States vie for boat registration crown

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California had the lead for a while, but Michigan pulled ahead, with Florida

close behind. Wisconsin’s numbers were found to be inflated, which caused the state to fall into sixth place behind Texas.

Thus goes the annual count to see which state has the largest number of registered boats in its waters. Michigan holds that claim, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, with 1,000,337 registered boats and watercraft. The NMMA uses the figures to compile its annual Boating Facts & Figures report, which is published each April.

California, which was initially considered the apparent winner of this award of unknown value, suffered the effects of a snitch, who contacted the NMMA and informed them that there had been a reporting error. California can actually claim 896,090 registered boats in 2002, the latest year available, behind Florida, which is second in the nation with 922,597.

The number of recreational boats in the United States exceeds the 12.8 million reported by the Coast Guard, since unpowered vessels like canoes, small sailboats and rowboats are not required to be registered. The total number of boats in the States is estimated at 17 million, according to the NMMA.

By Ocean Navigator