Boat VIN lookup is probably even more important than car VIN lookup when you purchase a used boat. Boats are not so widespread as cars, which creates a misleading impression that the chance of buying a problem boat is not so high as with other vehicles and boat history check is not necessary. Please, mind the following:
Boat HIN is usually located on the outside of the hull on the uppermost rear right corner. A standard boat HIN is a 12-digit number. All boats manufactured in and after 1972 must have the HIN on the hull. On boats manufactured in and after 1984, a duplicate HIN is placed elsewhere on the boat: in the interior parts, It is highly recommended to see the HIN with your own eyes and inspect it very carefully. Just like VIN numbers, HINs are frequently tampered. However, very often HIN tampering can be seen with a naked eye. If you suspect the HIN has been faked, contact the police and also send a request to the manufacturer. There were incidents when the HIN was re-printed by be manufacturer because of mistake. However, such incidents take long to get resolved.
The first 3 digits if the boat HIV are used to identify the manufacturer, they are called MIC (Manufacturer Identification Code). You can use MIC to lookup manufacturer recalls on Coast Guard website. This procedure is free and very essential for your and you passengers’ safety. Typically, MIC consists of…. However, boats manufactured by private persons for their own use are also admitted as usable vessels and are assigned a HIN by the local DMV when they are registered for the first time. You can tell a “home-made” boat by it’s HIN: the first two characters are the state’s abbreviation, and the third one is Z. In the same manner, HIN numbers with state-identifying MIC codes are assigned to boats that were built before 1972 or had their original HIN destroyed or defaced. Take a note of that when you purchase a used boat.
You can do boat VIN number lookup at Boatfax, Coast Guard and Boat History Report sites. As with other vehicle VIN numbers, you can run free HIN lookup to check if there are any records. A typical boat VIN number lookup report includes the following information: