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Author Topic:   Burned/hidden HIN on Whalers
ShrimpBurrito posted 06-14-2002 04:44 AM ET (US)   Profile for ShrimpBurrito   Send Email to ShrimpBurrito  
Had to get the local sheriff inspect my boat to get it registered, and he said that often times, boat manufacturers burn the HIN in fiberglass in a hidden location......much like VIN's are engraved on the axle, and a few other out-of-the-way places. Has anyone ever seen a HIN other than on the plate affixed to the starboard stern?
triblet posted 06-14-2002 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
They have to put two places, the standard
starboard side of the transom, and one other/

On my 97ish Montauk, the other is inside the
bow locker, aft side, starboard.

And the HIN shouldn't be on a separate plate,
it should be molded into the fibreglas.


where2 posted 06-14-2002 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
On my 15' Sport, the HIN is on an aluminum plate in the bow locker. It's not moulded/melted/burned into the fiberglass. Can't remember what the transom has... I thought it had the little metal tag too.
skred posted 06-14-2002 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
My 85 15 sport has the metal tag in the bow locker, and also a metal tag on stern starboard corner.

ShrimpBurrito posted 06-14-2002 05:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Something to be aware of: The sheriff mentioned that any law enforcement agency (police, sheriff, marine patrol, Coast Guard, etc.) could seize a boat on site if it did not have a HIN on it, or the engine did not have a serial number on it. I'm not sure if it's just Oregon law, but I would think that at least some other states have something similar. My engine serial number is on the mounting bracket, starboard side, near the top of the transom.

Separately, does anyone know what the 6-digit alphanumeric sequence is painted in black on the inside of the transom?

Tom W Clark posted 06-15-2002 01:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

The bit about law enforcement being able to seize your boat if it doesn't have a HIN smacks of utter nonsense. While I will admit Oregon has some strange laws (In Oregon it's OK to kill yourself and smoke marijuana but you CANNOT pump your own gas) I really doubt that law enforcement has the power to unilaterally confiscate a boat or motor because it lacks a HIN or serial number.

The recent standing-while-driving thread illustrates that law enforcement officers make mistakes like the rest of us. I would take what he has told you with a grain of salt and research the law yourself.

This reminds me of 1989 when I sold my second Montauk to a nice guy who wanted to take the boat to a mechanic to have it checked out. He gave me a check for the purchase price with the agreement that if he decided he didn’t want it I’d give him his money back.

So he takes it to his mechanic who notes that the serial number on the 1986 Johnson 90 hp motor is missing. (OMC motors of that era had a decal with the serial number on it stuck on the mounting bracket, and these decals were prone to peel off with time. A poor arrangement, yes.) So the mechanic tells my potential buyer that he thinks the motor is stolen. My buyer gets all upset and is not sure he wants to buy it.

I’m P.O.ed! I tell the buyer to call Bob Jacobsen Jr. at Jacobsen’s Boats and Motors in Seattle, who sold me the motor, and ask him about it. I talk to Bob later in the day and he tells me the mechanic used to work at Jakes and was a disgruntled former employee. The buyer sheepishly agreed to follow through with the deal.

Lesson: don’t believe everything you’re told.

Highwater posted 06-15-2002 08:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
Tom et al: I am in the process of registering the 1977 Sport 15 that I bought last Sunday. The North Carolina Department Wildlife wants me to provide them with the 12-digit hull number that is described in this web site's FAQ, . However, there is no metal plate on the starboard side of the transom. There is an aluminum plate just to the port side of the engine, but it seems to have an insufficient number of digits: it is the number 2330 77B. Inside the boat, in the engine well, 5A1247 is in black.

Can you determine my 12-digit hull number from these this data?

Thanks! David

jimh posted 06-15-2002 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have a 1976 15-Sport.

The painted hull mold number is 5A003xx.
Your hull mold number is 5A1247.
Sound like they made at least 900 of those hulls between 1976-1977. Interesting.

As for the numbers on the metal plate, there may be other numbers/letters missing from view because they were pre-printed on the tag, while the ones you see were embossed on the tag. The pre-printed numbers have worn off, I would guess, while the embossed numbers remain.

While referring to the sequence mentioned in the HIN# FAQ, see if adding a few digits/letters that would be constant from boat to boat makes the number complete and more significant.

For example, prefix BWC....

Tom W Clark posted 06-15-2002 12:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Yes, the aluminum tag on the port side of the transom is your HIN tag.

As jimh points out, often the HIN tag had pre-printed information on it. I have seen HIN's on Whalers with as many as five of the characters or numbers pre-printed but not stamped into the aluminum.

The first three characters are a given in your case, BWC, which is Boston Whaler's MIC (Manufacturer's Identification Code.

The one character or number I cannot help you with is the fourth one. I believe that a given hull size, like a 15' would all have the same number in the first position of the five digit manufacturer's serial designation. This may be coded information that Boston Whaler uses or not. I'm not sure.

The last three digits or characters tell you that your boat was built in September of 1977.

So, to answer your question, your HIN is: BWCx233077B with the x being the one unknown. You now have two options for determining this missing number:

1) Look at another 15’ Whaler of the same vintage and note this character or number. It most likely will be the same as your’s

2) Call or email Chuck Bennett at Boston Whaler and ask him to tell you what it is.

ShrimpBurrito posted 06-15-2002 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Yes, I too thought the sheriff's statement that an officer can seize a boat without a HIN or engine serial number to be a bit much, especially since my engine serial number is affixed by a sticker as well. As Tom Clark mentioned, Oregon does have some funky laws, however, so I checked it out.

The below statutes are Oregon law (Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 830.880 to
830.895, taken from . Incidentally, it is federal law that all boats (at least those of Whaler-size) have the HIN attached in 2 places: one on the starboard stern, and the other in an "an unexposed location on the interior of the vessel or beneath a fitting or item of permanent hardware. A hull identification number may not be attached to any part of the vessel that is removable." Again, I'm not sure if only Oregon has laws giving officers authority to seize boats without this documentation, but it is clear you are at least in violation of federal law if you don't have the HIN affixed in 2 places. The Coast Guard could at least give you a citation.

830.880 Seizure of boats and equipment from which identification number has been removed; inspection of property; check for stolen boats; renumbering. (1) When a peace officer discovers a boat or component from which a number awarded by the State Marine Board or the manufacturer’s hull identification number assigned to the boat or the component identification number has been removed, defaced, covered, altered or destroyed, the peace officer may seize and hold it for identification and disposal as provided in ORS 830.880 to 830.895.

(2) The police agency having custody of the property shall have a specially qualified inspector or peace officer inspect the property for the purpose of locating the identification number. If the identification number is found it shall be checked with the list of stolen boats maintained by the National Crime Information Center. If the identification number is not found the police agency shall apply to the State Marine Board for renumbering as provided in ORS 830.895. [Formerly 488.905; 1999 c.391 §3; 2001 c.104 §317]

830.885 Return of seized property; investigation to determine ownership; notice to owner. (1) When the property seized under ORS 830.880 is not listed as stolen by the National Crime Information Center and the hull identification number is established the property shall be returned to the person from whom it was seized if:

(a) The person can establish that the person is the owner of the property; or

(b) The person executes a good and valid surety bond in an amount at least equal to the market value of the property and conditioned upon return of the property to the owner, if one can be established. The bond will be for a period of time determined by the State Marine Board.

(2) If the person to whom the property was returned does not establish that the person is the owner of the property the police agency holding the property shall make reasonable efforts to determine the names and addresses of the owner and all persons of record having an interest in the property. If the police agency is able to determine the names and addresses of the owner and such other persons it shall immediately notify the owner by registered or certified mail of the disposition of the property.

(3) When the property seized under ORS 830.880 is not listed as stolen by the National Crime Information Center and the hull identification numbers have been removed, altered or defaced and the person from whom the property was seized cannot establish that the person is the owner of the property, the sheriff of the county where the seizure took place shall take custody of the property and sell the property at public auction in the manner provided in ORS 87.192 and 87.196 or dispose of the property in a manner provided by local ordinance. If a bid for the property is not offered at the public auction, the sheriff may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property. [Formerly 488.910; 1999 c.391 §4]

Highwater posted 06-17-2002 05:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
Thank you, Jim and Tom. I hope to meet you one day! Best regards, David in Durham, NC.

PS: My wife and I are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary by taking the new Whaler down the Intercoastal Waterway from Amelia Island to St. Augustine. We leave tomorrow :)

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