Donate Now

December 11, 2023

A Guide to Locating Your Boat’s Hull Identification Number

If you’ve ever found yourself puzzled over the Hull Identification Number (HIN) of your vessel, you’re not alone. This unique serial number, much like a car’s VIN, is full of essential information. Knowing how to locate and interpret this number can make your boating life a lot simpler, especially when it comes to things like registration, insurance, and theft recovery.


Decoding the Hull ID

Let’s start by understanding what the 12 characters on the Hull ID mean:

  • The first three characters are the Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC).
  • The next five characters are unique to each boat and represent the hull or serial number.
  • The two characters following indicate the date of manufacture.
  • The final two characters signify the model year of the boat.


Finding the Hull ID: A Quick How-to

Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s discuss how to find this critical piece of information:

  1. Start with the transom.

The most common location for the HIN is on the right (starboard) side of the transom — that’s the flat surface on the back of your boat for the landlubbers among us. If your boat has an outboard motor, it’s usually located a few inches below the top and just beside it.

  1. Check the bow.

Can’t find it on the transom? Try checking the starboard side of the bow. That’s the front right-hand side of your boat.

  1. Examine the hull.

In some cases, manufacturers embed the hull ID into the hull itself, or under a fitting or item of hardware. This one’s a bit harder to find, but it’s there to make the boat more identifiable if it’s stolen and the main HIN is removed.

Remember to jot down the number as soon as you find it. You don’t want to have to go searching for it every time you need it!


Still Can’t Locate Your Hull ID?

If you’ve turned your boat inside out and still can’t find the HIN, don’t panic. The hull ID may have been removed or obscured, especially if you’ve bought a used boat. In this case, reach out to the manufacturer with your boat’s details, and they should be able to help you track it down.


Getting Rid of an Unwanted Boat?

A no-longer-used vessel can quickly turn into a money pit. If you’re not willing to spend any more of your hard-earned money on its maintenance and repairs, consider donating that boat to us at Veteran Car Donations.

We’ll use it to transform the lives of the disadvantaged and neglected veterans in your community. We’re talking about our former service members who are struggling with poverty, homelessness, chronic unemployment, combat-related disabilities, and health issues, including the mental variety.

We’ll have your boat auctioned off, with the proceeds handed over to our reputable veteran-focused charity partners. These IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofits use the funding we give them to provide their beneficiaries with housing and financial assistance, employment and livelihood opportunities, family support, free quality health care and medical treatment, psychotherapy services, and other services meant to improve their living conditions.

In return, you’ll be entitled to claim the highest possible tax deduction in the next tax season. You will also enjoy the privilege of having your vehicle towed away wherever it’s located in the country, and guess what? You pay us nothing!

Best of all, you’ll experience an immense feeling of joy and satisfaction, knowing that you’ll impact the lives of our nation’s hurting heroes.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, we also accept other types of vehicles aside from boats — cars, motorcycles, RVs, golf carts, trucks, you name it. Head over to this page for a comprehensive list.

If you’re interested to learn more about our vehicle donation program, feel free to visit our FAQs page. Should you have any questions or concerns, reach us anytime at 877-594-5822 or send us a message here. We’ll respond to you as promptly as we can.


Let Our Former Service Members Know You Truly Care

There’s no better time than now to show your appreciation to the courageous men and women who risked their lives in the service of our country. A simple vehicle donation from you can go a long way in uplifting their lives. So, what are you waiting for? Call Veteran Car Donations at 877-594-5822 or fill out our secure online donation form now!

Veteran Car Donations operates in all 50 states.

Donate Now

Or call (877) 594-5822!