Vintage aluminum 12’

Clifford

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Knoxville Tennessee
Newbie here so trying to learn and thank you for accepting me. I have an old possible sears 12’ aluminum boat I am trying to bring back to life. Only stamped number I found while sanding the transom outside. S-544 54 is what I see. Any guidance on how to find out information on what I am actually trying to bring back to life would greatly be appreciated!! I feel I should not have to pay to obtain this and again thank you for accepting me!!! Looking forward to take in all knowledge you can offer!! Great group
 

airshot

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Might be made before serial and mode numbers were used. Lots of small boats were made for various companies by hust changing decals or nameplates. Pics might help...good luck..
 

mbullen

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Sears didn't actually make anything, they contracted private label manufacturers. Same with Montgomery Wards / Sea King, etc.
To narrow down the age, the badging will read Elgin up to 1964 and Sears after '64.
After 1972, you would also find the 12-digit Federal HIN plate on the transom. (Which can be decoded for all this info)
To narrow down the manufacturer, pics are a necessity. Construction clues are the transom and bracing, seats and bracing, splash rail length, and the corner caps.
The great majority of tinnies were Sea Nymphs, but multiple others had runs.
 

mbullen

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One more thought, the stamped numbers that you have discovered are in the correct place to be the boat's serial. Many times the model and year can be decoded from these unique formats, too. For instance, if there is no badging, and you've just assumed Sears from the "S", it could be an entirely different brand. As an example, S 544 54 can translate to a 1954 Feather Craft Skipper, #544. (An 11' boat) Other translations can come from other brands, too.
Pics are really needed to dial it in.
 

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