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1985 Beneteau First 29
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're in the process of buying a 1977 Reliance 44 and can't find the hull ID number. I've looked on the boat and can't find it. The USCG documentation lists it as "N/A". I thought boats built after 1972 had to have a hull ID number. Can anyone shed some light on this mystery? Thanks!
 

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Pearson 26
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You’re right. After ‘72, boats were required to display a HIN either on the starboard top edge of the transom or on the starboard hull at the top and within a foot of the stern that could be visible from outside the boat. On my Pearson it can only be seen if I lean out and look up under the rub rail.
If you’re buying the boat, the seller should have a proper title which shows the HIN. If not, I’d be wary of the sale. You won’t be able to register or insure it without that number.
 

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Pearson 26
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This explains more about hull ID #s.

My ‘73 Pearson has a HIN created for it by New Jersey DMV with a “Z” in the first three letters which means its a homemade or salvaged boat. It isn’t, but that’s what NJ gave it.
I have a plate on the stern that shows the Pearson hull # of 588 which would have been included in the original HIN, but the New Jersey assigned HIN only has a numerically sequenced number instead of the manufacturers code and “HULL“ instead of the code for manufacture date. This unorthodox HIN caused a few delays in titling and insuring. I only know she’s a ‘73 by looking at the range of hulls built each year from ‘71 til ‘83
 

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1985 Beneteau First 29
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Will. The USCG documentation is current and states "none" next to the hull ID in the online database.
 

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Aloha 32 & Hunter 26.5
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236 Posts
Since it was documented by the previous owner, you will be able to document it without a HIN number. If you ever want to take it out of documentation (delete it) & get a state title instead, you will probably be out of luck.

If for any reason, the deal smells fishy, I would walk away. I have had that issue with two boats that I previously wanted to buy. I walked away from both.

Since it is documented, be sure that the documentation number is properly affixed to the hull.
 

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Aloha 32 & Hunter 26.5
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On my current boat, the latest paint job has almost filled in the HIN number. It is barley visible, but it can be made out with some effort. There are boats out there that have legitimate reasons why the HIN number can't be seen. There are also problem boats out there. I would start by looking at another boat of the same type & vintage to find out where exactly the number should be & what it should look like. A little gentle sanding might bring the number up if you know where to look.
 
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