The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) published this week its latest report on watercraft theft and recoveries in the United States. According to the report, Florida led the nation with the highest number of thefts in 2011.
The report examines watercraft reported stolen between January and December of 2011 — drawing data contained in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Florida led the states with the most thefts, with 1,322. It’s followed by California (550), Texas (437), Washington (224) and North Carolina (205). One state—Hawaii—did not have a single reported boat theft in 2011.Overall, there were 6,070 watercraft thefts reported in 2011, according to the NICB report. That is a 9 percent decrease from the 6,663 thefts reported in 2010.
The report also noted the top five boat types most likely to get stolen. The list was led by the “Jet Ski” category which recorded the most thefts (1,219). It was followed, in descending order, by runabout (992), utility (437), cruiser (255) and sailboat (60).
The top five manufacturers in watercraft thefts are: Yamaha (537), Bombardier Corporation (522), Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing (196), Alumacraft Boat Company (148) and Bayliner Marine (129).
The month of June saw the highest number of reported thefts—792, and December had the fewest—281. While thefts were reported each day, Friday saw the most with an average of 940 thefts. Wednesday was the slowest day for thefts with an average of 809.
NICB recommends the following tips to help protect watercraft from theft:
• When docking the watercraft, lock it and secure it to the dock with a steel cable.
• Remove expensive equipment when not in use.
• Chain and lock detachable motors to the boat.
• Do not leave title or registration papers in the craft.
• Disable the craft by shutting fuel lines or removing batteries.
• Use a trailer hitch lock after parking a boat on its trailer.
• Install a kill switch in the ignition system.