ID system even after the break from Peshtigo in 1959.  After Chris Craft bought the Cortland plant in January of 1962, they changed the hull numbering system to conform with their method of numbering. 

In addition to the above areas, several people have found hull numbers written under the seats, by the windshield or under a deck while stripping the boat for refinishing.  Often times they will find names or initials as well.  Typically this was the person responsible for that hull as it went through the building or finishing process.

Starting in November, 1972, the US Coast Guard required hull ID's and they initiated a federal government system.  Prior to that date, there was no requirement for hull ID's.  The code will give the manufacturer along with the month and year the hull was built.   It will also give an internal serial number.

T & T Boats also have a hull number stamped into the transom.

6.  Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I only need two thousand words worth!  But I do need the pictures!  I need one showing the entire boat, side view, so I can see the bow lines in particular.  I need another showing the interior.   Taking the picture from behind and above the transom will give me a pretty good idea of the seat layouts etc.  Any other pictures you deem necessary will help.  You can email me the pictures (and accompanying information) at  If you email the pictures, they must be sent as original jpeg format only.  

7.  Misc odds and ends.  

Any Xeroxes of anything interesting you think will help is appreciated.  In the last few years, no less than three people have provided copies of receipts from Ray Thompson who personally sold the folks their boat.

Send everything to:

    Miles Kapper
    The Thompson Dockside
    4400 West Riverside Drive
    PMB 143
    Burbank, CA  91501

See you at


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