Boat Theft - How To Prevent It!
May 29, 2011 6:34 PM | Tagged as Stolen

Prevent Marine Theft - Learn To Think Like A Thief
Approximately 27,000 boats are stolen each year in the United States. Over 95% of all boats stolen are package thefts, that is the boat, motor and trailer are all stolen, and 90% of all boats stolen are less than 20 feet in length. Thieves target motel parking lots as well as unfenced or unsecured self-storage areas.

Boats are costly and represent a sizable investment of your dollars and time. Don't become a victim. Become security conscious. Although nothing is theft-proof, there are three key factors in discouraging theft:

TIME - Do things to increase the time it takes to steal your boat.

NOISE - Do things that will force the thief to make noise in order to steal your boat.

VISIBILITY - Keep your boat and trailer parked where it is visible to you or a neighbor and if possible, a location that is lighted at night.

Simple and effective security measures often just requiring a little extra planning and knowledge. Here are a few suggestions we hope you will find useful:

  • Burglars are usually looking for the easiest job. Make it as difficult as possible for them to steal your boat. Use theft-warning decals, locks and alarm systems. Anti-theft devices aren't fool-proof, but they can make a boat burglary difficult enough to discourage many crooks. And remember, NOISE!! TIME!!
  • If you leave your boat on a trailer, keep the trailer tongue locked and use a wheel lock or remove one or more of the wheels. If you remove a wheel, place a locking lug nut on the lug bolt of the trailer to prevent a wheel from being put on the trailer. Remove the spare trailer tire and store in your garage or car trunk.
  • Keep records of all boat, motor, trailer and equipment serial numbers. Verify that the actual numbers match the numbers on your paperwork. Keep receipts for major equipment purchases, serial number records, and photos of your boat and its equipment on shore in a secure place.
  • Engrave your name, social security number, or drivers license number in a concealed, hidden area of your boat, motor, and trailer.
  • Engrave your name, social security number, or drivers license number onto or inside your marine equipment (i.e., radio, GPS, depth sounder, etc.)
  • Remove valuable items, such as electronics, especially if you plan to be away from your boat for a long time.
  • If possible, store your boat and trailer in a locked garage or inside storage area.
  • If you store your boat in your yard, store it in a back or side year, out of sight from the street.
  • If you must store the unit in a driveway, carport, or open side lot or yard, park another vehicle or large object in front of the trailer. Lock the trailer to the object, fence post, tree, or any other stationary object available. Remember NOISE!! TIME!!
  • When purchasing locks and chains, don't skimp!! Buy good quality hardened chains and locks.
  • Never leave the key(s) in the boat.
  • Installing an ignition by-pass switch in a hidden area may prevent a thief from starting your engine, adding TIME and NOISE.

If your boat or any of its equipment is stolen or vandalized, report the incident quickly to the local police and your insurance company. Quick reporting improves the odds of recovery.

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