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Boat registrations in 2017 rose above those in 2016

Outboard-powered boats dominated, accounting for 66.2 percent of all registrations.

Outboard-powered boats dominated, accounting for 66.2 percent of all registrations.

There were 12 million boats registered and documented in the U.S. in 2017, up 0.8 percent compared to 2016.

Florida again led all states in boat registrations in 2017, growing 1.4 percent over 2016.

Following were Minnesota, Michigan, California and Wisconsin, in that order, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which released the final section of its 2017 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract on total boat registrations.

Oregon, Ohio and California had the largest growth last year, growing 8.2 percent, 7.3 percent, and 6.9 percent respectively.

Data collected by the U.S. Coast Guard, which the NMMA used for its report, showed the Great Lakes region accounted for 27.3 percent of boats registered by the states in 2017. It also had the most boats per capita, with one registered boat for every 6.2 households.

Outboard boats accounted for 66.2 percent of total traditional powerboats.

States that reported registration volumes by propulsion type in 2017 that changed by more or less than 10 percent compared to 2016 were contacted by NMMA to ensure the accuracy of the data, as well as to gain insight from the states as to why the values fluctuated to the degree that they did.

If the inquiries resulted in a state revising their data, NMMA incorporated it into this report and notified the U.S. Coast Guard of the changes.

In an effort to develop a more accurate estimate of personal watercraft in use, NMMA reclassified fiberglass inboard and/or sterndrive registrations smaller than 16 feet and included them in the PWC numbers for those states that do not register PWC as a separate category. 

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