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Hull ID Numbers

Chris Riley by Chris Riley Updated on April 23, 2020. In nauticalknowhow

HIN Boat Number Plate

Hull ID Numbers

Play The Numbers Game: (What Is A HIN?)

Did you ever wonder what that strange series of letters and numbers on the transom of your boat are. Well, if you have taken the Nautical Know How course you know they are Hull Identification Numbers (HIN) and that they are required. But, what does a Hull Identification Number mean?

All boats manufactured or imported on or after November 1, 1972 must bear a HIN boat hull number. The HIN is a 12 character serial number that uniquely identifies your boat. Think of these boat identification numbers like your car’s VIN.

What Are Hull Identification Numbers Useful For?

The HIN has an important safety purpose. It enables manufacturers to clearly identify for boat owners the boats that are involved in a defect notification and recall campaign. A HIN hull number is not the same as a State registration number, which may be required to be displayed on the bow of your boat. The HIN is a Federal requirement; your boat’s registration number is a State requirement similar to the license plate on your car. The HIN, however, is required to be shown on the State certificate of registration.

Understanding A Boat Serial Number:

 

 

 

AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
JAN
A
B
C
D
E
F
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
G
H
I
J
K
L

 

*Key to Month of Model Year

Figure 1 – HIN Formats Before August 1, 1984

The boat manufacturer must display two identical hull identification numbers, no less than one-fourth of an inch high, on each boat hull. The primary HIN must be permanently affixed (so that it can be seen from outside the boat) to the starboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest.

On boats without transoms or on boats on which it would be impractical to the transom, the HIN must be affixed to the starboard outboard side of the hull, aft within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of hull side, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. The starboard outboard side of the hull aft is the preferred HIN location for many manufacturers. On catamarans and pontoon boats the HIN must be affixed on the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard hull attachment.

 

 

 

JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
A
B
C
D
E
F
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
G
H
I
J
K
L

 

Figure 2 – HIN Format After August 1, 1984

Boats manufactured or imported on or after August 1, 1984, also have a duplicate secondary HIN affixed somewhere on an unexposed location inside the boat or beneath a fitting or item of hardware. The purpose is to help authorities identify your boat with a HIN decoder if a thief or vandals remove or damage the primary HIN boat serial number on the transom. It is illegal for anyone (manufacturer, dealer, distributor, or owner) to alter or remove a HIN without the express written authorization of the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.

The regulations prescribe the format of the HIN. The first three characters are a MIC (Manufacturer Identification Code) assigned by the Coast Guard to the manufacturer or the person importing the boat; characters four through eight are a serial number assigned by the manufacturer; the last four characters indicate the month and year the boat was built, and the model year. Prior to August 1, 1984, the manufacturer had the option of expressing this in the form of a model year designation.

The Coast Guard maintains a searchable database of MICs if you want to perform a boat hull ID lookup.

Individuals building boats for their own use and not for the purposes of sale are what are referred to as “backyard boat builders.” They must obtain a 12 character Hull ID Number from their State boating agency. The Manufacturer Identification Code at the beginning of the HIN for a “home built” boat is an abbreviation for the State followed by a “Z” which indicates that it is a State identification.

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22 Comments

  • Garvis Hopwood on August 18, 2019

    Just trying to find any marking to prove what tahiti vessel I have.

    Reply

  • Dawid Affelt on August 30, 2019

    Mine is JF650B-602421 jow would you decode it ?

    Reply

  • David Williams on October 4, 2019

    Am looking for information on a canoe I got tag says GRV126548M88B Made in Canada great Canadian Worcester, ma 01604 trying to figure out where I can get a manufacturers statement of origin to be able to get it registered in the state of Wisconsin

    Reply

  • richard waszak on April 11, 2020

    Chrysler Man O’War Serial # 243030366 doesn’t fit the HIN formats shown. I’m guessing that it manufactured 03/66 ??
    What’s your guess?
    Thx

    Reply

  • Shaun McDonnell on May 4, 2020

    Would you be able to tell the Make, Model & particularly the AGE of my Boat
    – The Serial # on the back is: SMK72301B898
    – I am NOT sure what “all” the numbers mean ?
    Your help would be appreciated

    Reply

  • Abe Wiebe on May 5, 2020

    I have a 14 K Sea Nymph was wondering the weight of it and the year the HID is SEAL9894M 83E. Thanks Abe

    Reply

  • Quinby Hall on May 25, 2020

    HI I purchase a boat several years ago and still don know the make and model. I would like to know if anyone can help with this, all I know that’s its a 1990.
    The numbers I get off of it FLZBT345G690

    Reply

  • Jay Appel on May 25, 2020

    I purchased a used West Marine Model 11985505
    WMTENDER94
    The HIN plate is missing from the transom.
    I want to put a 2.2hp engine and need to register it.
    Please advise.

    Reply

  • Kai Hildebrand on June 20, 2020

    139
    Coyote is in germany at the baltic sea in Lübeck.
    Im am the owner and i bought it from Gerrit Zinke last year.

    Reply

  • Darren Fougere on July 1, 2020

    looking at purchasing a used Aluminum jet boat. Owner tells me the manfacturer is Alaskan Jet from Washington state HIN # is APK21781K596. can you verify the builder?

    Reply

  • Michael Henderson on July 18, 2020

    I’m researching an old photograph from years back. I wanted to identify the exact town where the photo was taken. My brother was in front of a boat with a registration number of HA2517C (this is on the left bow. This just happened to be in the background. Nothing special. Just trying to ID old photos. Not sure if this is the best method. I presume at this point the boat is probably at the bottom of the Pacific by now. Photo is circa 1984. Any assistance would be great. Thanks.

    Reply

  • Michael O'Connor on July 21, 2020

    I purchased a wood skiff,previously titled. The hull i.d. number you cant stencil. They ask for stencil of hull i.d., what do I do? It has a HIN, the black and white one. The offices are closed

    Reply

  • Anthony Turner on July 23, 2020

    I have a Sun Dolphin Sportsman H119132EH899 could you help me figure out this number?
    Thanks for your help

    Reply

    • David on October 21, 2020

      The first three digits is probably HII, not H11.

      HII = KL Industries (maker of Sun Dolphin brand)
      9132E = boat serial number (check that you’re not misreading the E)
      H8 = August 1998 manufacture date
      99 = 1999 model year

      Reply

  • Jimmy Spurgeon on July 23, 2020

    My boat was painted years and the HIN was covered. I never noticed until trying to sell the boat. I tried to sand down the paint but defaced part of the HIN. I know the number from the title but need to prove it to purchaser. Can I make a new plate for the HIN on the boat or is that not allowed? How do I correct this problem? I can see most of the number on the hull but not all. Can I still sell the boat?

    Thanks!

    Reply

  • Tim lee on July 24, 2020

    My serial # starts with SEA , who’s the manufacturer

    Reply

  • William Evans on August 25, 2020

    Have an aluminum boat just purchased HIN# is CRL43965M73F

    Reply

  • Sarah Bullock on August 26, 2020

    My jet ski has JS PLE012611900 I am trying to find the year an model as i need to buy part can you help plz

    Reply

  • Ronnie Hare on September 6, 2020

    Can u have two Hull I’d numbers

    Reply

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