How to decode a boat hull identification number (HIN)

by | Feb 18, 2019 | Boat Insurance

What is a boat hull identification number (HIN)?

The Hull Identification Number (HIN), also known as the boat serial number, is a unique 12-digit number that must be affixed to the hull of pleasure craft that are constructed, manufactured, rebuilt, or imported to be sold or operated in Canada. The HIN may also include a 2-digit country code at the beginning of the boat serial number.



The HIN can assist in finding stolen boats or to identify recalled boats.

Where can I find the HIN on my boat?

The HIN must be located where it is clearly visible when the boat is in the water. You will find the HIN on the outside starboard (right) side of the transom. If your boat does not have a transom, the HIN will be on the uppermost starboard side at the aft end of the hull.

Other requirements:

  • The characters must be at least 6mm in width and height
  • The HIN cannot be altered, defaced or removed

You might also find a second HIN in the interior of the boat or under a trim or other piece of hardware.

How to decode a boat hull identification number (HIN)

Example HIN – ABC12345B612

ABC – Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC)

12345 – Manufacturer’s Serial Number

B6 – Manufacture date where the first digit represents the month and the second digit represent the last digit of the year.

A=Jan, B=Feb, C=Mar, D=Apr, E=May, F=Jun, G=Jul, H=Aug, I-Sep, J=Oct, K=Nov, L=Dec

12 – Last 2 digits of the model year

Additional Information

Search Boats by Name, Hull Identification Number, Licence Number, Registration Number to find out of a boat is stolen.

Canadian Police Centre Investigation – https://www.cpic-cipc.ca/sbo-rba-eng.htm

Use HIN Decoder to find out boat information from the serial number.

HIN Decoder – https://hindecoder.com/

The links are provided for informational purposes only. We do not receive any compensation for purchases made on the Canadian Policy Centre Investigation or HIN Decoder websites.

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