Originally Posted by Robes
Is there any way to identify a boat (manufacturer) by a name plate, insignia or something hidden on an area of a boat. I see many which I have no access to nor anyone to tell me what it is. I'm searching to buy used and just don't know what (manufacturer) I'm looking at for the most part.
You're refering to the HIN (Hull Identification Number).
All boats manufactured/imported on/after 1st November '72 must show a HIN. A HIN is not the same as a State registration
number: the HIN is a Federal requirement.
They updated the format after 1st August 1984. I'll explain the pre-1984 system first.
Generally, the number is displayed as XXX-XXXXX-XXXX whereby the first 3 letters are the Manufacturer ID, the second set of 5 digits are the hull serial
number and the last 4 are the date of certification
displayed either in MMYY format or a coded format starting with the letter "M" followed by two digits representing the year and finally a letter representing the Month. August through January are A though F, and February through July are G through L.
The post-August 1984 scheme is as follows:
Generally, the number is displayed as XXX-XXXXX-XX-XX whereby the first 3 letters are the Manufacturer ID, the second set of 5 digits are the hull serial
number and the next 2 are the date of certification
displayed a letter representing the Month. January through December are A though L: Much simpler! The final 2 digits are the year of manufacture or certification.
You should always be able to find 2 HINs on a boat. The first HIN must be be seen from outside the boat. On all boats i've seen it's been to the starboard side of the transom just below the top of the gunwale.
On catamarans and pontoon boats the HIN must be affixed on the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard hull attachment.Deprecated Browser Error
The second [identical] HIN is generally always hidden inside so that identification can be possible even if the outside has been damaged or vandalized.
You can found out who the manufacturer is based on above number sequences using the below public database (don't worry about the "Deprecated Browser Error" title which CF has kindly put in, the link works):
Hope this helps