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Laser Serial Hull Number Identification

The first three characters usually form the builder id. The rest of the numbers identify the hull.

In North America, these first 3 characters may be:

PFS = Performance Sailcraft (1971-1974) (Montreal, Québec, Canada: still manufacturing outside of the Americas.)
ZFS = Performance Sailcraft (1974 [as per hulls 16950-51626]-1985) (Point Claire, Québec)
PSC = Performance Sailcraft (19??-19??)
PSL = Performance Sailcraft USA (Owner Don Trask, San Rafael CA, 1973 to early '80s?)
PSI = Performace Sailcraft International (South Africa, until 1989)
ZID = Laser International (Ontario 1984-1991) Reincarnation of original Laser builder. (Also known as Performance Sailcraft Canada.)
PSB = Pearson Small Boats (1989-1991) (RI)
SLI = Sunfish Laser Inc (1991 to March 1997) New manufacturing facility.
OQT = Vanguard Sailboats Inc., RI (March 1997 to 2007) Initials stand for Quarter Moon Inc. Production continued in SLI facility which Vanguard purchased.

In 2007, Vanguard dropped the sail number from the HIN and replaced that part with a "L0123" format, which may or may not have coincided with PSE buying them (and rebranding the whole business as LaserPerformance a few months later). All Lasers and ILCA’s manufactured after this time have the sail number stamped in the cockpit.

For boats manufactured prior to 2007, the next 5 digits are the Sail Number. If the sail number is great then 99,999, then the first digit is a character, where A=10, B=11, C=12 etc. (i.e. a letter followed by 5 digits).

Last 4 characters indicate when the boat was built and the model year. Usually 1 letter followed by 3 numbers. The letter indicates the month of manufacture (according to Sunfish/Laser Inc.): A=Aug, B=Sept, C=Oct, D=Nov, E=Dec, F=Jan, G=Feb, H=Mar, I=April, J=May, K=June, L=July.

The next number indicates the year the boat was built (not model year!), followed by a 2 number model year. Eg.
D494 = Built Nov (D) 1994 (4) for 1994 model year (94).
F697 = Built Jan (F) 1996 for 1997 model year (97)

For example: SLI F1234 F494 = Sunfish Laser Inc, Sail number 151234, Built in January 1994 for Model Year 1994.

Older lasers: Last four digits of sail number may be missing or belong to an unknown code (e.g. ZFS 33426 0376 = march '76?). Boat manufacturing codes seem to conform to some industry norm - an Alden Ocean (rowing) shell hull number has a similar format.

1971 to 1973 Hulls: Sail number is only found on deck, under the bow eye. It is also reported that following the Laser prototypes, the first mass-manufactured Laser was numbered 101.
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