It is understandable to assume that the small crew of a private pleasure vessel traveling through remote areas or overseas countries may at some time encounter a stranger wanting to board their boat with treasonable intentions. The best defense is preparation.
It is impossible to put doors to the sea. The security measures to prevent theft of boats and instruments onboard starts at the port itself. Having security cameras, doors with codes and permanent surveillance is additional security. However, theft can occur even in the best marinas.
Below are some suggestions that may minimize the risk of theft from your boat:
– Do not leave the keys of the boat onboard. In case of theft, when the keys are found on the boat, the insurance loses its coverage.
– Avoid leaving valuables in sight. This measure also includes the equipment of the cabin and the cover. A sign which indicates that all valuables on board have been removed is usually a good deterrent.
– Report the entrances and exits of the vessel in the port of residence.
– Use strong padlocks to secure the lockers and drawers on the boat.
– Perform a periodic check of the boat, or entrust the surveillance to someone, who will observe any movement of objects, open gates, open hatches, and similar signs.
– Try to show that there is movement on the boat like it`s frequently used. There is nothing more inviting for the thieves than seeing an “abandoned” boat.
– Equip the boat with geolocation systems, independent of the navigation equipment. It must be hidden and with constant connection. These devices can be connected with mobile phones and similar devices, so you will able to position the boat in case of theft.
– Have a copy of the vessel’s documentation and the serial numbers of the boat’s valuables also at your home. Secure the boat and each of the installed instruments. It is advisable to inform the insurer of the characteristics and the serial number of the equipment onboard, as well as to inform the Maritime Registry in your country of the installation of navigation equipment.
– Mark all the equipment you buy for your boat with your zip code and contact information. Take photos of all the valuable items which aren’t firmly secured and create an inventory. If it is stolen, this will help police to try to recover it or the insurance company to replace it.
– Install high-quality security cameras, and position it above the main entry point of the boat and post a highly visible warning sign.
– Bring your dinghy on the deck each night, don’t leave it hanging behind the boat at night unless you are sure it is safe to do so.
If you are robbed, do report it to the local authorities immediately. Most local authorities will respond positively to a report of theft and try to solve the crime. Even if you do not get your property back, your report may assist the authorities to identify and apprehend the thieves and therefore prevent the same happening to another boat.