What Year is My Boat By Serial Number?

Look to the right side of your boat’s HIN (“Hull Identification Number.”) Fourth from the number’s right is a letter. This letter tells you the month when construction on the vessel began. Each letter corresponds to month: 12 for December, 11 for November, 7 for July, etc. 

The next number (and third from the right) displays the last digit of the year when the vessel was built. For example, a vessel built in 2015 would have a “5.” 

The last two numbers, (the ones furthest to the right) display the vessel’s model year. 

The above format applies to vessels that have been manufactured since August 1st, 1984. All vessels must bear a HIN if they were manufactured or imported on or after the date of November 1st, 1972. Vessels manufactured or imported before that date are exempt. 

If you’re wondering about the other numbers in the HIN, the first three digits of a HIN are the “Manufacturer’s Identification Code.” This reveals who manufactured the vessel. Examples include “LWE” for “Lowe Boats,” “YAM” for “Yamaha Motor Corp. USA,” “CCB” for “Chris Craft Boats,” and so forth. 

The following five digits are the serial number the manufacturer assigned to the hull. These can be both numbers and letters. However, as the letters “Q,” “O,” and “I” could potentially be mistaken for numbers, they are not used. 

Interested parties can search for vessels by HIN or Official Number through our site. This will provide information such as the vessel’s name, its flag, its service (endorsement), its length, breadth, depth, its tonnage, when it was documented with the USCG and when that documentation will expire as well as other information. 

Use this link to conduct a boat HIN lookup

If you have further questions about your vessel’s model year or USCG vessel documentation, contact the Vessel Registrar Center at info@usvesselregistrar.us or (800) 535-8570 Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM.