Hull Identification Numbers

The Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a 12-character serial number that uniquely identifies a boat, similar to a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that uniquely identifies an automobile. All boats manufactured or imported into the United States on or after November 1, 1972 are required by the U.S. Coast Guard to bear a HIN.

For boats manufactured or imported on or after August 1, 1984, the regulations require the boat manufacturer to display on the hull of each boat two identical hull identification numbers, no less than one-fourth of an inch high. The primary HIN must be permanently affixed (so that it can be seen from outside the boat) to the starboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. On catamarans the primary HIN must be affixed on the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard hull attachment. A duplicate secondary HIN must be affixed somewhere on an unexposed location inside the boat or beneath a fitting or item of hardware.

It is illegal for anyone (manufacturer, dealer, distributor, or owner) to alter or remove a HIN without written authorization from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Decoding HINs

The Coast Guard regulations prescribe the format of the HIN. The first three characters are a MIC (Manufacturer Identification Code) assigned by the Coast Guard to the manufacturer or importer of the boat; characters four through eight are a five-digit serial number assigned by the manufacturer; characters nine and ten indicate the month and year the boat was built; the last two characters are the model year.

The example above and the chart below apply to boats manufactured or imported on or after August 1, 1984. The following chart can be used to decode the month the boat was built (the 9th character of the HIN):

JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
A
B
C
D
E
F
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
G
H
I
J
K
L

The Coast Guard maintains a searchable database of MICs at http://uscgboating.org/recalls/mic_database.htm.

Privilege 42 HINs

The U.S. Coast Guard does not assign MICs for foreign boat manufactures. Instead, they assign the MIC to the importer of the boats. Catamaran Sales Inc (aka The Catamaran Company) was the "US Agent" for Jeantot Marine. The MIC for Catamaran Sales Inc is XCP.

So, all Privilege 42s imported into the US should have a HIN with a MIC of XCP. And, in fact, US Coast Guard documented Privilege 42s do have a HIN with the USCG 12-character format and beginning with XCP, but this HIN seems to appear only on paperwork, not physically on the boat itself (see below for more details on number on the hull).

Jeantot Marine appears to have used two formats for the 5-digit serial number portion of the HIN. Earlier boats used 42YYY, where YYY is still a mystery to me! For example, the number for hulls x and 7 are XCP42241B595 and XCP4295AL495. The later boats used 42ZZZ, where ZZZ is the sequential build number (aka the hull number). For example, the serial number for hull 22 is XCP42022G798.

Privilege 42s have a manufacturer's placard in the cockpit, on the forward face of the seat bench on the port side. It includes the following (and other) information:

Privilege 42s do have a number stamped/molded into the hull. This number is located on the port hull, near the transom just below the hull/deck joint. For example, the number for hull 22 is 3544085M22G798 (14 characters). This number would appear to be a combination of the "No Ch." from the placard (3544085, 7 characters), a derivation of the "No De SÚrie" from the placard (M22, 3 characters), and the two date codes which are the last four characters of the HIN (G798, 4 characters).


Last Page Update: 22 April 2006