Hull Identification Number (HIN) Explanation
Each Catalina 320 (C320) has a 12 character code that is unique to that hull, and identifies that boat specifically from any other individual boat. This is called the boat’s Hull Identification Number (HIN). This HIN is similar to a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) found on every automobile. The 12 characters include both letters and numbers, which have specific meanings. Understanding the VIN provides useful information about a specific boat.
Hull Identification Number (HIN) Location for C320s
The HIN will be found in two locations on Catalina 320s.
- On the starboard hull exterior, about 1 foot forward of the stern, just below the rail, scratched into the hull surface (it is very faint and hard to read in this location on older boats); and
- On the starboard hull interior, in the storage space under the v-berth, about 1 foot forward of the bulkhead, written in ink on a laminated label.
A sample HIN will look like: CTYC0499K798
(see below, for decoding instructions)
Hull Identification Number Decoding for C320s
CTY = First three letters.
This is the Manufacturer Identification Code for Catalina Yachts, Inc. It is on all Catalina boats.
C = Next single letter.
This is a letter that indicates the model type. A “C” in this position indicates a “Catalina 320” model. (Whereas an “H” is a “Catalina 22” model, etc.)
0499 = Next four numbers.
This is the hull serial number. It is a number assigned to a hull, numerically in order as each boat is produced. So the first hull is “0001”, the fiftieth hull is “0050”, etc. Only one boat of that model will have that number – it is unique to the model. This number is the number you can use on your sails. And since it tells you where your boat fits in production order, it tells you a great deal of information about the modifications your boat may have.
K7 = Next letter and number.
This is the manufacturing date. It is the date the hull was produced – the calendar year and month that the boat was built.
I = The Next letter
This indicates the month of manufacture
A = Jan D = Apr G = Jul J = Oct
B = Feb E = May H = Aug K = Nov
C = Mar F = Jun I = Sept L = Dec
7 = The next number
Is the last number of the year that the boat was manufactured. So for example, “7” is a boat that was manufactured in 1997. It is either the same year as the model year (below), or the year prior.
98 = The final two numbers.
This is the model year of the boat. So for example, “98” is a 1998 model year boat.
In this example, HIN CTYC0499K798 is a Catalina Yachts boat of the C320 model with hull serial number 0499 that was manufactured in November 1997 and is a 1998 model boat.
As you may notice, the manufacture date of a boat may be earlier than the model year of the boat. This is because they begin manufacturing the boats several months before January 1st of the official model year. A boat model is identified by its model year (e.g. a 1998 Catalina), not by the year of production (e.g. November 1997) or first sale.