Originally Posted by Don Reid
I am in the process of trying to buy a Beneteau First 345 and am trying to resolve a little mystery. The boat I am currently looking at a boat with the following detail
The HIN is BEY 00280 0384 and has another number affixed just above the HIN which is 0144 085 480 0280 I have no idea of the meaning of the latter number.
A while ago I read an article Practical Sailor about 345s which in part stated that about twenty were not made in France. I contacted the author who replied that he could not recall where he obtained the "twenty" information.
I then went to the USCG site and gleaned the following. That any new boat imported to the US must have a BEY # which must be prefaced by a country of origin designation and in the case of France FR.
I wish to import the boat to Canada from the US and would be delighted not to pay duty.
Bearing in mind the year of manufacture, the culture of conspiracy theories I almost suspect that Big Brother is watching me.
Regards to All
Originally Posted by Don Reid
Thank you for your interest
"Your knowledge is obvious but I must say that I am bemused by the the section that follows.
]Your vessel of interest:
The Manufacturers Identification Code MIC denoted as BEY is listed as BGM AMERICA INC 1313 HIGHWAY 76 WEST MARION SC
Your hull number is 00280
Your year of manufacture is 2003
Model year is 1984"
I fully concur that the model year is 1984 but I am concerned that the first year of manufacture reads as 2003. I have seen many pictures of the boat and it is an mid 80s boat.
From the evidence that I was able to provide. can you assure me that the boat was manufactured in the US bearing in mind that it has a BEY HIN which is NOT prefixed by FR
Does BEY definitively mean Made in America?
As the Marion plant did not open until 1986 and assuming that about 20 345s were in fact made in the US, was limited production of 345s some kind of pre start up program?
Thank you for help
Do you have the original builder's certificate? That would provide proof of country of origin. Beneteau should be able to provide you with a duplicate and definitively where it was manufactured. They should have a detailed list of each and every vessel they have manufactured, do not let them blow you off.
Reference: What is a HIN
The HIN/MIC usually referred to as the HIN has been required on all boats manufactured or imported into the USA since November 1, 1972. In 1981 Transport Canada agreed to piggyback on the US system and require the same on all Canadian vessels. Prior to 1981 Canadian builders may or may not have marked these codes on their boats depending on whether or not the boat was being exported to the USA. Europe
now also follows this system (more or less when they feel like it).
Each part of the code has some meaning and it's really pretty simple except that over the years the format has been modified so that there are four different versions out there now.
A. In the case of the 12 character HIN, the first three characters are assigned by the USCG and these three identify the manufacturer or importer. Get the three characters from your hull and you can search the USCG database for builder/importer contact info and even check the Recalls Database to see if there are any active recalls on file or get the mailing address of the importer or builder
and whether or not they are still in business..
B. With a 15 character HIN, the first two characters (optional) identify the country of build. ie. FR indicates France. These two characters are separated from the balance of the code with a dash and this is counted as a character. This has some importance if you are importing a boat across the USA/Canadian border in either direction as they will be subject to duty unless built in a NAFTA country.
C. There are no spaces allowed in the HIN. I have inserted a few spaces in my diagrams for clarity.
D. The characters must be at least 1/4" high.
E. If additional information is displayed within 2" of the HIN, that information must be separated from the HIN by means of borders, or must be on a separate label so that it will not be interpretated as part of the HIN.
F. The HIN must be marked on the upper starboard transom or the upper starboard topsides, aft, if the vessel has no transom.
G. The HIN must be marked in a fashion such that tampering will deface the hull.
H. Date of manufacture must be no later than the date the vessel leaves the place of manufacture or assembly or is imported into the US for the purposes of sale
I. As of August 1, 1984 manufacturers were required to mark an identical copy of the visible HIN in a hidden location in the vessel.
2. Interpreting the four HIN versions
Version A. " Straight Year Format ". 12 characters. In use from November 1, 1972 to August 1984.
A. The first three characters may be alpha or numeric and are assinged by the USCG. These not only identify the manufacturer but what plant the vessel was built in. except in the case of imported boats. ie. On a vessel imported from Taiwan
the code will identify the importer. in this case it is often impossible to tell where the boat was built as these importers come and go like a bad cold.
B. The next five characters may also be alpha or numeric (except the letters I,O and Q) and are at the discretion of the builder
as their own serial number.
C. The last four digits are a straight date code for month and year the hull came out of the mould, hence the descriptor
" Straight Year" version.
VERSION B. " Model Year Format ". 12 characters, also in use from November 1, 1972 to August 1984.
A. Same as " Straight Year " format.
B. Same as " Straight Year " format.
C. The " M " is a fixed character indicating " Model Year Format " and never changes.
D. These two characters indicate " model year " and not necessarily year of build. A model year of 73' and a month code of prior to August of that year shows the vessel was actually produced in 1972 for the 1973 model year ( much the way many 2012 model cars are actually produced in 2011 ).
E. This alpha character indicates month of production as show in the key below.
AUG - A FEB - G
SEP - B MAR - H
OCT - C APR - I
NOV - D MAY - J
DEC - E JUN - K
JAN - F JUL - L
VERSION C. " New Format " 12 characters. In use from August 1, 1984 to present. See reference link above for format example.
Same as others.
Same as others.
This alpha character shows the month of build with January being " A " and running in sequence to " L " indicating December.
Year of Build. In this case 1993.
Model Year. Often a year later than the "Year of Build".
VERSION D. " New Format " with optional country code making it 15 characters.
This one is easy. It's tha same as version C but with an optional two character country pre-fix with a dash between it and the rest ( remember the dash counts as a character)). The CA tells us the boat was built in Canada. For a list of country codes see USCG.
Your hull number is 280 so apparently they made at least that many of that model.
The first three characters of the HIN are a MIC (Manufacturer Identification Code) assigned by the Coast Guard to the manufacturer or the person importing the boat.
US built boats start with BEY and have a 12 digit code including the BEY. French built boats should have the prefix FR before the BEY and use a 15 digit code which includes the FR-BEY.
Reference the MIC code lists below.
It is a very long list. It will take a while to download and when it has completed downloading you can put the three letter code in the search box - BEY and it will show you the manufacturer. There are over 16,000 MIC codes
Boats manufactured in the United States (except military vessels) have a three-character U.S. Coast Guard manufacturer's
identification code as the first three characters of the manufacturer's assigned boat hull number. Some large manufacturers
who have several boat building plants have been assigned multiple codes by the U.S. Coast Guard. When entering a record
for a boat made by such a manufacturer, the BMA Field code should agree with the first three characters of the boat hull
Canadian manufacturers may apply to the U.S. Coast Guard for a manufacturer's identification code. If the U.S. Coast Guard
assigns a code, it will begin with the alphabetic Z.