Boat registrations increase slightly

CHICAGO — Nationwide, recreational boat registrations in 2007 increased one percent compared to 2006, according to a just-released report from the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The NMMA released its 2007 U.S. Recreational Boat Registrations Statistics report today, which showed that a total of 13 million vessels were registered and/or documented in the United States in 2007, compared to 12.9 million in 2006.

Florida, once again, had the most registered boats in the United States, with nearly 992,000 vessels recorded in 2007. That figure is up less than one percent from 2006, led by a 2.5-percent increase in personal watercraft registrations.

California ranked second overall with 964,881 registrations, an increase of nearly eight percent. Minnesota (866,496 registrations), Michigan (830,743 registrations) and Wisconsin (617,366 registrations) rounded out the top five states.

The remaining top 10 states for 2007 registrations were: Texas (599,567); New York (494,020); South Carolina (442,040); Ohio (415,228); and Illinois (379,454).

“The Boat Registrations report provides a big-picture look at trends within the recreational marine industry, especially on a state level,” Jim Petru, NMMA director of Industry Research and Statistics, said in a release announcing the report. “We work with numerous government agencies and research groups to gather the most comprehensive recreational boating registration data and are excited to be able to offer such a useful resource for our industry.”

Great Lakes states represented the top region for boating, accounting for nearly 26 percent of the 13 million vessels registered in 2007, according to the report. The Inland and South Atlantic regions ranked two and three. All regions, except the North Atlantic, posted increases in boat registrations in 2007, with the largest increase seen in the Pacific region where registrations climbed nearly 5 percent on the strength of California's 8 percent gain.

The 2007 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics report is based on data collected from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2007, as reported by the individual 50 states, according to the NMMA. Other sources used in compiling the report include the U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Info-Link Technologies Inc.; and, Statistical Surveys Inc.

The NMMA also notes that boat registration statistics are the basis for allocating Aquatic Resources Trust Fund dollars among the states each year.

Electronic copies of the study are available at no charge to NMMA members. The price for non-members is $300.

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