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Florida claims ‘boating capitol’ title

FEB. 6 — Florida edged out California as the state with the largest number of registered boats, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s recently released 2004 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics Report.

Florida had 946,072 registered boats in 2004, according to the report, compared with 894,884 boats in third-place California — which held the top spot in 2003. Michigan took second in 2004 with 944,800 registered boats.

“This report provides an excellent tool for understanding what is happening within the recreational boating industry on a state-by-state basis, NMMA director of industry statistics and research James Petru says in a release. “Not only does the study report on the number of boats registered in the individual states in-depth, but it also provides valuable information on state registration requirements, and meaningful comparisons between 2004 data and data recorded from previous years.”

Rounding out the top 10 states with the most boat registrations in 2004 are Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Illinois. There were nearly 13 million boats registered in 2004, down less than 0.1 percent from 2003.

Copies of the NMMA’s 2004 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics Report cost $150 for members and $300 for nonmembers. To order call (312) 946-6209.

— Jason Fell