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U.s. Boat Registrations Increase 94,000 In 2001


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I know 2002, but I thought it was kewl to see the stats

Michigan remains top state for boating

CHICAGO, December 18, 2002 - - There were 12.9 million recreational boats registered in the United States in 2001 according to the U.S. Coast Guard. This represents an increase of 94,000, or 0.7 percent from the previous year. National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) estimates indicate that 541,000 new boats were sold at retail in 2001, and that there are nearly 17 million boats owned across the U.S.

There are many small, non-powered craft that are not required to be registered by the states or simply not registered by owners, which includes large categories such as canoes (121,000 in 2001) and utility boats (approximately 49,000 in 2001). This accounts for most of the disparity between the USCG reported registration figure and NMMA's estimate on the number of owned boats.

State Rankings

The top 20 states for registered boats recorded almost 75 percent of the total amount in the entire country, accounting for 9.6 million boats. The top ten states for boat registrations account for 51 percent of registered boats at 6.6 million. Michigan retains its title as the number one boating state in the country, with more than 1,000,000 recreational boats registered in 2001. Virginia rounds out the top 20, reclaiming its position after falling to 21st in 2000. The only other change in the top 20 is Tennessee, falling two spaces to number 19, which moves Alabama and Washington up to 17 and 18, respectively.

Here's a look at the remainder of the top 20 states and the total number of boats registered in each:

1. Michigan 1,003,947

2. California 957,463

3. Florida 902,964

4. Minnesota 826,048

5. Texas 621,244

6. Wisconsin 575,920

7. New York 526,190

8. Ohio 414,658

9. South Carolina 382,072

10. Illinois 369,626

11. Pennsylvania 359,525

12. North Carolina 353,560

13. Missouri 335,521

14. Georgia 327,026

15. Louisiana 322,779

16. Mississippi 300,970

17. Alabama 262,016

18. Washington 260,335

19. Tennessee 256,670

20. Virginia 240,509

"Between 2000 and 2001, many states changed their boat registration systems and moved responsibility for tracking to other state departments" says NMMA statistics manager Jim Petru. "Tracking in the future will be more accurate, as NMMA will be working closer with the U.S. Coast Guard, NASBLA [National Association of State Boating Law Administrators], and the various reporting agencies."

Alaska and New Mexico witnessed the largest changes in boat registrations in 2001. Total boats registered in Alaska increased 41 percent. Alaska's Division of Motor Vehicles attributes this dramatic change to the fact that the state took over registrations from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2001. This received a lot of media attention, prompting more boaters to register their vehicles. Alaska boaters also were required to register non-mechanically-propelled boats for the first time.

New Mexico's improved registration eliminated errors in the old system, leading to a 49 percent decrease in registered boats. A representative with New Mexico's State Parks Division explains that previous years' registrations reflected all boats ever registered in their database. The registration numbers are now correct, and the Parks Division reports it is unable to compile corrected statistics for prior years.

Regional Rankings

No changes were noted in regional rankings with the Eastern North Central region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin) holding on to the number one spot with 2.6 million boats, accounting for one out of every five boats registered in the country. The South Atlantic region (Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia) follows closely with 2.5 million registered boats.

Four regions experienced significant increases in registrations during 2001 and two showed declines in the number of boats registered. Regions with increases:

* Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) 4.8 percent

* South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC) 2.6 percent

* New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) 2.4 percent

* Western South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) 1.8 percent

Regions with decreases:

* Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) 6.2 percent

* Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) 3.2 percent

Boat registration statistics are compiled by individual states. The federal government uses these stats to allocate Aquatic Resource Trust Fund dollars among the states each year. NMMA uses the registration data to develop its estimates on annual state dollar sales of new boats, motors, trailers and marine accessories. This information will be available in mid-January 2003. The 2001 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics report can be ordered by contacting the NMMA fulfillment department at (312) 946-6200. The cost is $60 for NMMA members; $150 for nonmembers.

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