Catalina HIN and Boat Insurance

We acquired boat insurance from BoatUS. The rate was pretty reasonable, and covers both the boat and the trailer. One of the questions the insurance guy asked was the HIN (Hull ID Number) of the boat. While researching it, I realized that the HIN on the title for the boat didn't match the pattern of the Catalina HINs and couldn't possibly be right.

A HIN is the boating equivalent of a VIN (Vehicle ID Number) on a car. It is supposed to be a unique identifier that is permanently attached to the vehicle. On a Catalina, this is scratched by hand (literally) into the fiberglass on the transom of the boat while the fiberglass is drying. It is in the upper right corner of the transom and very hard to see.

The guy scratching it on our boat had bad handwriting and it is hard to read. You'd think they would use a better method for something so important. Whoever applied for the title for the boat years ago misread it, and probably read it over the phone after that, because the last four digits were completely mangled on the title.

The pattern for Catalina 22s 1985 and later is:


CTY = Catalina
H = 22 (Model #)
9999 = Serial Number truncated to the last 4 digits (this should match the serial number plate inside the cockpit)
X = Month built A = January B=February ... L=December
9 = Last digit of year of manufacture (5 = 1985, 1995, or 2005)
99 = Model Year (85=1985) Model year starts in August

Since the HIN was mangled on the title for the boat, I needed to make a rubbing of the HIN from the boat itself (rub a pencil across a piece of paper over the HIN). Then I presented that to the licensing people. Since we are both on the title, we both needed to be there with photo ID. The cost was $17 for a new title, which should arrive in about four weeks.