A new report ranks Washington in the top five states for boat theft.
Washington is surrounded in the rankings by other coastal states with many water bodies. Texas is third, California is second and Florida is first. North Carolina is fifth.
The top five boats stolen include the jet ski, runabout, utility cruiser and sailboat, in that order.
The report, issued by National Insurance Crime Bureau, recommends boat owners buy insurance.
Other tips for protecting your boat include:
• Mark your boat and equipment with the vessel’s Hull Identification Number (HIN), a 12-character serial number that identifies your boat.
• Engrave your driver’s license number in a hidden location on the boat as well as on its engine, ship-to-shore radio, depth sounder, compass stereo, trailer and other expensive components.
• Take photos or videotape your boat, its HIN and equipment for documentation and identification.
• When docking your watercraft, lock and secure it to the dock with a steel cable.
• Remove expensive equipment when your boat is not in use.
• Chain and lock detachable motors to the boat.
• Keep title or registration papers somewhere safe and not in your boat when it’s docked.
• Disable your boat by shutting off 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.