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All boats with or without a motor that are imported into Canada or built in Canada after August 1, 1981 are required to have a HIN. Most dealers order boats on speculation, and it is common to find a boat that sat at a dealership for some time before actually being sold. Because of the factors mentioned above, the date of sale may precede the model year of the boat by one year or may follow the model year by perhaps a year or more. The Hull Identification Number (HIN) takes three forms in the Boston Whaler boat: the stenciled serial number, the metal tag, the embossed number. Virtually all Boston Whaler hulls are identified during construction by molding-in a contrasting color gel coat number containing about seven alphanumeric digits and apparently applied with the aid of a stencil. For example, a 1976 Boston Whaler 15-Sport has a stenciled number in the center of the motor well on the inboard side of the transom "5A00321". These stenciled numbers were applied during the molding process, prior to the addition of any hardware or other components.
At some point Federal requirements compelled manufacturers to mold in a more permanent hull identification number, actually molding in or engraving the ID into the hull surface. The sequence of characters four through eight in the HIN--the five-character production or serial number, was used by Boston Whaler in a model-specific fashion. In particular the rear cockpit sump of the boat generally has a drain whose outlet is always under water.
Hydrostatic pressure from water being forced into the hull through underwater areas of damage can cause de-lamination of the hull skin from the foam, contributing to further structural problems.
The best method for locating de-lamination is to use the factory's own technique: tapping with a small plastic head hammer.
If the hull is carefully cleaned and quality tape is used (such as perhaps 3M-Scotch 33+ Electrical Tape in appropriate width) it should be possible to get good adhesion.
Drill out old holes to a 0.5-inch diameter, drilling through both glass and underlying wood pad. The mounting bracket of the engine typically is designed for two upper mounting bolts and two lower mounting bolts, arranged symmetrically about the engine centerline. Prior to c.1984 there were a number of different mounting bracket hole patterns in use by various manufacturers. When engine mounting height is measured in units of "holes" the unit of measurement is in 0.75-inch increments, that is, the on-center spacing of the pre-fabricated holes in the engine mounting bracket of almost all engines made in the last three decades. On some models of Boston Whaler boats, the arrangement of the transom and the splash well did not provide sufficient depth to permit using the lower mounting hole position found on the standard engine mounting bracket in use after c.1984. If this hole were drilled in the standard position, it would exit the transom below the level of the splash well on the inboard end, and thus it would not be accessible. One workaround often seen in older installation was the use of an elevated lower mounting hole for the lower engine mounting bolts. A second workaround is to drill the lower mounting hole in the standard position, cut into the bottom of the splash well, remove the gel coat, laminate, and foam, and install a through-bolt. A third workaround that has been seen is to drill the lower mounting bolt hole on a slight angle so that it exits the transom on the inboard end above the splash well.
A fourth workaround that has been seen is to abandon use of through-bolted fasteners for the lower engine mounts and to use lag-bolts for these lower mounting fasteners.
A fifth workaround (which is the best solution, has been widely used by knowledgeable installers, and was recommended by Boston Whaler in their Dealer Bulletin 84-10) is to drill the mounting holes on the transom with a non-standard vertical separation. Where transom holes and engine mounting bracket holes do not align, particularly for those older boats with shallow splash wells, a recommended solution is to use an intermediary plate, commonly available as a "jack plate" or a "lift plate". In most installations the bolts are installed with their heads on the inboard side of the transom. When locating holes on the transom, do not assume the top of the transom is a straight or true edge. There is no point in drilling holes in the above pattern if they do not match those on your engine. There are some reports of the appearance of wavy indentations in the hull sides of older Boston Whaler boats of all sizes and ages. Although the waviness in the hull sides may not be a structural problem, it certainly is a cosmetic problem, particularly when the depth of the dimples is more than a quarter-inch or so. For guidance in the electrical wiring and use of specialized marine-grade switches that have been designed to make control of vessel navigation lights very simple, refer to a separate article in the REFERENCE SECTION. The repair of drain tubes is described by experts as "easy." Use a large flat blade screwdriver as a pry bar to remove the flare from the existing drain and collapse the brass tube onto itself. Boat supply centers often sell thin-walled brass tubes for use as replacement drains under the Moeller or SeaFit brand, but typically the length of these will be too short to be useful for most Boston Whaler drain replacements.
It is strongly recommended that prior to attempting to form the end of the brass tube it be pre-heated and slowly cooled to anneal it to increase its ductility; this helps to avoid splitting of the brass during the lip forming process. If below the water line, the outboard end of the drain should be protected with a clam shell vent, located so that it covers the forward half of the drain. Be certain to read Jeff's excellent narrative on drain tube replacement and view his many images. Please see the separate, comprehensive, illustrated article on rub rails in the REFERENCE section. A HIN Number (Hull Identification Number) was required by 1972 US regulations to be affixed to every recreational boat. The RCD also requires a country prefix which should be separated from the rest with a hyphen.
The factory also used to mold boats on speculation, which meant a boat hull could be molded and left unfinished for some time until being built into a particular style of Boston Whaler boat to fulfill a dealer's order.
Numbering of the hull was initially voluntary but after November 1972 became a Federal requirement. We call this the "stencil serial number." This number is molded into the cockpit liner, that is, it is part of the outer gel coat layer and not merely painted on top of the gel coat.
Prior to the required HIN (November 1972) this number was the only number associated with a boat. The "00321" refers to this being the three-hundred-twenty-first boat to be laid up in this sequence.
Interpretation of the five-character production number can deduce the hull length and model.

Typically that is about 6-inches below the rub rail and about 12-14 inches from the transom, although this may vary from model to model as proportionate to the boat's hull length. The report of a hammer tap will be much different over areas that have de-bonded than on sound areas.
The best assumption is that the insulation of the wiring dried and cracked, and at that point water was admitted to the inside of the wire. The lower mounting holes in the engine bracket may be a corresponding matched set of four (or five) individual holes or a slot that covers the same range of adjustment.
This hole is often not drilled through, but rather is threaded to accept a mounting bolt entering from the transom.
To create a standard, the marine industry adopted a specific layout to be used with all outboard motors.
The terms "up" and "down" refer to the position of the engine relative to the transom, not to the location of the holes relative to the top of the transom. A number of solutions to this problem have been seen in existing installations on older Boston Whaler boats.
This hole was positioned to match up with a so-called blind hole in the engine mounting bracket. In this solution the through-bolt would probably have to be installed from the rear of the transom, with the nut located on the inboard side.
These plates are not expensive, and are generally available in aluminum which can easily be re-drilled on the transom side with holes matching the existing layout.
A large washer is used to spread the compressive load, or in some cases a metal backing plate is used. Determine the transom vertical centerline by measuring equal distances from the hull's chines. This is called the "blind hole." The blind holes were vertically spaced only 6-inches on-center from the upper mounting holes. Manifestations of waviness in the hull sides of classic Boston Whaler boats is assumed to be the result of contractions of the foam interior after the boat has been removed from the mold.
The value of the boat will be reduced because of this, particularly for a buyer who is looking for a classic Boston Whaler boat in excellent condition.
The tube should come easily from the drain hole passage; the OEM tubes were not caulked in place. The pre-formed flare on these tubes is also not rolled enough to retain an O-ring or gasket. In most locations the orientation of the existing hole to the deck or hull will not be at a perfect 90-degree angle, and a matching angle cut of the tubing will be necessary. Practicing the lip forming operation with an inexpensive piece of generic tubing may be beneficial for first-time installers.
It is recommended that both ends also be sealed with caulk to the hull or deck to ensure a water-tight fit.
This creates a venturi effect when underway which improves draining and also protects the leading edge of the drain from being blasted with high-speed water. This is not unlikely as manufacturers may produce next years model and stockpile it for sale in the next year.
The HIN will help find stolen or recalled boats and it must be permanently marked on the outside upper right hand corner of the transom at the rear of the boat or as near to that location as is reasonably possible. Modern manufacturing processes have eliminated this practice, and all Whalers are now only built to order for sales to dealers. Generally this number remains very durable and visible unless covered with topcoats of paint. The 15-foot hull was first introduced in 1976, so it seems reasonable that a 1976 boat's serial number would be relatively low (321).
For example, two consecutive hulls molded in the 16-foot molds could be turned into different boats.
This number is located on the outboard face of the transom on the starboard side and about two inches below the gunwales.
Two documents from Boston Whaler aid in interpretation: a HIN Sequence Number drawing that relates hull length to the production number, and an untitled table listing various two-character prefixes or ranges of prefixes which are associated with particular Boston Whaler boat models, which themselves are reduced to two-letter abbreviations. The foam is still bonded to the laminate skin and pulls it out of shape when it contracts slightly.
If a hull has soft or sagging decks or other areas, these are all indicative of problems with water intrusion. The water (especially salt water) corrodes the copper to the point that the conductivity of the wire is broken. The normal practice is to use a single set of holes in the transom, and to adjust the engine's vertical position by choosing a set of one of these four (or five) mounting holes (on the engine mounting bracket) as needed to accomplish the proper engine height. This type of hole is known as a "blind hole," and it is presumed the choice of a threaded hole was done avoid a protruding bolt and nut that might interfere with other parts of the engine mount in that area. It is believed this standard was patterned after the one used at the time by OMC, the makers of Johnson and Evinrude brands, and used by OMC begining as early as 1960 on certain models. That is, "one hole up" means the engine will be raised 0.75-inches relative to the transom. Because there is only a single blind hole, the engine height could not be adjusted after mounting.
To install the bolt with its machined head on the inboard side would necessitate removing more material to provide enough clearance to insert the bolt into the hole. It is not recommended for re-fitting a new engine if the engine manufacturer specifies their engine must be through-bolted for proper installation.
On the engine side the plate should fit most all engines made after c.1984 which conform to the standard hole pattern for mounting.
Older Mercury engines required this bracket for proper installation on a Boston Whaler transom. Decorative metal plates are also available, including ones engraved with "Boston Whaler" or other applicable legend. Having the finished head of the bolt installed in the splash well makes for a cleaner installation, and reduces the possibility of snagging lines, cables, feet, or hands against a protruding bolt shaft.
One recommendation is to drill the mounting holes slightly oversize, coat the interior of the holes with epoxy to seal the wood against any moisture penetration, and then to re-drill the hole to the correct (smaller) size.

Align the engine mounting holes to the true vertical centerline of the transom, not to the top edge of the transom. Absent that, a template could be made from the actual holes on the mounting bracket of an existing engine.
As long as the bond between the laminated hull skin and the foam remains intact, these waves or dimples do not represent a structural problem. Place the new brass tube into the drain passage and manually form the ends into a rolled lip, using either a suitable ball-peen hammer, or, if the space and configuration permits, a forming or flanging tool.
Some think the O-rings are unnecessary and hinder installation; they simply caulk the ends to seal them. Typically a Perko clam shell vent is used, but two additional holes are drilled into its mounting flange to allow for two extra screw fasteners. If you crave more information, you can, in a long, rambling thread whose images links no longer work, find a few more details. I would not consider this plate to be compliant but because of lax standards it is not rare to see such plates and it can be that they were actually fixed by the manufacturer and not necessarily a sign of a stolen boat.
If the yacht was noted by the HIN to be built more than 1 year previous to the model year than that would be considered suspect and the HIN may have been faked. Every Boston Whaler boat made after November of 1972 should have an easily decoded Hull Identification Number affixed to the transom.
Beginning as early as January of 1984 and mandatory after August 1984, the HIN format changed to the so called NEW FORMAT, described below. Engines made prior to c.1984 and by makers other than OMC may have different mounting bracket hole layouts, and the transom of boats to which these engines have been installed will accordingly be drilled in different locations.
The plate will also create a small amount of engine set back, itself possibly a desirable condition.
The length of the machine bolts should be such that they do not protrude excessively on the outboard side of the transom where they could lead to interference with the engine's normal operation and movement. In general, the engine manufacturer provides recommendations for installation that should be observed in preference to any other advice.
These holes were often used to mount OMC engines on Boston Whaler boats which have a shallow engine splash well. Tapping with plastic hammer and listening for a change in the sound is an effective way to test the bond between the hull skin and the foam.
Long discussions about them and personalized interpretations of how to implement them are not authoritative. After removing an old drain, check the surrounding foam interior of the hull for signs of water retention, and, if the foam is wet, allow the water to seep out and assist the foam in drying.
The tubes come in different lengths and diameters, so match the replacement to your original size.
When accomplishing the forming or flanging, use of an assistant to hold the tube in place is almost universally necessary.
Whether or not one can gain the necessary skills of metal forming by reading a narrative of the process is unknown.
For models made before November 1972 (13-foot and 16-17 foot hulls), a list of hull numbers and years of manufacture is available in the Reference section. On larger boats a common location is in the bow of the boat, usually inside of a locker on the starboard side or in the center anchor locker.
Also, boats produced after August 1984 were required to incorporate a hidden HIN concealed in the boat at a confidential location.
Also, many newer engine mounting brackets do not contain a blind hole, so this option is not available. This may include adding foam to the space evacuated under the laminate and gel coat, and also restoring the laminate and gel coat of the splash well itself. This solution is the best way to work around the shallow splash well design on older Boston Whaler boats.
This gap can be filled with an appropriate spacer or shim to help bear the engine's weight onto the transom.
The forming tool can be adapted to work in non-90-degree situations by the use of small wedge-shaped shims and by running the threaded portion of the tool at an angle through the hole.
With this information you should be able to deduce the year of virtually any Boston Whaler hull which has an intact HIN.
On smaller boats a common spot is on the inboard side of the transom on center line in the splash well area, typically within about 3-5 inches from the top of the transom. At this writing no details are known of any obscured location that has been used by Boston Whaler. The lower mounting holes must be especially well sealed as they will likely be immersed in sea water at all times when the boat is afloat. For boats less than 12-meters (and thus practically all Boston Whaler boats) there is a simplified lighting scheme which requires only sidelights and a white all-round light. The Boston Whaler Company also has excellent records of all HIN's and will be able to tell you the "born on date" of the hull and the dealer to whom it was initially sold.
On most hulls the stencil number is black; on older boats with blue interiors the stencil number is white. Until 1994 the foam was typically white, but contact with air can cause it to turn brownish. The cost of a new run is not much and will give much better reliability than making splices.
This is the recommend solution to mounting an engine on an older Boston Whaler boat whose splash well has insufficient depth for the standard BIA hole layout.
Boston Whaler's customer service representative, Chuck Bennett, can locate this information for you, but I hesitate to encourage everyone who owns a Boston Whaler boat to call Chuck. The foam layer is easily recognized by its texture and cellular appearance, and it can be distinguished from the laminate or gel coat very readily. Installation of a hatch is problematic as it will doubtless have some tendency to leak and admit water to the interior of the hull from which it cannot otherwise escape.

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