Watercraft Thefts Sink by 6 Percent in 2013

May 19, 2014

Watercraft thefts were down in 2013, according to the latest report on watercraft theft and recoveries in the U.S. released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The report examines watercraft reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013 and draws from data contained in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, there were 5,537 watercraft thefts reported during 2013, a 6 percent decrease from the 5,870 thefts reported in 2012.

The top five states for thefts in descending order were: Florida (1,310), California (628), Texas (382), Washington (208) and Georgia (182). No watercraft thefts were reported from Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

jetskiThe top five types of watercraft stolen in 2013 were in identical order to last year’s report. In first place was the “Jet Ski” category, which recorded 1,215 thefts. It was followed by, in descending order, runabout (871), utility (363), cruiser (214) and sailboat (44).

The top five manufacturers for watercraft thefts are: Yamaha (555), Bombardier Corporation‡ (522), Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing (166), Alumacraft Boat Company (114) and Tracker Marine LP (111).

On average, there were approximately 15 watercraft thefts per day, 106 per week, or 461 per month in 2013. Most thefts occurred during the spring and summer months with July recording the highest number with 691. February recorded the fewest with 260. Fridays saw the most thefts reported with 884, and the fewest were reported on Thursdays with 719.

Watercraft Types as Described in the NCIC Code Manual

Airboat: not defined.

Commercial: ferry, oyster boat, motor barge, towboat, tug, clam dredge, coaster, riverboat, smack boat, etc.

Cruiser: a boat with an inboard motor that is at least 25 feet long, but no longer than 50 feet.

Houseboat: not defined.

Hovercraft: not defined.

Hydrofoil: not defined.

Hydroplane: not defined.

Jet-Ski: aqua bike.

Runabout: launch, motorboat, outrider, speedboat, etc.

Sailboat: cat, catamaran, cutter, bark, ketch, lateen, lugger, pinnace, schooner, sloop, yawl, etc.

Utility: fisherman, sedan, etc.

Yacht: a boat with an inboard motor that is more than 50 feet in length and is used mainly for pleasure or recreation.

All other: canoe, dinghy, dory, johnboat, kayak, lifeboat, paddleboat, rowboat, skull, skiff, etc.

In2003, Bombardier Corp. sold off its recreational products division. The Sea-Doo jet ski is now produced by Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. However, the NCIC manufacturer data has not yet been updated to reflect that change. In this report, there are 522 theft records that identify Bombardier Corp.—247 of which were for model years 2003‒2014 and would be more accurately identified as manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc.

Source: NICB

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