Vehicle identification numbers (VINs) apply to many types of vehicles: cars, trucks, RVs, motor homes, trailers, ATVs and motorcycles. You can purchase a Vehicle History Report using this 17-digit number to find the registered owner. But VINs do not apply to boats. Instead, they use a 12-digit HIN (Hull Identification Number). Since states require the HIN to appear on registration certificates, you can find the boat’s owner by purchasing a boat history report online and paying with a credit card.
Copy the HIN from the upper right hand corner of the stern of the boat. You can also find the HIN on the boat registration certificate or bill of sale.
Go to a website that sells boat history reports. Examples are boatfax.com and boathistoryreport.com.