Watercraft Thefts Sink 6% (Again) in 2014

boatAs boat owners begin the annual task of winterizing and dry docking their boats for the season, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that watercraft theft continues to drop.

NICB’s annual report looks at watercraft theft and recoveries in the United States, and examines watercraft* reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. The report is based on data from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, there were 5,181 watercraft thefts reported during 2014, a six percent decrease from 2013 when 5,537 thefts were recorded. This is the second year in a row that watercraft thefts have dropped six percent: the number of thefts in 2012 was 5,870.

The top five states for thefts in descending order were:

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No watercraft thefts were reported from Hawaii or the District of Columbia.

The top five types of watercraft stolen in 2014 were:

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The top five manufacturers for watercraft thefts were:

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On average, there were approximately 14 watercraft thefts per day, 100 per week, or 432 per month in 2014. Most thefts occurred during the spring and summer months with July recording the highest number with 667. February recorded the fewest with 223.

Download the watercraft report and an infographic.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 8.09.30 AMBoat owners are reminded to practice safe and smart boating. That includes personal safety while on the water, as well as theft prevention.

NICB recommends the following tips to protect your watercraft from theft:

  •  When you “dock it, 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
  • Ensure your marine insurance policy includes your equipment, boat and trailer
  •  Take photos of the boat and mark it with a Hull Identification Number (HIN)More anti-theft information can be found in our boat theft brochure.

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