How do you read a HIN hull identification number?

Read it in the same way and in the same context you would a VIN number on a car. Essentially, that’s what a Hull Identification Number/HIN is, just for your vessel.

Breaking down the number, the first three digits tell you the “Manufacturer’s Identification Code.” The next four digits are the serial number for the vessel from the manufacturer.

The 3rd and the 4th digits from the end are the date that the vessel was manufactured. The letter corresponds to the month: D = April, E = May, etc. The final two digits are the model’s year.

You can find these numbers on vessels that were manufactured/imported after November 1st, 1972. The numbers are on a metal or plastic plate, typically on the vessel’s transom. If the vessel does not have a transom, the HIN is usually on the starboard outboard side of the hull.