Every jet ski has a few codes to identify each significant component, such as the model, engine, jet pump unit, etc. Generally, the full codes are alphanumeric, and the parts also have serial numbers. Bearing that in mind, here is how to find the model, year, HIN, and serial numbers of your jet ski, regardless of brand.
You can find the model of your jet ski by checking the name on the primary identification number plate stamped inside the engine. You can check the Hull Identification Number (HIN) on the aft deck for the manufacturing month and model year of the jet ski.
You must have more than one piece of information to accurately identify the model of a jet ski, especially when you need to replace a part or two. Thus, you should have these codes or know where to find them. Read on as I explain the practical ways to find the model of your jet ski.
Where To Find the Model Number on a Jet Ski?
All new jet skis sport the model number or name on the deck and other parts of the body, but the decals are not invincible. Thus, you may have to find a more durable source of this information. Additionally, the branded and advertised name is not necessarily the full model number of a jet ski.
You may find the model number on the manual, original registration details, and insurance policy papers. However, what if you do not have access to these documents? The paperwork aside, you can find the model number on the jet ski itself.
You can find the model number on a jet ski under the seat and hood, inside the engine. Remove the seat cover to access the engine compartment, and you will find a fixed plate bearing the model name, hull type, and primary identification number.
Suppose you have a Yamaha WaveRunner. Once you open the hood and look inside the engine, you will see a fixed plate with the model number and name. For instance, the info on the plate may read FX1800A-G (FX Cruiser SHO).
Next to the model number and name on the same plate is the hull type, such as F1W or F2V. The primary identification number is adjacent to the hull type information. This serial number is unique. For example, you may find a number like 800101 on a Yamaha WaveRunner VX 700.
This fixed plate attached or stamped inside the engine of most well-known brands should have the model number and name of a jet ski. However, this plate usually does not have any information about the manufacturing month and model year.
How Do I Tell What Year My Jet Ski Is?
You can tell what year a jet ski is by its Hull Identification Number fixed to the aft deck. The last 2 numbers of the 12-digit alphanumeric HIN are the model year in the US. The HIN is a 14-digit Watercraft Identification Number (WIN) in Canada, the UK & Europe.
The Hull Identification Number (also called HIN) is not the same as your jet ski registration number. The registration number is per state law, and the manufacturer has no role to play in its assigning or enforcement. The HIN is per federal law, and the manufacturer assigns the code.
For instance, the identification number HPS – 99999 – J405 would indicate that the jet ski is a 2005 model.
Jet Ski Hull Identification Number (HIN)
The Hull Identification Number (HIN) is unique for every jet ski. All watercraft have had a HIN since 1972, including personal recreational boats and jet skis. However, the current HIN system has been in effect since 1984.
- A 12-digit HIN in the US looks like: KAW – 99999 – J405.
- A 14-digit HIN in Canada looks like: CA – KAW – 99999 – J405.
I will elaborate on the 12-digit HIN here because the 14-digit version simply adds the code of a country as the prefix: US (United States), GB (Great Britain), CA (Canada), etc.
Jet Ski Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC)
The first 3 digits of the HIN in the US and other countries are the Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC). Here are the US MICs of the popular jet ski manufacturers in alphabetical order:
- Bombardier Recreational Products (Sea-Doo): YDV
- Honda (AquaTrax, now defunct): HPS
- Kawasaki (Jet Ski): KAW
- Krash Industries: KRA
- Taiga (Orca): YEZ
- Tiger Shark: ABU
- Yamaha (WaveRunner): YAM
Although you probably know the manufacturer of your jet ski, the MIC or the first 3 digits of the HIN are a reconfirmation.
Jet Ski Unique Serial Number
The 5 digits following the MIC of the HIN are a unique serial number. These digits may be only numbers or an alphanumeric code. If this unique code is alphanumeric, the letters I, Q, and O are excluded to avoid confusion, as anyone may inadvertently interpret them as numbers.
There is no specific regulation dictating how a company chooses these 5 digits or a combination of letters and numbers. However, manufacturers do not use the same serial number or code to two jet skis of the same model.
For example, the following HIN number KDV – 99999 – J405 shows the serial number to be #99999.
This serial number makes a Hull Identification Number (HIN) unique. The other 7 digits can be identical for an entire batch of jet skis of a brand manufactured in the same month of a year.
Jet Ski Manufacturing Month and Model Year
The ninth and tenth digits of the Hull Identification Number (HIN) are the manufacturing month and year. The month is represented by one letter, A through L, for the twelve months. The year of manufacturing, which is also when a jet ski is certified, is denoted by a single number.
The last 2 digits (eleventh and twelfth) of the HIN are the model year. Now, the manufacturing month and year must be in sync with the model year. Hence, you need to read and interpret the last 4 digits together.
Let me reuse the same fictional HIN from above to illustrate: KAW – 99999 – J405.
In this example, J4 is the manufacturing month and year. So, the month is October (tenth month, like J in the English alphabet).
However, the 4 in J4 may imply anything, such as 84, 94, 2004, 2014, etc. Well, it does not because you have to read it based on the model year, which is the last two digits of HIN.
The model year on this HIN is 05, i.e., 2005. Thus, J4 means manufactured in October 2004. And the model year is 2005.
Therefore, a HIN reading KAW – 99999 – J405 is a Kawasaki jet ski manufactured in October 2004, with its model year being 2005.
You can contact the manufacturer, provide the Hull Identification Number, and they should have the relevant information you need, whether the model name or the original equipment and parts.
How To Read the HIN and Model Year of Pre-1984 Jet Skis
Any jet ski manufactured after 1984 should have the HIN format I have explained. But what if you find a jet ski made before 1984? How can you identify its HIN or the model year?
Jet skis manufactured from 1973 to 1984 should still have a HIN, and you can use this code to know the model year. However, you have to use your judgment.
The loosely regulated format for HIN until 1984 led to codes like ABC – 12345 – M80L or ABC – 12345 – 1280. In this case, both these HINs are identical.
- ABC is the manufacturer’s identification code.
- 12345 is the serial number for the particular jet ski.
- In the first HIN, M80L means ‘manufactured’ in ‘1980’ and ‘L’ is ‘December.’
- Similarly, the second HIN’s 1280 means manufactured in December (12) 1980 (80).
What To Do if You Do Not Find the Hin on the Aft Deck of Your Jet Ski
Legally, every jet ski manufacturer should display the HIN on the deck or somewhere that makes it instantly visible. Additionally, manufacturers must have a secondary HIN plate, and this one does not have to be exposed or on the deck.
The primary HIN is on the fixed plate on the aft deck or stern. The second HIN is somewhere on the jet ski or under the hood. Like the model or primary identification number plate, the HIN may be displayed inside the engine, or anywhere the manufacturer chooses.
The secondary HIN may be marked somewhere under or behind a removable fixture. Inspect the jet ski carefully, and you will probably find it. Alternatively, you can contact the manufacturer and ask for the precise location where this backup HIN is stamped in your jet ski.
Verifying the Model and Year of Your Jet Ski
Suppose you do not know the model name or number of your jet ski, but you do know the model year from the Hull Identification Number (HIN). In such a scenario, check with the manufacturer or their released models for the year to find out which jet ski you own.
For example, if you own a Yamaha jet ski with the last two HIN digits reading 93, implying 1993, the model is in all likelihood a WaveBlaster 700 (Marine Jet 700TZ).
However, if the Yamaha model year is 1990, you may have a WaveRunner III 650 (Marine Jet 650 TL) or Super Jet 650. The latter is a stand-up model, so you can easily tell the two jet skis apart.
Still, you should verify the model if the manufacturer had several types of jet skis made and released for the particular year you have. Hence, check the model number or nameplate inside the jet ski or crosscheck the information with the manufacturer.
For instance, a HIN reading YAM A1923 K011 is a Yamaha jet ski manufactured in November 2010, and the model year is 2011. However, Yamaha manufactured many models for that year. So, which one do you really have? Check the model or primary identification number plate.
Alternatively, you need to check the models released that year and match your jet ski with an identical one. In 2011, Yamaha had the following models:
- FX Cruiser HO – FY1800-AK
- FX Cruiser SHO – FX1800-AK
- FX HO – FY1800-K
- FX Super High Output – FX1800-K
- FZR – GX1800-K
- FZS – GX1800-AK
- VX Deluxe – VX1100B-K
- VX Sport – VX1100-CK
- VXR – VX1800-AK
- VX Cruiser – VX1100-AK
- VXS – VX1800-K
- Super Jet – SJ700-BK
You need the exact model name and number if you have to find the right parts for your jet ski.
How To Find the Serial Numbers for a Jet Ski Model’s Parts
The primary HIN location is always on the deck, exposed for easy identification. However, the secondary HIN is equally important, especially if the primary placement is compromised. The secondary HIN enables identification if the jet ski’s exteriors are damaged or modified.
Similarly, you need to know the model name and serial numbers for your jet ski parts if you have to replace a component. Besides, older models may have some changed or replaced parts, be it repairs, modifications, or upgrades. Thus, you should know these parts’ serial numbers.
Like the model plate fixed under the hood, your jet ski should have the engine details stamped on the component. Generally, the engine identification details include the name, type, and serial number. You need this accurate information to replace any original equipment.
The jet pump unit details are stamped on a label. Generally, you will find this information on the jet ski’s intermediate housing. This identification info usually includes the jet pump unit name, type, and serial number.
The exact locations and specific formats or nomenclature may vary among the manufacturers, but all jet skis have these details on board. Even if your jet ski is old and someone has replaced a few parts, you will be able to find the relevant information for the installed components.
Knowing the model name, number, and year is sufficient to figure out all the parts unless one or more components are replaced or new. Therefore, it is imperative for you to check these details so that you can choose an identical or compatible replacement part if and when necessary.
To sum up, look for the Hull Identification Number (HIN) on the aft deck or stern for the manufacturer name, unique serial number, manufacturing month, and model year. Additionally, look under the hood for the model name and number plate with the primary identification number.
Look for the secondary HIN on your jet ski if the primary plate is damaged or missing. You must check the type and the serial number of all major components before replacing them. Keep a record or backup of these details so that you do not rely only on the formal paperwork.