If you find yourself looking at the Hull Number of a Beneteau Sailboat, you may be wondering a range of questions, such as what year the boat was manufactured, what model, or how many had been made before it. Fortunately, the Hull Identification Number, or HIN, has made it easy to identify this information.
This HIN system has been in place in the United States since 1973 with several format changes throughout the years. It is typically found on the transom of the boat, usually on the starboard (right) side of the transom. This number correlates with federal and state agencies and is used for precise vessel identification.
There are infrequent situations where a discrepancy arises between a boat’s state registration or USCG documentation, often from an erroneous keystroke. This mistake can snowball into a bigger issue if the seller proceeds into the closing process without rectifying it. To mitigate this issue, our brokerage team carefully reviews hull numbers on all identifying documents before listing the vessel.
To best illustrate the process of correctly identifying the HIN, our guide will use a 2023 Beneteau Oceanis 38.1 – one of the most popular models sailing worldwide.
What Year Is My Beneteau Sailboat?
Time needed: 2 minutes
Beneteau Sailboat Year & Model Decoder
- Find 12 Digit Hull Number on Transom
First locate the Hull Identification Numer (HIN) stamped into the transom. All Beneteau Sailboats manufactured after 1973 will have this identifying mark.
For example, this Oceanis 38.1 can be identified in further detail by the HIN printed on the transom BEYDW746B323.
- Manufacturers Identification Code
The first three letters identifies the manufacturer, as designated by federal / state governments. The lookup for MIC can be found here.
Looking at our Oceanis 38.1 example, we know that BEY identifies BENETEAU GROUP AMERICA, INC.
- Model Code Assigned By Manufacturer
The 4th and 5th digits identify the vessel’s model, and often the country of production. Using this lookup for our Oceanis 38.1 BEYDW746B323 we can tell that Beneteau uses a code of DW to identify an Oceanis 38.1 built in France.
- Hull Sequence Number
The 6th, 7th, and 8th numbers identify the hull sequence of this particular vessel. A 001 number will be used for Hull #1. Our BEYDW746B323 is the 746th Oceanis 38.1 built.
- Date of Manufacturer
This step can get confusing to many because it is not necessarily reflective of the calendar year. Approximately 1/3 of vessels of any model year were built in the previous year. Automotive model years are assigned in a similar method. The 10th digit in BEYDW746B323 tell us this boat was built in 2023.
- Model Year
Often the most critical part of the hull #, the 11th and 12th digits tell us the model year of the vessel. Identifying the model year can be critical for correctly matching USCG or State Registration/Title Forms. Our BEYDW746B323 was, logically, built in 2023.
The 11th and 12th digits of the Hull Identification Number (HIN) tell us the model year of the vessel.
The 4th and 5th digits identify the vessel’s model, and often the country of production. This information can be accessed from the manufacturer, often by way of a dealer.