How to protect your boat against theft

November 6, 2014

Boat owners must pay close attention to the security of their vessels to protect against theft. According to insurance companies, there has been a notable increase in boat thefts in North American ports. Criminals are always on the lookout for opportunities and unsecured boats make tempting targets since a well-protected boat requires more time, visibility and noise to steal. Securing the boat itself is not the only concern; thieves often steal valuable equipment that has not been properly secured on deck, such as communication systems and other high-end electronic gadgets, along with anything that's easy to remove and likely to have a high resale value.

Here are some tips to keep your boat safe from theft.

How to protect your boat against theft

Evaluating and improving boat security

Fortunately, there are many ways to improve boat security. A secure boat offers peace of mind when it is left unattended in a home port or marina. You can evaluate the level of risk in a particular area by talking to other boat owners and checking with the police or insurance companies. Once the evaluation is complete, you can start planning the strength and number of any necessary security improvements.

Installing an alarm system is one of the most effective ways to prevent break-ins and theft. A good boat alarm system should be reliable, easy to use and corrosion-resistant. The ideal unit comes with motion-sensor lights that detect movement and keep key areas of the boat well-lit. For maximum effectiveness, the sensor must be placed to detect movement as soon as someone boards the boat, rather than in an enclosed cabin.

Additional security measures

To further protect your property, it's necessary to install a lock on your boat's fuel cap. The cabin door also requires a deadbolt lock to present a well-secured barrier. Securing the vessel with a wheel clamp is a viable security option when it is left unattended on a trailer. You should also try to only use marinas that offer full-time security. And make sure you do not leave valuable possessions in the cabin while on shore. Always consider registration and other important documentation as high-value items and protect them accordingly. When storing your boat at home, it's necessary to avoid leaving the boat in areas that are easily accessible from the street. A locked garage or storage space improves the level of security significantly.

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