Preventing Theft around your Boat
- Avoid leaving loose gear on board when the vessel if left unattended. It should be stowed, locked, or at least out of sight. Close curtains if you have them.
- Photograph your vessel and gear to aid in identification if stolen.
- Mark gear with your S.I.N. number or driver's licence number. Write down all serial numbers of electronic gear.
- Licence your dinghy and paint the licence numbers in the correct place. Paint a name on the stern in large letters - do not use your boat name as it tell everyone which boat is vacant. You can use duct tape to make your motor look broken. If you can stand to do it, paint your motor or dinghy with bright paint. This can be useful in recognizing your dinghy from a distance too!
- When you leave the boat, always lock your cabin and cockpit lockers and take out your boat keys with you. Leave a light or radio on a timer if it's practical.
- Secure an outboard motor to the boat or dinghy with a case-hardened steel padlock and chain (or steel cable). A special outboard motor locking bar is designed to conceal the motor mounting screws which secure the motor, making it very difficult to remove.
- Secure to a mooring with a lock and chain made of case-hardened steel in addition to your line. Do the same when you leave a dinghy taken ashore.
- Installing a mobile tracking device can send you a text message with the boat's location if it moves.
- If theft is common in your area, organize a Marine Watch with regular patrols. Ask your neighbors to watch your boat when you will not be around. If you see a stranger by a boat, immediately ask who they are looking for.
The worst thing about docking are the witnesses.