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Boat History Reports

boat history report reviews

When you are buying a used boat, you want to know its history, which typically includes finding out:

  • Has the boat been in any accidents?
  • Has the boat had any major repairs?

Well, this is where Boat History Reports come in.

Below I am going to walk you through some common questions people have about these reports and whether it’s worth it to spend your hard-earned money on them.

Must Read: The Top 3 Boat History Report Websites Reviewed.

Hull Identification Number Search – Free

free boat history check
free boat history check

I am often asked if there is any way to get a free boat history check, and the answer is technically yes.

While you can’t get access to a full and detailed free boat history report, you CAN do a HIN Number check for free on the National Insurance Crime Bureau website, which will tell you if an insurance claim for theft has ever been filed on the boat,


If the boat has ever been reported as a salvage vehicle.

If you would simply like a free way of verifying the manufacturer of a boat, you can do that on HINDecoder.

What is a Boat History Report?

what is a boat history report
What is a boat history report?

A boat history report is a document that provides detailed information about a boat’s past, helping potential buyers make informed decisions when purchasing a used boat.

It’s very similar to a Carfax report for cars.

What is included in a boat history report

What is included in a boat history report
What is included in a boat history report

These boat history reports are pretty detailed and usually include the following:

  • Any damage history, like accidents, hurricanes, fires, and theft
  • Times when the boat might have run aground or been submerged
  • Any total loss incidents
  • The boat’s registration history
  • Title History
  • Any recalls
  • Warranties

How Much Do Boat History Reports Cost?

cost of boat history reports
cost of boat history reports

The cost of boat history reports varies depending on the company and the type of report you choose. Here are the costs for boat history reports from three popular companies:

  1. Boat History Report: A single report costs $59.99, and you can get six reports for $99.99, which must be used within 60 days.
  2. Boatfax: The standard report costs $20, with additional features available at extra costs, such as a worldwide search for $3, a cross-check for $6, and a smart search for $5. A comprehensive report with all add-ons costs $34.
  3. Boat Alert: A single report costs $19.99, and a package of 10 reports costs $39.99.

How to get a boat history report

How to get a boat history report
How to get a boat history report

You can get a boat history report by using the boat’s HIN Number, which is the Hull Identification Number, State Registration Number, or USCG Documentation. The three most popular and reliable HIN lookup services are:

What Does a Boat History Report Look Like?

Below is a sample of a boat history report from

what does a boat history report look like
What does a boat history report look like?

Is a Boat History Report worth it?

What boat history reports leave out:

Just like when you pull a Carfax report, boat history reports can be incomplete, and here is why:

When a boat is damaged by an owner in a way that doesn’t involve another party, such as if they run into their dock or an object in the water, they have the option of making repairs “Out of pocket”.

This means no police report or insurance claim is ever filed, which is what boat history reports and carfax reports rely on for their information.

So, are boat history reports worth it?

In our opinion, yes.

Although these history reports often lack important information, it’s still a good idea to spend a few bucks and make sure you do EVERYTHING you can to verify you are making an informed decision.

Our Final Thought

So there you have it!

Are boat history reports the answer to buying a used boat without getting scammed? No. However, when you consider the cost of the average boat vs the cost of running a report, there is no question in my mind that it just makes sense to run a report and check that box.

You might also be interested in reading:

Picture of Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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