Where Do I Find My Boat HIN Number?

Where Do I Find My Boat HIN Number?

Every boat should have a HIN (Hull Identification Number). The HIN should be easily identifiable on the hull, although not everyone knows where to look. I’m often asked “where do I find my boat HIN number?”. In some cases they can be hard to locate, painted over or even missing! With all the different makes and models it can be confusing to know where to look. I’ve compiled the top 30 boat HIN locations on some of the most popular makes and models we inspect. Scroll below to find out where you can find your boat HIN number!

Different Types of HIN Numbers

Boatcode

Depending on the manufacturer, some vessels weren’t built with a HIN number fitted, or they have a serial number that isn’t unique enough to be used for registration in Australia. It’s most common on older boats (1980s or older), and in these circumstances you can get a Boatcode HIN fitted (NSW). A Boatcode HIN is a unique plate supplied and fitted by an authorised NSW government representative.

The Boatcode HIN has no relationship with the year model or serial number of your boat, and is completely generic. Each of the different states in Australia have their own generic “Boatcode” style plates that they fit.

To get your HIN number verified or a Boatcode fitted, there is a list of authorised representatives on the NSW government website here.

Manufacturers HIN

Manufacturers HINs are found all all modern boats that have been professionally built. Usually, the first two letters identify where the boat was built. The final two digits of the HIN number identify the year model the boat was built.

Example:

AU-MUSWXXXXX404

AU = Built in Australia

04 = 2004 model

Manufacturers HINs can be broken down further (hull number, model etc.), but these details would need to be discussed with the manufacturer as each HIN arrangement is slightly different.

Engine Serial Numbers

Found your HIN number, but still can’t find your engine serial number? I wrote an article on that too! Check it out here.

HIN Locations by Make

The HIN numbers in all our pictures below have been intentionally blurred out.

Riviera

Riviera’s typically have the HIN number on the starboard aft of the transom or hull. Riviera models often have a second hidden location on the boat. For instance on the Riviera 3000 it can be found beneath the cabin steps.

Bayliner

HIN numbers are located on the starboard aft corner of the transom. They are usually on the inside of the hull, on the starboard side near the transom.

Princess

HIN numbers are typically found on the starboard aft of the transom, either on the top or bottom mould. The second HIN in our experience is usually more difficult to find. Especially on Princess makes, they are in different locations across different models. For example on the V39, it is beneath the FWD cabin carpet. However they can usually also be found on the Australian Builders Plate located next to the cockpit helm.

Sunseeker

HIN numbers are engraved on the starboard hull side, usually just below the gunnel but above the swim platform. They often become difficult to read as the gelcoat is cut and polished, and we also commonly see instances where they are painted over.

Sunrunner

HIN numbers are located inside the rear locker on a silver plate attached to the FWD wall.

Mustang

HIN numbers are located on the starboard side aft of the transom.

Maritimo

HIN numbers are typically located on starboard side near entry to rear cockpit.

Axopar

HIN numbers are located on the starboard side aft of the transom just below the gunnel.

Arvor

HIN numbers are located on the starboard side aft corner of the transom below the gunnel.

Sea Ray

HIN numbers are located on the starboard side aft corner of the transom below the gunnel.

Chris Craft

HIN numbers are usually located on the starboard side aft corner of the boat, above the swim platform. If you cannot find it there, it may also be on the hull side, as pictured below.

Mariner

Older (1980s) Mariner HIN numbers are usually located on the starboard side aft of the transom. Additionally they have a build plate fitted at the dash which states the hull number and engine serials. Newer (1990s and 2000s) Mariner HIN numbers are in the same location as Riviera HIN numbers. Although most older Mariner HINs will have retrofitted government plates. This is because the requirement for a HIN is more then just the hull number, which is what was originally fitted.

Regal

HIN numbers are located on the starboard side of the hull sides on a silver plaque below the gunnel or beneath the swim platform engraved on the starboard side of the transom.

Four Winns

HIN numbers are located beneath the swim platform on the starboard side of the transom, below the gunnel. They are a small white plaque.

Beneteau

HIN numbers are usually located on the starboard aft corner of the hull side. They are faintly engraved, and on older models can be very difficult to find if they have been cut and polished. Alternatively they are duplicated on the Australian Builders Plate, usually found around the dash.

Jeanneau

The easiest place to find the HIN is on the Australian Builders Plate near the dash. Alternatively, on a power boat there should be a plaque on the lazarette stringer or starboard side inner transom. Failing that, some of the sail boat models have it on secured to the starboard stringer near the engine bearer.

Maxum

HIN numbers are located on the starboard aft of the transom below the gunnel.

Malibu

HIN numbers are usually located on the starboard aft of the transom, below the gunnel.

Bar Crusher

Bar Crusher HIN numbers are found beneath the starboard side transom steps and behind the dash. For the HIN behind the dash, you will usually need to slide the perspex panel out of the way to gain access.

Palm Beach

HIN numbers are typically found on the starboard aft corner of the transom below the swim platform.

Haines Hunter

HIN numbers are typically found on the starboard side of the transom below the gunnel.

Haines Signature

HIN numbers are typically found on the starboard aft corner of the transom below the gunnel.

Whittley

HIN numbers are typically found on the starboard aft corner of the transom below the gunnel, or on the build plate located in the splash well for outboard powered boats.

Clipper

HIN numbers are usually located on the transom, near the transom door. Alternatively the HIN can be found on the builders plate, sometimes located on the lazarette FWD bulkhead.

Sea Fox

HIN numbers are typically located on the starboard aft corner of the transom below the gunnel. Alternatively they are stamped on the builders plate, located near the drivers helm.

Quintrex

HIN numbers are often stamped in the starboard side of the gunnel near the back of the hull.

Boston Whaler

HIN numbers are usually located on the starboard side of the transom below the gunnel.

Cobalt

The Cobalt HIN numbers are usually located on the starboard side of the transom above the swim platform and below the rear gunnel.

Caravelle

The Caravelle HIN numbers are located on the starboard side aft hull side near the transom.

Mastercraft

The Mastercraft HIN numbers are typically located on the starboard side of the transom below the gunnel.

Summary

I hope you now have a clearer idea about where to find your boat HIN number. In conclusion, HIN numbers aren’t hard to find if you know where to look. Having trouble finding your HIN number or would like the condition of the boat and engines inspected? We can also help with a Pre-Purchase Survey and Mechanical Inspection in both the Sydney and Gold Coast region

FAQs

What is the easiest way to find my boat engine’s serial number?

The simplest method is to check the manufacturer’s plate or plaque, typically affixed directly on the engine. This plate often contains essential information, including the serial number. Our guide provides detailed insights into the specific locations where each manufacturer usually places their identification plates, making it easier for you to pinpoint the exact spot.

How important is it to know my engine’s serial number?

Knowing the engine serial number is crucial for several reasons. It’s a key step in verifying the legitimacy of the boat during purchase to ensure it hasn’t been stolen. Additionally, it’s vital for financing and insurance purposes. When servicing your boat, the serial number enables you to access the correct parts diagrams, ensuring you order the right components for your specific engine model. Most financial institutions also require this information for processing.

What should I do if the serial number is not visible?

If the serial number isn’t immediately visible, start by checking all possible locations where it could be placed; some engines have dual serial number placements. In case both locations are missing, the serial number might be listed on the boat’s registration papers. As a last resort, if the serial number is still elusive, contact the dealer who originally sold the boat to trace its history and obtain the necessary information.

Can a boat engine have more than one serial number?

A boat engine should only have one unique serial number. This number is the engine’s unique identifier, ensuring that each engine can be individually tracked and serviced correctly. Multiple serial numbers on a single engine would be highly unusual and might warrant further investigation.

How does the serial number help in engine maintenance?

The serial number is indispensable for engine maintenance as it helps in accurately identifying the specific model and version of your engine. This precision is critical when ordering replacement parts or consulting maintenance manuals, ensuring that you receive the correct parts and information tailored to your engine’s exact specifications.

What are the differences in serial number locations between inboard and outboard engines?

In inboard engines, the serial number is commonly found on the top of the engine cowling or along the side of the engine block near the starter motor. For outboard engines, the serial number is typically located on the side of the bracket that secures the engine to the boat’s stern. These differing locations reflect the structural variances between inboard and outboard engines, necessitating a different approach when locating the serial number.

About the Author


Aaron O’Donoghue is a qualified Marine Surveyor & Engineer with nearly two decades of experience in the industry. He is an experienced boater from Sydney who grew up on the waters of Sydney Harbour. He left school at 15 to complete an apprenticeship as a Marine Mechanic. In 2015, he founded BoatBuy, where he has inspected thousands of boats and is passionate about helping others enjoy their time on the water. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. Do you have a boating related question? Feel free to reach out to me via email here.

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