Technical maintenance

A Story About a Number

November 15, 2023

It is in talking with new Club Lagoon members that the idea occurred to me to write this article.

Enrollment requires sending a document that includes the CIN number or the HIN number.

You might say, “... the what?”  Anne, fresh addition to the Lagoon crew, sheds some light on this mysterious number.

The CIN Number (Europe / International), What’s That?

The CIN number (Craft Identification Number) is a precise, distinctive code composed of 14 characters enabling the identification and traceability of a boat.  This code allows you to identify the country of origin, the builder, and the year of construction of the boat.

How to read it?

At first glance, you might think that it’s just a simple string of letters and numbers.

However, this identification number can tell us a lot about a boat.

  • The two first letters, together, indicate the boat’s country of origin (FR).
  • Separated by a dash, the letters that follow refer to the name of the builder (CNB).
  • The next two letters tell us the model (ZA), followed by three digits identifying the hull number of the boat (135).
  • Then, a letter indicates the month of production (A), and a number corresponds with the year (6).
  • Finally, the last two digits of the CIN number represent the model year (12).

    Like fine wine, boats change a bit each year, and this model year enables identification of the boat’s “vintage.”


*Since the beginning of 2016, the model code has been composed of two letters (for example, for the Lagoon 380 number 135:  FR-CNBZA135A612).  Before this date, it was composed of two digits (so, if we take the same example, we have:  FR-CNB39135A612).


The HIN Number (USA), What’s That?

The HIN number (Hull Identification Number) is composed of 12 characters.  It bears a strong resemblance to its counterpart, since only three letters are not identical to the CIN.  In fact, only the builder code is different, replaced by a reference code used by American authorities.

The HIN number is required by American regulations.   All boats headed to the United States must have this number engraved on their hulls.  This is why, as of February 2016, all Lagoon catamarans are engraved with two numbers.


How to read it?

  • The three first letters designate the builder code. It must correspond to a code defined by the American government.
  • The next two letters tell us the model (ZA), followed by three digits identifying the boat’s hull number (135).
  • Then, a letter indicates the production month (A), and a number corresponds with the year (6).
  • Finally, the two last digits of the CIN number represent the model year (12). 


Where Can We Find Them?

To ensure their permanent presence on the hull, the numbers are engraved at the time of the boat’s construction.  They are generally found near the hull-to-deck joint, on the aft starboard side of the hull or on the starboard transom.

The CIN number or HIN number also figure on the boat’s registration certificate, delivered at the time of purchase.

You will also find them on the Builder’s Certificate (also called the Certificate of Conformity), which is delivered by the builder.

This certificate is a document in English, delivered to each owner or to their dealer, and it is notably necessary for the boat’s registration (outside of France and francophone countries).


Now that the CIN and HIN numbers hold no more mystery for you, you can look for them on your hull and try to crack their code!