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8 Best Sites to Get Affordable and Free Boat History Check

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Written by: Kate Starr
Last Updated:

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Key Takeaways

  • Boat History Report offers a free boat history check through brokers, allows searching by HIN, USCG Doc number, or state registration, and provides a comprehensive report on warranties, accidents, and other critical information.
  • Boat Trader and are other platforms that offer free basic boat history checks, with Boat Trader directly linking to for full reports.
  • For affordable paid boat history reports, ($19.99 per report), Boatfax ($20 for a basic US search), and (subscription-based) are top options, providing extensive databases, instant valuations, and international searches.

Best Boat History Report Providers

Boat History Report

Boat History Report logo

Report costs $59.99 and 6 reports $99.99, which you have to use in 60 days

150+ million unique boat records, world’s largest boat history database

100% satisfaction guaranteed refund policy

Boat Alert

Boat Alert logo

Priced at $19.99 for one report and $39.99 for ten boat history searches

Boat-Alert checks 72 public & private boat databases (state and federal)

Easy and long 60-day money back guarantee


Boatfax logo

A comprehensive Boatfax boat report with all the add-ons will cost $34

Free boat valuation is available + you can search international databases

Refund policy does not exist with Boatfax

8 Sites to Get a Free Boat History Check

Boat History Report

Boat History Report Summary

  • Clean simple and easy to use reports
  • Offers 70% discount for 6 reports
  • Provides online reports fast
  • Reliable customer service

Boat History Report boasts as the only entity providing service for watercraft history to have partnered with National Crime Insurance Bureau (NICB); this adds a lot of weight to their free boat history check.

To access a free report, you will need to;

  • Ask a broker who needs to have signed up with Boat History Report to supply you with one.
  • Identify how you want to search by entering the Hull Identification Number (HIN), United States Coast Guard (USCG) Doc number, or State registration. 
  • You can then key in the ID in the next box on the site to start the search process, which will enable you to order boat registration history.

The free report will capture issues like warranties, accidents, fire, submerged boats, and exposure to hurricanes, plus more, to help avoid costly future problems.

If you are a first-time buyer, a free sample report is available to help you understand everything to look out for before making a purchase.

A Boat History Report is critical; it equips you with prior knowledge of the vessel and helps you make the right decision on whether to buy the boat or not. It will also help you negotiate the best price possible.

Boat Trader

Boat Trader is an American online platform founded in 1996 that offers free boat history checks. Their average monthly interaction of 9 million consumers makes them one of the leading market boat traders.

Subsequently, to capitalize on their 9 million consumer interaction, Boat Trader directly links their website traffic to for a free boat history report.

Therefore, you can get a report using the Hull Identification Number (HIN), United States Coast Guard (USCG) Doc number or State registration.

The report will have a checklist consisting of;

  • Warranty 
  • Accident records
  • If it has ever run aground or capsized
  • Ever been seized or flagged for illegal activities
  • And more
free boats

Another website for a basic free boat history check is, which specializes in buying and selling boats. Their helpful resource page includes links to the iOS boat history app, boat design software, and the iOS boat valuer app.

Clicking on the link will give you access to a free Hull Identification Number (HIN) check for any vessel.

To verify the manufacturer, you can do a free search using the Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC) on

However, to get a full boat history check, you can hover over to the Boat-Alert website. They also recommend visiting BoatFax and BoatHistoryReport as other sources for getting a boat history report.

Best Sites to Get Affordable Boat History Check


Boat Alert Summary

  • 72 different free and paid databases
  • Over 9000 insurance companies records
  • Costing just $39.99 for ten searches
  • 60-day money back guarantee

Started by Mr. Kabbani in 2015 for the US and Canadian boats, Boat-Alert solved the problem of Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) decoding for boats HIN.

Their data stems from a collection of 30 different databases, resulting in reports that check on the most common categories in the industry. You can find your boat history report by keying in the boat’s HIN, which is 12 characters long on the site.

Consequently, a report will be instantly generated for $19.99; if you opt to conduct ten searches, then you will part with $39.99. 

You can receive a robust report based on a 24-point checklist because their site checks on 68 private and public boat databases, including Federal, the States Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Lastly, Boat-Alert guarantees a 60-day refund, and 2% from each proceeds goes to charity, so when you engage in their services, you indirectly contribute to a noble cause.

2. Boatfax

Boatfax Summary

  • You can get an instant valuation for free
  • Report with no add-ons will cost $20
  • You can search international databases
  • Full valuation for your boat – $10

Boatfax is a Europe-based website that offers international searches for boats, history reports, and equipment.  

To get a boat history check, you will need to pay a combined $34 for their services. Conversely, you can pay $20 for a basic search, that is, searches centered on the US, and a further $3 if you want a worldwide search.

You can add another $11 to get a more specific and exhaustive search.

The report content includes hurricane checks, manufacturers’ details, and the incident check. 

It is worth noting that the incident check is unique to Boatfax. It shows any recent activity that has been reported in the surrounding area according to your zip code.

Other than the history report, you can use the boat’s HIN to search. If you have no idea of the HIN, you will need to confirm by searching to find out if you can still request the report.

3. is one of the leading boat websites in the US, having gathered the most extensive resources of boat history reports and title searches. 

Their database for vessel documentation is 550,000 and allows you to search by State, city, county, or zip code.  

Armed with a boatscope database consisting of 8 combined databases fused into one interface, they offer multiple searches on the single interface available on both desktops and mobile phone apps. 

The resources are categorized into three, namely;

  • United States Coast Guards (USCG) Documented vessels
  • State Registered Boats
  • Foreign Registered Yachts.

MarineTitle offers paid boat history reports. However, you can get a free HIN check by visiting the site. Additionally, as part of the basic knowledge for boats, you can familiarize yourself on how to decode a HIN number using this link.  

In that vein, to access a paid report, you will have to choose 1 out of 3 options below;

Number of Days (Subscription)Savings in $Amount in $

All the above options come with unlimited access plus free research guides for boats.

They include;

  • Check for the hull identification number
  • Search lookup for vessel documentation
  • Search for a boat manufacturer
  • A search registry for lien claims of boats
  • Search registry for stolen boats
  • Summary for vessel registry
  • Summary of vessels registered in States

Requests records for USCG vessels and many more. has a robust database (Boatscope) drawing information from 8 maritime sources. Together with Boat-Alert, they charge for history reports that are worth the pay.

4. The Hull Truth

The Hull Truth is an American website that brings together boat lovers and owners to share their boating and fishing experiences. In that line, the website focuses on boat listings, electronic equipment, and services like insurance brokerage. 

However, the site has over 4.6 million posts, and participation is free. All you need to do is register and click on the section you want to view the comments.

The Hull Truth does not offer boat history reports; instead, it is a useful website for interacting with other boat owners. In the forum, you will learn from the experiences of boat owners who have used history reports, how they have benefited from them and what they think about them.

If you are interested, you can also join one of the regional boating and fishing groups from different states divided into zones. 

boat vin lookup

Free Boat History Check FAQ

What is a boat VIN number?

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique number used to distinguish vehicles. Most people will use “boat VIN” which is wrong. Instead, they should use “boat HIN.”  

Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a 12 character number used to identify a specific boat.

What is “Carfax” for boats?

The Uniform Certificate of Titles for Vessels Act (UCOTVA) is also known as “CarFax ”.

It is a recently passed law giving buyers or sellers the right to demand access to the boat’s history report.

Passing the law helps curb illegal activities in the boating industry where unsuspecting buyers have found themselves purchasing boats that had criminal records or were involved in an accident and never disclosed during purchase.

What are boat specs?

“Specs” is a short form of the word specifications. This is what distinguishes one boat from the other by capacity, size, engine power, height, length, width, etc.

Specifications are what the buyer uses in searching when interested in a boat or a seller when marketing or advertising.

Boat manufacturer search lookup?

Boat Manufacturer search lookup gives you a Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC).

Federal Law directs that each vessel, whether locally assembled or imported, should have this unique code, which forms the three first characters of the Hull Identification Number (HIN).

There are two ways of searching;

  1. Using the MIC characters, which represent the code assigned for a specific Federal State.
  2. Using the HIN, which can key in upper or lowercase, and if entered correctly, the MIC code will be highlighted.

However, If you are familiar with the manufacturer’s name, you can also use it.

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Kate Starr


About the author:

Kate Starr is a personal finance, FinTech and MarTech writer. Her areas of expertise include making money, investing, and money management.

From earning money as a beginner entrepreneur to advanced investing in the stock market, Kate’s guides can help you to get more ideas on how to earn income online and increase your wealth.

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