How to Find Out the History of Your Boat With an HIN Number

By Erin Clyburn
Getting a history report is a wise move before purchasing a used boat.

motor boat. power boat image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

All boats manufactured in the United States or imported to the United States on or after Nov. 1, 1972, were assigned a hull identification number, or HIN. The HIN is a serial number consisting of 12 characters and is found on the transom of your boat. The first three numbers are the manufacturer's identification code, the next five numbers are the hull's serial number, and the last four numbers are the date the number was assigned. This number is used for the purposes of identifying defects, coordinating recalls and tracing the history of a boat.

Tracing a Boat's History using the HIN

Navigate to a website that provides boat history reports. The website All About Houseboats endorses the website Boat History Report as a reputable site on which to trace your boat history.

Enter your boat's hull identification number into the box on Boat History Report's homepage. The website then will notify you if your boat's hull identification number is found in the system.

Enter your credit card information when prompted. Full boat history reports are not provided for free anywhere online, so you must be prepared to pay a fee for your boat history report.

Receive your report instantly once your credit card order is processed.

About the Author

Erin Clyburn has been writing professionally since 2004. She has been published in "The Progressive Farmer" magazine, Pearson's "Student Book of College English" textbook and Birmingham's "Lipstick" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Mississippi State University, and is pursuing a Master of Arts in children's literature from Hollins University.

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