View Full Version : Foil tags....Reproduction part 2

Bertram Boy
01-02-2013, 03:14 PM

Here is a little write-up I put together on the making of the foil tags...

I got the call in the middle of winter. “Cliff, its Paul. What do you think about reproducing these foil HIN tags? I need one to finish my restoration”.”
“Well Paul, it sounds like A LOT of work. But if we’re going to make them, we’re going to make them the right way”.

Little did I know that by saying that, I had just outsmarted myself. So, after months of trying to scan digital pictures I decided that was the absolutely wrong method.
Then I got the next call “Hey, I got someone to lend us a foil tag”…. “You’re kidding” I said.
It showed up 3 days later… That’s when the fun began!!!
After, an exhausted search for a vendor that would print foil labels, we finally found someone who had the patience of a saint. I must’ve gone back 4-5 times making sure everything was where it needed to be. These guys were/are fantastic. I think they were just as excited about getting it right as I was. Not only did they work with me to make sure everything was correct, they even custom blended the ink, because the original shade was no longer available.
First, we tried scanning. It looked terrible. The lines were all jagged, the dimensions were all wrong. Again, this is NOT the right way to do this. “How the hell am I going to get this right?” I asked myself. After a few days of deep thought (yes, I am capable of deep thought from time to time) and moderate quantities of rum, it comes to me…
Eureka, I need a measuring microscope!!! Where the hell am I going to get one of those? Well, it just so happens that my mother-in-law works for a company that has several. Fortunately, they gave me a pretty good deal on it. I didn’t have to pay the several thousand dollars that it cost them.
People have used the term “painstaking” in the past. I now know what they mean. Every line, box and logo was measured to the thousandth (.001 for you manufacturing types). Granted, it’s impossible to get ink to flow that precisely, but my CAD files were dead on accurate.
FINALLY!!! After months and months (and a few thousand dollars) the foils look perfect!
Now, step 2. How to imprint these beauties without screwing them up? For those of you who’ve looked at these things pretty closely, you know that they have a consistent “patent number” embossed on the tag as well as the other pertinent information which differs from tag to tag.
So it was decided (by me) that a custom embossing tool was needed to imprint the “Patent number”.
Luckily (or not) for me, I’ve been in the manufacturing business for many years and know just the guys who could help me make an embossing die. I still had to make the holder though. Well, after 15 hours of designing, milling, drilling, tapping, grinding, heat treating and more grinding, the embossing tool was finally finished… Anyone else see a theme here??!!
So, now I have these beautiful foil tags but no way to stamp them with Deck, Hull, Outdrive, and Engine numbers.
So now, it’s back to my friend who engraved the embossing die for me. The company he owns has been in the industrial marking business since the 1930’s. He has catalogs of marking equipment as old as the company is. The search begins. After hours a looking through paper brochures that are just about disintegrating in my hands, I find exactly what I’m looking for…in a brochure dated 1958!!!
At this point, I’m a little dejected…but I’ve come this far. I can’t give up now. Ahh…the internet is a WONDERFUL place. After months and months of searching, I find EXACTLY the machine I’m looking for…in Pennsylvania. I call the gentleman who has it for sale to confirm the exact make and model. He offers to ship it, and even tells me, “If you’re disappointed in its condition, I’ll give you a full refund including shipping”. I tell him “No thanks, I’ll be there first thing in the morning”. Yes, it’s about a 5 hour drive, but I’m not taking any chances by letting this baby get away.
So, 5 hours and several hundred dollars later, I have the “Enigma Machine” in my possession. It’s perfect! The condition was even better than I expected. It was just about brand new in the box. Everything is finally coming together after all this time and expense.
Take a look at the pictures and I think you’ll be just as pleased as I am.

Now, I know some of you are reading this and thinking that I’m being a bit “cryptic” in some of the details. We (The DMRS) are offering these for sale with the blessing of Donzi Marine, and we really don’t want them being copied. These will only be offered for sale through Donzi Direct.
This would also be a good time to tell those that are interested that there are differences in our reproductions from the originals, so we will know if one tries to get passed off as an original.

01-02-2013, 06:06 PM

I can really appreciate, and respect, all the research , time, effort, and costs, tooling, etc. not to mention the running around involved in making these Donzi reproducion foil serial number "ID" tags.

It sure sounds like you really went way beyond the call of duty here to reproduce these foil "ID" tags .
It was a true labor of love for You, DMRS, & Donzi.org, all done for the benefit of true older Donzi Collectors.

I will be sure to order a new reproduction foil "ID" tag now for my now half completed custom "Benchseat 18" project.

But I cannot help but ask~~~
Why after going to all the, trouble, effort, & costs involved to make these foil tags 100% accurate as were originally supplied by Donzi Marine did you choose to alter them slightly at the last moment to prevent someone from passing one off as an original tag, or boat ?
Do you really think this would have been a future problem issue of forged boats, or "ID" tags ?

As a side note:
I have always had a real problem issue with folks trying to pass non-Donzi built "splashed" clone boats, as well as, Formula Jrs, off as real Donzis.
These sort of fake Donzi boats appear all the time now sporting new reproduction Donzi hull logo decals bought on ebay.
These "splash" owners are always trying to pass "Splashed" boats as the real Donzi built boats now in an effort to get more money out of a potential boat sale.
In fact~~~
I actually was cursed-out on the other Donzi site by a "splash" owner when I diplomatically had to tell the new owner that his new boat was in fact a Vance "Splash" rip-off copy with Donzi logo hull decals attached, and not a real true Donzi.
He tried to "Kill the Messanger" so to speak when I sadly had to break the bad news to him.

That said~
Does not altering these great new reproduction foil "ID" tags not defeat your entire purpose, and intent, of going to all your trouble, & great efforts, to get them as exactly 100% correct as originally supplied by Donzi :couch:?

I would think that DMRS might always require that all potential buyers of any reproduction foil "ID" serial number tags be required to furnish all their boats proper Hull "ID" build numbers Before DMRS would agree to supply a new foil hull "ID" tag.

In fact~~~You imprint all this old hull information on all new tag sales~~~Do you not ?

This in itself I would think should prevent any hull serial number funny business & counterfitting from going-on.

I do not in any way mean to be argumentitive o this post here.

And~~~In Fact~
I wish to Thank You personally, along with DMRS, for making these great new Foil "ID" tags available to all of us for all of our boat restorations !
Thank's Cliff !!!

01-02-2013, 06:49 PM
The tags rock--that's some unbelievable work. Talk about a labor of love.

(I also think if push comes to shove, being able to tell a repro from an original is a sensible precaution for a bunch of reasons.)

01-02-2013, 07:19 PM
I believe the *game plan* is that an original tag must be furnished first to have a new one made, and we keep the original...

the owner must also prove ownership of said vessel who's new tag is being furnished

Bertram Boy
01-02-2013, 09:31 PM

You are 100% correct. We will never furnish blank foil tags.... to anyone.

01-03-2013, 01:11 PM
I had been thinking about getting a new foil tag for this 74' X-18 I am restoring, and I have the original tag, but what does one do about the Drive and engine number? Do you simply put the new drive and engine number on it or do you put the original in commemoration. Or does one not do it if it is not all original?

01-07-2013, 11:22 PM
They can be made two ways:

We can make an original with the original numbers etc.

Or, we can make one with the new numbers..

Your call...

01-08-2013, 12:53 AM
What is the cost for a new reproduction Foil Hull ID Tag from DMRS ?

I am interested in obtaining a reproduction tag for my benchseat 18 project .
I can furnish all the old foil tag's data.
The old foil tag is still on the seat back~but very faded and you can barely read it's stamped numbers & letters.

Can DMRS also supply a xerox copy of the original factory build cards for this 1972 18 hull ?

C18-442 (1972)
D2 HM 3144
1-RW I/O
1 1 M 10*
PZNR 2730885B

This above info is as best as I can read from old Hull foil tag ;and HM Bellhousing & Volvo Out Drive tags.


01-08-2013, 03:26 AM
Tags are sold through Donzi Direct Brad.

12-27-2015, 04:54 AM
One of you had asked about a restoration boat with new engine and drive or at least different than original. Here is my thought. In the past, in looking for information about a Donzi (color, original engine and outdrive, year, model number, etc) the information cards you all have also go by the original engine, outdrive, hull number numbers. What I'm trying to say is if you put new engine and outdrive numbers on the replacement tag, your records for finding a Donzi are now no good. You'll never find a card in your records for a restored Donzi with new engine or outdrive numbers.

Just a thought, but I think if someone is replacing a Donzi ID tag, all original serial numbers should be used even if the restoration includes newer or different componets. That way 20 years from now if that restored Donzi is sitting in a barn somewhere. The finder or new owner of the boat will always be able to find out what that Donzi came off the assembly line as and with.

I can't remember, but do registration papers list the engine and outdrive numbers? Maybe not. Thinking if you go changing numbers on an ID tag, you might run into issues like a car being sold after a seller changed the serial number to make that 66 Mustang a 64 and a half more valuable car.

Maybe I'm just over thinking this, but I really think for everyones sake, all original numbers should be put on the replacement ID tags.