Hull ID number means what?

Thread starter #1
I am considering buying a Laser with the hull number: SLII8718E297. What can anyone tell me about what this means. I think it is that it means it was made by Sunfish Laser Inc. and was model year 1997. Is this correct? If there is any other information you can tell me about this, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!
 
#2
"SLI" for "Sunfish Laser Inc." is correct.

Then, it seems to me, there are some mistakes in the Hull Identification Number you quote above:

"I" would mean "18" (if "A" would be "10" , "B" = "12" etc. ) as the first left digits of the sailnumber.
This means : "I" = 18 and with "8718" it would mean the sailnumber is 188718. This would be a boat of 2006!! I guess, there is a mistake in your quotation of the HIN.

"E" means the month in that the hull was built - according to Sunfish/Laser Inc.: A=Aug, B=Sept, C=Oct, D=Nov, E=Dec, F=Jan ...

The third last digit indicates the year the boat was built (not model year!), followed by a 2 number model year.
297" would mean: built in Dec 1992 for model year 1997 (the final two digits of the HIN).

So, there definitely is another mistake in your quotation of the HIN. (1992 is not realistic)

From all I know, in 1997 boats with sailnumbers between the following limits have been built (sold first) : "1613xx" to "1643xx". Try to prove if there is a mistake in the HIN you quote above" .

Ciao
LooserLu
 
Thread starter #3
"SLI" for "Sunfish Laser Inc." is correct.

Then, it seems to me, there are some mistakes in the Hull Identification Number you quote above:

"I" would mean "18" (if "A" would be "10" , "B" = "12" etc. ) as the first left digits of the sailnumber.
This means : "I" = 18 and with "8718" it would mean the sailnumber is 188718. This would be a boat of 2006!! I guess, there is a mistake in your quotation of the HIN.

"E" means the month in that the hull was built - according to Sunfish/Laser Inc.: A=Aug, B=Sept, C=Oct, D=Nov, E=Dec, F=Jan ...

The third last digit indicates the year the boat was built (not model year!), followed by a 2 number model year.
297" would mean: built in Dec 1992 for model year 1997 (the final two digits of the HIN).

So, there definitely is another mistake in your quotation of the HIN. (1992 is not realistic)

From all I know, in 1997 boats with sailnumbers between the following limits have been built (sold first) : "1613xx" to "1643xx". Try to prove if there is a mistake in the HIN you quote above" .

Ciao
LooserLu
I think you are right that there is at least one mistake in the HIN. What I was particularly trying to determine was the model year of the boat. Since Sunfish Laser Inc. only made lasers from 1991 to March 1997, and the last two digits on the HIN are 97, leads me to believe that it definitely must be a 1997 model Laser. Since the post on the boat that was up for sale clearly says the sail number was 188718, I am guessing that the sail did not originally come with that boat. That is the only thing that would make sense to me and explain the discrepancy in the middle part of the serial no. Supposedly the boat hull had been repainted and that the number on the hull was difficult to read afterward. Thanks for your help.
 
#4
If I may, I'm going to jump in here because I also have some serial number confusion. Serial number ZFSA9926M83D. The"D" may be a "0". I attached a photo.
I understand the number until the last 4 digits. M? I don't see an M in the chart indicating the month. In addition, if I understand this correctly the "D" should be a numeral.
Apparently, the boat was built in 1983.
Any explanations?
 

Attachments

#5
I think you are right that there is at least one mistake in the HIN. What I was particularly trying to determine was the model year of the boat. Since Sunfish Laser Inc. only made lasers from 1991 to March 1997, and the last two digits on the HIN are 97, leads me to believe that it definitely must be a 1997 model Laser. Since the post on the boat that was up for sale clearly says the sail number was 188718, I am guessing that the sail did not originally come with that boat. That is the only thing that would make sense to me and explain the discrepancy in the middle part of the serial no. Supposedly the boat hull had been repainted and that the number on the hull was difficult to read afterward. Thanks for your help.
Based on the Wikli link posted in another thread I think the HIN looks ok for sail number 188718 but the "E2" seems to be a mistake. If the hull was painted and it's hard to read is it possible that the "2" is really a "6" (even though you wouldn't normally expect to confuse the two)? Does the boat have registration paperwork? That might clear up the confusion on the HIN (but it's also likely that the DMV has the number wrong too).
 
Thread starter #6
Based on the Wikli link posted in another thread I think the HIN looks ok for sail number 188718 but the "E2" seems to be a mistake. If the hull was painted and it's hard to read is it possible that the "2" is really a "6" (even though you wouldn't normally expect to confuse the two)? Does the boat have registration paperwork? That might clear up the confusion on the HIN (but it's also likely that the DMV has the number wrong too).
The HIN that I received was from the boat registration, so that wasn't any help either. Regardless, I ended up not buying the boat because what seemed to be a post for a 2001 Laser actually was a 1997 so somebody else has it now--perhaps for the best, I have wondered what problems might have been hidden under a new gel coat paint job on the hull.
 
#7
If I may, I'm going to jump in here because I also have some serial number confusion. Serial number ZFSA9926M83D. The"D" may be a "0". I attached a photo.
I understand the number until the last 4 digits. M? I don't see an M in the chart indicating the month. In addition, if I understand this correctly the "D" should be a numeral.
Apparently, the boat was built in 1983.
Any explanations?
I made some slight inquiries and found out:
Already drLaser in 2004 mentioned that the HIN of the "ZFS" - Laser hulls (built by Laser Performance at Pointe-Claire, Quebec) at the last four characters the two letters are dubious / unexplained (in your case: "...M..D"). The digits say the year the hull was built, in your case: 1983 (as you already mentioned). If "A" (aft "ZFS") would be "10", the the sail number in your case would be "109926". This would be in harmony with the known sailnubers of built boats of 1983.
Ciao
LooserLu
 
#9
I've stumbled across an ad for a boat whose owner claims it is a 2004 Laser with hull number:
JBW1020MCD86 and sail number 180539

This hull number does not seem to correspond to typical Laser builders and hull numbers. Can anyone help?
 
#10
Can anyone tell me the age of the sail I am buying with a number 197834. Thanks - Mukund
 
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#12
I have a laser with no id sticker but a hull number of 26577 !! Location Australia, any help as to its age is greatly appreciated.
 
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#13
I have a laser with no id sticker but a hull number of 26577 !! Location Australia, any help as to its age is greatly appreciated.
It's probably a 1975 hull.

The Old Dr. Laser FAQ (https://web.archive.org/web/20020805045147fw_/http://www.drlaser.org/frm/FAQfW.html) has helpful info for this although it is North America centric:

"How do I determine my sail number and boat year?
On the transom is the serial number of the Laser. EG: PFS 80000 L879
In North Amarica, the first 3 characters usually form the builder's ID. (See http://www.teamvanguard.com/ for updates.) The rest of the numbers identify the hull. For hulls manufactured in New Zealand, for instance, it is know however that no manufacturer identification code letters may exist.
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) Any PSBs with '92 ?
  • SLI = Sunfish Laser Inc (1991 [or 1992 ?] to March 1997) New manufacturing facility.
  • OQT = Vanguard Sailboats Inc., RI (March 1997 to present) Initials stand for Quarter Moon Inc. Production continued in SLI facility which Vanguard purchased. Personnel the same.
  • Does your Hull number help fill out this list?
Next 5 digits are the sail number. If the sail number is great than 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.
European Lasers
UK manufacturer has commonly etched the sail number only under the bow eye, with no additional stamping on the transom. In cases where the etching under the bow eye has special codes (such as "GHN067"), there is also an aluminium sticker riveted into the back wall of the cockpit, and the sail number is etched on the sticker. (Confirmed examples include UK-made hulls with the numbers 10423, 30648, and 67225.)
NZ Lasers
Until early 1990s, Performance Sailcraft in New Zealand also manufactured hulls with the sail number stamped on the transom, without any manufacturer codes or manufacturing year identification. NZ hull number 132524 is such a hull. Later, a manufacturer's ID was used: number 156749 had both a manufacturer ID stamped on the transom as well as the sail number.
based on Neil Berman's FAQ1"


The table for sail number vs year is at https://web.archive.org/web/20030622234144/http://www.drlaser.org/frm/FAQf.html:

How do I determine the age of the boat from the sail number?
When was a boat with sail number XXXXXX built? If you do know the full hull serial number engraved on the hull, then the hull number reveals the year the boat was manufactured. (See the related FAQ item.) If you don't know the full hull serial number - as in many cases where a hull appears in a "FOR SALE" ad or as in many Laser Mailing List posts where sailors sign their posts also with their sail numbers, then the following table contains sail number ranges and the year they were issued. This table is a work-in-progress, is based on the best verifiable information currently available, and should be used as a rough guide only. Sorry, No Laser II numbers in the table.

Year

Number

Year

Number

Year

Number

2000 166843-168261 1990 138878 1980 80467-90547
1999 166098-166145 1989 130211-136849 1979 69547-79977
1998 164394-165011 1988 134145-134953 1978 52604-60996
1997 160976-162136 1987 129199-129368 1977 51221-51626
1996 158005-159878 1986 121539-128447 1976 33426-44847
1995 153020-158000 1985 117982-120978 1975 23926-32167
1994 152196-153019 1984 114372-117859 1974 15430-22496
1993 148878 1983 109837-112339 1973 3230-14305
1992 147273-148395 1982 104258 1972 2100-2205
1991 144077 1981 95129-100630 1971 95-718

drLaser has contacted the Laser Builders and Bruce Kirby, the designer of the Laser, to obtain any additional information they could provide. Kirby notes: "If you have been having difficulty getting this type of information from the builders it may be because they consider it proprietary, or it is more likely that they simply found it a very time-consuming task." However, Kirby was able to provide the approximate sail numbers issued each year from March to March since 1989 when he was charged with keeping track of the hull numbers after the manufacturer Performace Sailcraft International, PSI (South Africa) went broke in 1989.
The sail number - issue year pairs provided by Bruce Kirby are only "approximate" statistics because sail numbers are not likely to be requested at the same time every month, and of course, the below pairs have to do with when the numbers are ordered and not when the boats are built! Japan, for example, might order 50 numbers for a whole year, whereas PSE may order numbers for, and build, about 150 boats a month.
HULL NUMBERS ISSUED BY DESIGNER - after 1 March 1989
PeriodHull Numbers
March 1989 to March 1990 136,951 to 140,824
March 1990 to March 1991 140,825 to 144,160
March 1991 to March 1992 144,161 to 146,718
March 1992 to March 1993 146,719 to 150,201
March 1993 to March 1994 150,202 to 154,287
March 1994 to March 1995 154,288 to 156,338
March 1995 to March 1996 156,339 to 159,459
March 1996 to March 1997 159,460 to 161,735
March 1997 to March 1998 161,736 to 165,814
March 1998 to March 2000 165,815 to 169,724
March 2000 to March 2001 169,725 to 172,425
Note that the only definitive information you can derive from the above table is the following:

    • a boat with sail number X could not have been manufactured before the March of a year Y if X is less than the smallest sail number issued for the period starting with the March of that year Y.
* Some history:
J. Price wrote:"I have one of the original hulls shown at the NYC boat show, I think in '72. John Bertram and I were at MIT in the ocean engineering dept doing graduate work. He said he had a friend in Canada making these neat boats and I might want to buy one. Went to the boat show and made arrangements to pick one up in Canada after the show. Drove up in one hell of a snow storm and tied it on the top of the car. About 10 years ago, I needed a hull number for CA registration, and, after talking to Canada, was told to use # 99 since they started formally numbering them at 100, and this was earlier. We named her 'radish' from the hull color and she's still afloat today at Smith Mtn Lake in SW Virginia."
Some data based on Neil Berman FAQ1
 
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#15
I'm glad you could figure that out, phew. As clear as mud to me. Thanks for your help.
Sorry, it looked a heck of a lot better when I posted - the formatting was still in the tables but I see that it got stripped out somewhere along the way. It's much more readable on the original website.
 
#16
Ok so here's a bunch of images of what looks like a big project.

I know that this should be posted on many individual threads but thought at this point I would just put them here.

I picked up the boat for $50

It was found washed up on the beach after a storm and after doing a major ring around to all the sailing clubs was eventually acquired and signed off as not claimed by the local water police etc.

You can see that there are a few things to fix!!!!

1. The hole is at the bottom of the mast step tube obviously needs patching.

2. The top (deckside) tube needs fixing up. The diameter of the hole will need to be narrowed somewhat. There has been a fair bit of wear. If anybody has the dimensions of that hole would be good, I believe it's oval??

3. scratches will need to be sanded and filled (gelcoat putty?)

4 I like the blue "colour" (I'm Australian :) but think it would be a nightmare to colour match and and i'm thinking of repainting the whole hull with white flow coat (roller maybe the best option), do i need to seal the flow coat from air for it to cure, there seems to be differing opinions?

5. Fix up the dodgy bog repairs here and there. The last shot is inside the transom (there are four equally spaced inspection ports in this thing all on the midline!).

6. Talking of which, I will need to add another port offset of the mast step to sure up the tube from the inside.

I know people (me include) love looking at other people's projects so hope you enjoy. I will keep you posted on my travels.

Any advise would be appreciated.


P1010902.jpg P1010903.jpg P1010904.jpg P1010905.jpg P1010906.jpg P1010907.jpg P1010910.jpg P1010921.jpg P1010922.jpg P1010930.jpg P1010932.jpg
 
#17
Here are the rudder and centre boards. The centre board has a bit of rust but I think the rudder has rust running well under the surface. Wondering if its worth trying to repair or if, by the time I have cut out all the corroded high tensile steel wires whether the structural integrity will be overly compromised??

P1010937.jpg P1010938.jpg P1010939.jpg
 
#18
We a very good condition Laser in our Club boatyard with the HIN ZFS 80017 M79E So this tells me its a 1979 so your chart for 1979 above should go out to 80017 at least.
Tom
 

LaLi

Active Member
#19
That would mean that the traditional list is off by several thousand for the 1970s/early 80s numbers.

One more time, the "traditional" list:

1977 35265 - 42273
1978 42274 - 56277
1979 56278 - 72998
1980 72999 - 86490
1981 86491 - 93254
1982 93255 - 104928
1983 104929 - 112845
1984 112846 - 118022
1985 118023 - 132688*
1986 132689* - 128595
1987 128596 - 132231
1988 132232 - 136322
1989 136323 - 139659
1990 139660 - 142789
1991 142790 - 145705
1992 145706 - 148322
1993 148323 - 152360
1994 152361 - 155822
1995 155823 - 158264
1996 158265 - 161382
1997 161383 - 164398
1998 164399 - 166270
1999 166271 - 168874
2000 168875 - 171536
2001 171537 - 173950
2002 173951 - 176694
2003 176695 - 179554
2004 179555 - 182213
2005 182214 - 185370
2006 185371 - 188573
2007 188574 - 192439
2008 192440 - 194846
2009 194847 - 197063
2010 197064 - 200309
2011 200310 - 202431
2012 202432 - 204542
2013 204543 - 206662
2014 206663 - 208458
2015 208459 -

* Obvious typo by LP - change the 2s and the 3s and it makes sense.

http://shopeu.laserperformance.com/product_images/pdf/LaserAgeList.pdf


The "drLaser" list, in a more readable form:

1971 95 - 718
1972 2100 - 2205
1973 3230 - 14305
1974 15430 - 22496
1975 23926 - 32167
1976 33426 - 44847
1977 51221 - 51626
1978 52604 - 60996
1979 69547 - 79977
1980 80467 - 90547
1981 95129 - 100630
1982 104258
1983 109837 - 112339
1984 114372 - 117859
1985 117982 - 120978
1986 121539 - 128447
1987 129199 - 129368
1988 134145 - 134953
1989 130211** - 136849
1990 138878
1991 144077
1992 147273 - 148395
1993 148878
1994 152196 - 153019
1995 153020 - 158000
1996 158005 - 159878
1997 160976 - 162136
1998 164394 - 165011
1999 166098 - 166145
2000 166843*** - 168261

** Obvious error.
*** I can tell from personal experience that this is erroneous (I've briefly owned a 1676xx boat which was definitely built before July 1999).


The "Kirby" list (of ordered numbers, and for a 1 March to 28/29 February year):

1989 136951 - 140824
1990 140825 - 144160
1991 144161 - 146718
1992 146719 - 150201
1993 150202 - 154287
1994 154288 - 156338
1995 156339 - 159459
1996 159460 - 161735
1997 161736 - 165814
1998-99 165815 - 169724
2000 169725 - 172425


Go figure.
 
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