To any enthusiastic sailor, a boat is way more than just a vehicle for your hobby. It's an extension of your lifestyle - a second home - and a place where you escape the stresses of everyday life. Therefore, your boat will likely contain many items of monetary and personal value that you wouldn't want to lose.
The problem is devious boat thieves also see value in your boat to.
So to sidestep any chancers and opportunists, or more calculated acts of criminality, Mylor Rigging have put together a few of our essential tips and tricks to help prevent your boat from being stolen and aid in the recovery of stolen assets.
#1. Make sure your boat is insured from the off and ask yourself questions before your policy is purchased like what is your boat worth? What are the coverage options for personal items and fishing equipment? What are the deductibles in the event of an accident? What are the settlement options? And so on.
#2. Always have an alarm installed on your boat. They're pretty cheap and can be chosen especially for marine use to keep your vessel protected. You could also look to purchase a GPS boat tracking system to aid in boat and equipment recovery.
#3. Take high-quality, up-to-date photographs of your boat periodically in case you need to show your insurance company or the police.
#4. Never attempt to hide a set of keys on your boat. Always lock everything up properly, and if necessary, invest in some better quality locking hardware if you're in any doubt at all.
#5. Close cabin curtains and remove any expensive electronic equipment and personal items from view.
#6. If left in a dinghy park, keep your dinghy on a trolley to deter those looking to pull a fast one and tow it away.
#7. Create a personal record folder for your boat. This folder should contain all relevant manufacturer codes, serial numbers, hull numbers (HIN), an inventory list of everything on your boat, all electronic equipment, life jackets, parts, spares and accessories. All of this will serve you well for insurance claims or in tracking down lost and stolen items.
#8. Whenever you're storing your boat inside, position it so the bow goes into the warehouse or garage first and the stern faces outwards. This could deter opportunists from quickly shooting in and towing your boat away. If your boat is being left outside, take off a wheel from the trailer and always use a thick, high strength chain when attaching your vessel to any fixed point.
#9. Enscribe areas of your boat with a registration number to make it easier to identify.
#10. If you're away from your boat for a long period of time, ensure your engine is secure and has the keys completely removed along with all cables and connections. Invest in an outboard engine lock as a final measure.
The moment you discover that your boat is stolen, contact the police and make a report straight away. Contact your insurance company and also make the marina or storage owners aware if you are using one to aid in the recovery of your boat.