Sailing News & Views

U.S. Boat Registrastions Grow 180,000 in ‘99
Many Small Boats Not Counted by Jim Petru

A report released by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) states that 180,000 more boats were registered in the U.S. in 1999, an increase of 1.4 percent over 1998 to 12.7 million. While the numbers reflect a growing market, not all types of boats experienced growth in registrations last year: sterndrive boats increased by 8.9 percent and auxiliary inboard sail gained 44.5 percent while outboard boats were relatively flat and inboard boats and auxiliary outboard sail decreased by 2.2 percent and 4.9 percent respectively.

“The increase in last year’s registration results continue a relatively steady growth trend dating from 1972 and is evidence of gains seen on the manufacturing side of the industry, which translates into sales of new marine engines, accessories and support services,” says National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Market Statistics manager Jim Petru.

NMMA estimates indicate that 605,000 new boats were sold at retail in 1999, and that there are more than 16.8 million boats owned acrooss the U.S. taking into consideration that many small, non-powered craft are not required to be registered by the staes or simply not registered by owners. This figure includes large categories such as canoes (120,000 units) and utility boats (approximately 35,000 units) many of which are not required to be registered.

“States are really hurting themselves if all eligible boats are not registered,” says Petru. “Registration numbers are used to determine allocation of the Aquatic Resource or Wallop-Breaux, Trust Fund.” This fund is used to finance boating education, law enforcement, programs to enhance water access for boaters and anglers and enhancing sportfish restoration efforts. The money provided for the fund is paid through taxes, mostly on boat fuel sales, and is divided among the states based on the number of boats registered.

Boat registration numbers, as tracked by the USCG, indicate that the East North Central part of the country (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) is the top ranking region in the country with 2.6 million registrations, accounting for one out of every five registered boats. Of interest is that this region did not experience an increase in total boat registrations during ‘99.

The third top region is West North Central (IA, KS MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) with 1.6 million registered boats and 12.5 percent of the total. The West North Central region, like its counterpart to the east, was relatively flat with a 0.5 percent increase for the year.

Illbruck Challenge and Duesseldorfer Yachtclub Partner to Challenge for the America’s Cup

The Illbruck Challenge, an international team of the world’t top racing sailors led by skipper John Kostecki and supported by the global company Illbruck GmpH headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, is partnering with the Duesseldorfer Yacht Club to launch the first-ever German America’s Cup campaign, announced Michael Illbruck, Chief Executive Officer, Illbruck GmpH and Peter Strosek, Commodore, Duesseldorfer YC at the Hamburg Boat Show “Anseboot.”

Duesseldorfer Yachtclub has filed the Challenge and entry fee with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for America’s Cup XXXI. The next America’s Cup begins in Auckland, New Zealand in October 2002 with the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup faces the Defender, Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match, commencing in late February 2003.

“Our America’s Cup campaign will start with a one-boat program for America’s Cup XXXI in 2003 with oue eye on victory in America’s Cup XXXII,” Illbruck said. “The powerful performance it will take to win the America’s Cup is not something that comes overnight. We will take a long-term approach to winning the America’s Cup. We are honored to Challenge on behalf of Germany and the Duesseldorfer Yacht Club. We encourage the support and involvement of the entire German sailing community in this endeavor.”

The Duesseldorfer Yacht Club, founded in 1908, has a membership of more than 480 and is a shareholder and organizer of the well-known annual North Sea Race Week. “The Duesseldorfer Yacht Club and its members are proud to launch Germany’s first America’s Cup Challenge,” said Commodore Strosek. “We are delighted to be represented by this distinguished team of sailors. The Illbruck family has sailed from this club for many years; we are pleased to continue the tradition by partnering with them for this significant milestone in German sailing history,” Strosek said.


All sailors wish they could see the wind. The experts are always better at anticipating and using the wind to finish ahead of the rest of us. What are the wind’s secret messages? What can you do to spot that next wind gust or lull and turn it into a lead before your competitors? To answer these questions and more the Minnetonka Yacht Club is sponsoring “WINDSHIFTS FOR LAKE SAILORS” by Ed Eloranta and Gordy Bowers.

Ed Eloranta earned a Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in 1972. He is an Inland Lakes Champion in the M-20 class who teaches “Weather for Sailors” at UW-Madison..Gordy Bowers has a passion for sailboat racing and a long list of Scow, One-design and Keelboat championships to his credit. He was the head coach for the 1988 Olympic Sailing Team. Currently, Gordy represents Quantum Sails in Minnesota, coaches the University of Minnesota Sailing Team and the Minnesota Women’s Sailing Team. Clearly, he has a unique gift for teaching.

The “WINDSHIFTS FOR LAKE SAILORS” seminar will be held at the Minnetonka Community Center located at 19600 Minnetonka Boulevard - one-quarter mile west of highway 394. The date is February 24, Saturday from 9am to 1pm. The cost, including refreshments is $30. You need to PRE-REGISTER by sending your check to Minnetonka YC, manager - Carol McGoldrick, 19800 Minnetonka Blvd, Deephaven, MN. 55331. If you have questions call Carol at (952) 474-4457 or Gordy Bowers at (952) 473-5395.