Mako tops list of most-stolen boats

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PWC and boats kept on trailers are most likely to be stolen, according to a BoatU.S. report

PWC and boats kept on trailers are most likely to be stolen, according to a BoatU.S. report

The Boat Owners Association of the United States has released its first-ever Top 10 List of Most Frequently Stolen Vessels and their chances of being stolen.

Staff from BoatU.S.’s damage avoidance newsletter, Seaworthy (http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy ), developed the list after examining claims filed with the association over the lastfive years.

“The bottom line is that we want to help make people aware that the boat or personal watercraft they own might be popular among thieves,” says BoatU.S. spokesperson Scott Croft. “So many people think, Oh, this is our boat, just an average boat, and no one is going to steal it. They’d be surprised to know how many boats are stolen not because of how unique they are, but because of their parts.

“People are already aware of the most-stolen cars in the country,” he says. “By putting boats in that frame of reference we think that helps make owners aware that certain makes of boats are popular among thieves, too.”

Topping the list of most-stolen boats is Mako (seven chances in 10,000). “When we broke it down to chances in 10,000, we thought that leveled the playing field,” says Seaworthy editor Bob Adriance. “If we insure more Sea Rays, say, than any other boat, Sea Ray would be at the top of the list. If we just did it on numbers the results wouldn’t be accurate.”

The remaining top five boats and their chances of being stolen are Chaparral (5.22), Regal (4.92), Wellcraft (3.7), and Boston Whaler (3.36). The most-stolen make of personal watercraft is Yamaha (15.3).

The staff at Seaworthy also determined that 90 percent of all boats stolen were on a trailer, the average-size boat being just larger than 20 feet. “Don’t leave your boat on a trailer in your driveway with the hitch facing out,” Adriance says. “It takes two seconds to hitch it up and it’s gone. And if the boat is going to be on the trailer for a while, take off the tires. That’s an important deterrent.”

Croft says owners should keep their boats in a locked, secure area. “The best thing you can do is to present hurdles for a potential thief,” he says. “Put a lock on the hitch coupler. Chain the boat to something more secure than the trailer. Keep your boat out of sight. All of these things help.”

BoatU.S. Top 10 List of Most

Frequently Stolen Vessels

BuilderChances per 10,000

1. Yamaha (PWC)15.3

2. Kawasaki (PWC)12.8

3. Bombardier/Sea Doo (PWC)8.19

4. Mako7

5. Chaparral5.22

6. Regal4.92

7. Wellcraft3.7

8. Boston Whaler3.36

9. Four Winns3.06

10. Chris-Craft2.8