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Boat Security
14th Jun 2011

More boats, boat trailers, personal boating items, electronic and boating safety equipment are stolen each year as boating gains popularity.

Here are some boat security tips to help keep your boat safe.

Amateurs usually commit such crimes: you can keep temptation away from otherwise honest citizens by remembering to…

  • Retrieve keys from ignition/s
  • Not leave idling motors unattended
  • Secure valuable items away from view – for example, VHF radio, binoculars

There are other steps. These require planning. For example:

  1. Permanently mark or engrave your boat, trailer and all equipment with the hull identification number or you driver's license number.
  2. Make a complete inventory of your boat and equipment as if planning rent it out. Mention brand, name and model. Record the license number of your trailer. Keep a master copy at home and another hidden safely on board as a checklist.
  3. Take digital photographs from various angles. Keep these not only on-file in your computer, but e-mail them to your web mail address and create a special file for them. That way you have an uploaded version in case your home computer is stolen.
  4. Consider an alarm system, but choose one designed for boating. If there is an enclosed cabin, a smoke detector can be included.

Securing Boats On Trailers

These are very vulnerable to theft due both to visibility and mobility.

Here are some handy hints:

  • Store your boat, if possible in a locked garage.
  • There may be a secured boat storage facility handy that you might like to consider as an option.
  • If your boat is open to the elements, keep the boat and trailer well inside a yard, preferably out of sight of the road. Turn the bow facing a wall or structure rather than outwards towards the exit.
  • For outside storage, consider removing a wheel of the boat trailer or installing a secure wheel clamp.
  • For drive or car port storage, try to park a vehicle in front of the access to increase difficultly of unauthorized removal.
  • Use a quality chain and lock to secure the trailer to a fixed object. Avoid damage to trees.
  • Purchase a trailer hitch lock if there is no such device installed in the design.

Sensible Boat Storage

  1. Remove all equipment from your boat and store it elsewhere, locked, out of sight.
  2. Close cabin curtains before leaving vessel moored or parked. Secure to dock/s or mooring/s. Don't allow passers-by to view cabin contents or layout.

Boat Insurance

This is essential. But remember, it is what it is. It will not compensate the grief and inconvenience of losing your pride and joy. So boat insurance should be an accompaniment to security features, not a substitute.

When Bad Luck Strikes

If your boat or boating equipment are stolen…report it immediately to:

  • Local police, water police, waterways authority, your insurance company and the marina or storage facility manager.
  • Positive identification of goods stolen is critical to recovery and apprehension of culprit/s.

Boat Tracking and Security Devices

There are a number of these on the market. Choose the one that meets your requirement/s and budget.

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