TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – With 922,597 registered boats in Florida, there's bound to be accidents, malfunctions and thefts, but a recently released report puts the state at the top of the list for only one of those issues.
The new report from the nonprofit National Insurance Crime Bureau lists the Sunshine State with the most boat or watercraft thefts in the United States, by a long shot
According to the report, Florida saw a total of 1,114 watercraft thefts last year with only 392 of those being recovered by authorities.
In comparison, California ranked No. 2 with only 483 thefts — with more than half of them recovered.
Tampa ranked No. 3 on the list of cities across the country with the most thefts, with 64 boats and watercrafts stolen last year. Only 18 of those 64 were recovered by authorities.
Largo also made the top 10 cities with the most watercraft thefts, with 35 stolen water vehicles last year and a recovery rate of 29 percent — one of the lowest on the list.
2018 Boat thefts and recoveries through 04/04/19
Hover over the bar to see the exact numbers.
Source: National Insurance Claim Bureau
This report comes ahead of the bipartisan “Carfax for boats” law being signed by the state's governor.
The law will require insurance companies to have titles branded with a hull damage statement before they can sell them. Private owners who repair their boats will be required to self-report the damage, facing a fine if they ignore the requirement.
The changes would take effect on July 1, 2023, once signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.