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Whether your boat is new or used, it should have what is known as a Hull Identification Number, or HIN. This number is similar to a Vehicle Identification Number on a car, and is essential for recording a boat's history, especially in the case of major repair or accident. The HIN is a unique set of 12 characters and all boats built after 1972 have one. It is found on the back of the vessel in the upper most, right-hand corner. The HIN may also be written on the title or registration, or in the packet of insurance information. Even though your boat has a HIN secured to its exterior, you should write down the number and keep it in a secure place off the boat such as a safety deposit box. That way, if your boat is stolen, you'll be able to help the authorities locate it.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|