Boat History Reports

boat history report reviews

Just as when you’re buying a used car, 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. They’re like Carfax reports but for boats. They’re simply a must-have for any savvy boat buyer, helping you uncover hidden problems, past accidents, and other issues that could affect your boat’s value and safety.

What is a Boat History Report?

So, what exactly is a boat history report? Well, it’s a document that tells a boat buyer the past of a used boat so that you can better determine what the boat is really worth.

It’s like a personal detective that helps you uncover hidden stories the boat might otherwise be kept secret, and it’s definitely something you should ask for when buying a used boat from a dealer.

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 to get a boat history report

You can get a boat history report by using the boat’s Hull Identification Number (HIN), State Registration Number, or USCG Documentation.

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 using their own money.

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. When this happens, you will end up with a damaged boat that has no history of ever being damaged.

So, are boat history reports worth it? In our opinion, yes. Although these history reports can be inaccurate, most boat owners still prefer making insurance claims on major repairs and fixing only minor repairs out of pocket.

This is why we here at Sportfishhub will always recommend a marine survey alongside a boat history report rather than simply relying on what might or might not be on the record.

Boat History Reports vs. Carfax Reports

You might be wondering how boat history reports stack up against Carfax reports for cars. Well, they’re pretty similar. Both give you a detailed history of the vehicle or boat you’re thinking about buying. They can tell you about past accidents, damage, recalls, and other issues that could affect your purchase.

But, there are some differences. Boat history reports have some boat-specific info, like if the boat has run aground, been submerged, or had hurricane damage. Carfax reports, on the other hand, have car-specific info, like odometer readings and service history.

Despite these differences, both types of reports are super important for buyers. They give you the transparency you need to make an informed decision.

Can a Boat History Report Tell You When a Boat Was Built?

You bet! A boat history report can often tell you when a boat was built. This info is usually in the boat’s Hull Identification Number (HIN), which is like a unique fingerprint for each boat. It tells you about the boat’s manufacturer, model, and year of production.

Knowing when a boat was built is pretty important. It can affect the boat’s value and how much maintenance it might need. Older boats might need more TLC and could have more hidden problems. So, it’s definitely something to keep in mind when you’re boat shopping.

Can a Boat History Report Tell You If a Boat Has Been in an Accident?

Absolutely! A piece of key information that a boat history report can provide is whether the boat has been in an accident. This is super important because accidents can cause serious damage, some of which might not be visible to the naked eye.

Boat history reports can tell you if the boat has been involved in various accidents, like collisions, running aground, or even submerging. They can also tell you if the boat has been damaged in a hurricane or a fire. This kind of information is crucial because it can help you avoid buying a boat that might need costly repairs down the line.

Cost of Boat History Reports

You might ask yourself, “How much will a boat history report cost me?” Well, the cost of a boat history report can vary depending on the service you use. Some services might offer a basic report for a lower price, while others might charge more for a more detailed report.

Other services might have different pricing structures, so shopping around and comparing prices are a good idea. For example, Boat History Report offers detailed reports for $59.99. Remember, though, that the cost of a boat history report is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it can give you when buying a used boat.

Review of Boat History Report Services

Alright, let’s dive into some of the boat history report services out there. We’ll look at what each service offers and how they can help you in your boat-buying journey.

  1. This service offers a paid search service for boat history reports but also provides guidance on how to do it yourself for free. They provide links and steps to check Hull Numbers for free and get a free boat history check.
  2. Boat History Report®: This service lets you look up a boat using its HIN, State Registration Number, or USCG Documentation. The report includes information about damage, accidents, hurricanes, fire, theft, running aground, being submerged, total loss incidents, registration history, title history, recalls, and warranties.
  3. Boatfax: Boatfax provides boat history or value in seconds. You can start by entering a Hull Id Number. With Boatfax, you can still get a history or value report even if you don’t have a HIN. The service also provides automatic free worldwide validation.
  4. (BoatScope): This service allows you to search for boat records from eight master databases, all rolled into one interface. It offers detailed reports on multiple search criteria available for both desktop and mobile devices.


So there you have it! Boat history reports are a must-have when buying a used boat. They’re like your own detective, helping you uncover any hidden stories the boat might be keeping secret. While they do come with a cost, the peace of mind they provide is priceless. So, whether you’re a seasoned boat buyer or a newbie, make sure to get a boat history report and a boat survey before buying any used boat.

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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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