HIN typo/build date issue - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-03-2011
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HIN typo/build date issue

I posted this in the P30 forum, but I discovered that in the "boat builder's" forums, new posts don't populate in the list of new threads!

First, a little background: Hull number is not to be confused with a 12 digit Hull ID Number (HIN).

I bought my P30, hull #255. This boat was probably constructed on the cusp of when Hull ID Numbers were required by the USCG, beginning on 1 November, 1972.

I have a Virginia title that says the boat is a 1973 boat, but it lists the HIN as #255, not the 12 digit HIN that you'd expect to find on a 1973 boat. I have crawled all over her, and checked that special corner up in the starboard area on the inside of the transom and there is no HIN plate, nor evidence that there ever was one. The build plate just under the companion way only says "255". On newer Pearsons, the HIN would also be there.

I am certain that there is no foul play on the part of the seller. This is either an innocent typo by the Virginia DNR, or the boat construction began prior to the HIN requirement, but was sold as a 1973 model.

My question is, how do I convince the Maryland DNR that the boat is legitimate? I can't find an online resource that lists HIN's by construction year. All I have is some moldy Sailnet posts by previous owners who have hull numbers in early 1972 that are very close to my hull number.

Since I have a valid Virginia title signed over to me, do you think the Maryland DNR will even care?
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post

Since I have a valid Virginia title signed over to me, do you think the Maryland DNR will even care?
No

The main thing they want is any fees and/or taxes.
The state has a form for everything. Go there tell em the problem and fill out the form.
Just be prepared to have to go and do something stupid and stand in line another day.
Oh and pay something.
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Old 08-04-2011
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I feel your pain. The NY DMV actually cared and I had a pain of a time with it. My boat is 1971 and has no HIN, just a hull number. She is documented, but the CG documentation says "unknown" for the build year. I was lucky in that I managed to track down somebody who had access to the original build records, and I ended up getting a copy of the Lloyds build certificate. Any chance that Pearson has records that could help?

On a side note of absurdity that your tax dollars pay for, the CG won't take the Lloyds build certificate as proof that she is from 1971 because it says the keel wasn't attached yet and it doesn't indicate that the engine was on board. They didn't care that the current engine was new in 2008 ...
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Old 08-04-2011
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Boats are like cars and horse, they all have a real year and a "model" year. Any DMV should know that you can buy a 2012 car in 2011, that it can be built in one year but "named" as the next year's model.

So if anyone at a DMV can't figure out that a 1973 model year boat might have actually been built and sold in 1972...just ask for a supervisor and remind them it works for boats exactly the same way it works for cars.

If you have a state title, every other state is required by federal law to honor it.

And in most states, if you have to use a DMV office to deal with boats? It really helps to use an office in a boating town, because the landlubbers usually have no experience with boats.

Pearson? Yes, Pearson-Arrow? you know, they got bought out by Packard in the 40's? (sigh)
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Old 08-05-2011
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Lore seems to have it that the adoption of proper HINs by manufacturers was somewhat erratic at first, and some builders took longer than others to get around to issuing full HINs. And, on some older boats, HINs may have been etched and painted over, or plates may have gotten detached. And I second the recommendation to go to a motor vehicle department in a boating area, where the clerks are more accustomed to boat issues.
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Old 08-08-2011
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The Solution

In Maryland, the Dept. Of Natural Resources is responsible for registering and titling boats. The Motor Vehicle Administration handles boat trailers and automobiles.

The clerk immediately asked me where the HIN was, telling me that "255" is not a valid HIN. I told her that I have no idea why Virginia put that on the boat title, but I explained that based on anecdotal evidence, the boat probably began construction prior to November 1st, 1972 and was completed somewhere near the end of the year, and sold as a 1973 model OR that the Virginia title clerk simply made a typo when creating the title. After all, the "2" and "3" keys are right next to each other. It's not inconceivable.

The clerk agreed, and called a supervisor. She then issued me a unique, Maryland, HIN. It's on my registration card, will be on my title, and I was directed to etch it into the hull where a normal HIN would be.

I actually anticipate that this will cause me further difficulty down the road when I go to sell the boat. A prospective buyer could accuse me of just etching the HIN in the hull of any old Pearson. Since I anticipate owning the boat for a long time, I'm not going to worry about it now.
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Old 08-08-2011
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I don't think it'll cause a problem with resale. As a matter of fact, it's actually a "bonus" should the person be local and want to re-register it in your state.
It's obviously too late now, but I was going to weigh in that I thought Florida woud issue the boat it's own, new HIN number. I've got a "year issue" on my boat, but since it's already titled, and already done, I'm not worrying about it.
Usually, when it comes to reselling a sailboat of this vintage/size/type/etc., "Early 70s" is sufficient because all the value is going to be in upkeep and upgrades that both you and the PO's may have done. Congrats on getting a title at least.
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Old 08-08-2011
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Here's a number, go put it on some boat?

Only a government bureaucrat could think that was a legal--let alone good--way to deal with titled property. While you certainly can dremel it into the transom, you might want to follow that up with a slow correspondence with some Mary Land authorities after asking the USCG Veseel Documentation folks how that would afect subsequent documentation and titling, what their opinion of it might be.

The brilliance of the Mary Land b'crats is not unique. I know some in NY (DMV) who balked at the HIN on a registration name change, said it couldn't possibly be right even though it was on the records for a decade at that point and it DID match the hull. they were only happy with a picture of the actual digits to prove they were the actual digits. A picture...in the Photoshop age?

These folks really should be kept as McBurger cashiers for life, letting them out into the general population is simply not a good thing. Sometimes entertaining, but generally not a good thing.
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