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SEVENTEEN CHARACTER HIN
An alternative Hull Identification Number for recreational boats.
The following is for information only. I do not take a position opposing or supporting the seventeen character HIN. This is here so you will know what is involved. As of January 2011 The US Coast Guard has withdrawn any proposals to require an expanded HIN. It is voluntary and can be used but is not required.
Law enforcement investigators, insurance underwriters and others who investigate boat thefts and insurance claims have been trying for many years to change the Hull Identification Number to a seventeen character number. The additional five characters would be descriptors of the boat and the last of the five would be a check digit that is calculated from all of the others. ABYC Has a standard for this. T-10
The first twelve characters are the same as a normal Hull Identification Number. Then a space must separate the next five characters.
The thirteenth character is the length descriptor. Note: the characters I, O and Q are not used.
The fourteenth character is the material descriptor
The fifteenth character is the propulsion descriptor
1. Manually propelled includes pedals, paddles, and oars, but not sails.
2. Sail includes sailboats which may have a small outboard engine for auxiliary power.
3. Other includes any propulsion system not listed above.
The sixteenth character is the hull type descriptor
1. Air Cushion Vehicle is sometimes called a hovercraft which is a registered trademark.
2. Cabin Configuration includes full cabin, cuddy cabin, houseboat, and in general, any shelter containing berths or other accommodations for personnel.
3. Closed Bow is most commonly called a runabout and includes any type of forward deck which is not a shelter for personnel.
4. Open Bow or Open Deck includes utility boats, open deck bass boats, and most center console boats.
5. Multi-Hull includes any watercraft where there are distinct hulls connected by a common deck such as tri-hulls, catamarans, and pontoon boats. There may be confusion between this definition and the Coast Guard’s definition of a mono-hull. For example, most tunnel hulls and some catamarans are treated as mono-hulls for the purpose of level flotation regulations because the bridge between the hulls touches the water at full load.
6. Personal Watercraft comprise a wide variety of craft which are designed to be ridden on rather than inside the hull.
The seventeenth character is the check digit. Calculated using the following tables. The Country code is not used.
Fill in row A in Table A with the first 16 characters of the HIN.
Fill in row B in Table A with the values for each character found in Table B.
Multiply the numbers in row B times those in row C and record the amount in row D.
Add up the numbers in row D.
Sum of Row D = _______
Divide Sum of Row D by 10 = _____ The remainder of the division is the check digit which becomes the seventeenth character. For instance if all the numbers add up to 127, 127 divided by 10 is 12 with a remainder of 7. Seven is then the check digit. If the sum of D is evenly divided by 10 and the remainder is 0 (zero) then the check digit (the seventeenth character) is 0 (zero)
Final Sum of Row D = 356 356 divided by 10 = 35 with 6 remaining
Check sum = 6
The HIN is ABC12345L495 H326 6
For boats using a country code this would be
US - ABC12345L495 H326
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