Understand Hull#

I have a X-17 Sawyer canoe. I understand the first three digits identify the brand. I’m missing the third digit and need that. I’m also missing the 9th digit. I think it may have something to do with the year. Can anyone help me?

The first three characters of the hull identification number (HIN) constitute the manufacturers identification code (MIC). These characters are letters, not numerical digits, and are assigned to the manufacturer of the boat. If that manufacturer is later bought out by another boat maker or a conglomerate, the MIC gets transferred to the new owner.

For a boat made by Sawyer Canoe Company, that MIC should read SAW. There should be 12 alphanumeric characters in the HIN, including the MIC. The last four characters denoted the month and date the hull was certified (built) and the model year for which the boat was intended to be introduced for sale. These last four characters followed several different formats which changed over the years.

The middle five characters could be all digits or a combination of letters and digits. These could be used by the manufacturer in any manner they wished, so long as the HIN for each hull certified was unique. Some makers used one or more of these characters to denote the model. Others simply assigned serial numbers to manufactured hulls sequentially without regard to model. Some manufacturers changed their numbering practices over the years. I have no idea what Sawyer’s practice was.

If you can produce the last four characters of the HIN we can tell you what the year and month of manufacture was, if that is what you want to know.

The last four of the of the 12 digit HIN is _888. It’s that 9th digit I don’t have, since you have provided the 3rd digit

could be a 0
For the 8th month August. That space would be needed for dates of Oct and later

months are many times done with letters August would be a H The 3rd from the end is the year of the series. The last 2 are the year of the particular boat.

If you are sure that the last three characters of the HIN are 888, then the character preceding those three eights should be a letter, not a digit. The year of manufacture (certification) was 1988 for the 1988 model year. That ninth character is a letter denoting the month of manufacture starting with an “A” for August through an “L” for December.

Since the model year was 1988 the boat was probably certified in the late winter of '87-'88 or in the spring of 1988 so that letter is probably going to be an A through E or thereabouts.

Boats made after 1984 are supposed to have a second HIN in a “hidden” location. This could be scribed into the hull interior under a deck plate or even hidden under some fitting. Take a flashlight and shine it up into the small space between the top of the flotation tank and the bottom of the deck plate on each end and see if there is anything etched on the side of the hull interior.

Thanks for everyone’s help. I easily managed to get it registered. Reason is, my daughter got an unregistered canoe ticket in Illinois. They couldn’t believe her that the canoe belonged to her dad who lives in Michigan. She lives in Chicago. She’s taking it again tomorrow north thru the UP and Wisc. to the Boundary Waters. I didn’t want to risk her getting another costly fine. I like this forum and intend to stay an avid reader.

Illinois cannot figure out how to anything correctly. Years ago canoes or kayaks needed no registration as long as they did not have a motor attached. Then in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s they needed a sticker $9.00 for three years IIRC this included inflatables with or without a motor. Then the state went to a yearly “Water Use” sticker and last year about a month after I bought my “Water Use” sticker they went back to nothing needed unless it has a motor. So as of now no registration is needed in Illinois, we also go mostly in Indiana where no registration is needed. Jim.

Yes, Illinois clearly demonstrated their idiocy when they made you buy a WUS (water usage sticker) from a POS (point of service provider).