Maintaining the security of your possessions, is essential isn’t it? So why do so many people leave the keys to their cars in places where they can be stolen? Very many cars are stolen every year because the keys were left in the ignition, on the hall-stand just inside the house door, on the kitchen window sill in plain sight. And, it isn’t it odd how many people have security systems to protect their homes (and businesses) but don’t turn them on, or worse the alarm is broken and left unrepaired. It is no surprise then that much-loved boats and their electronic equipment and expensive fittings are stolen all too frequently.
For many Northern Hemisphere sailors the season is yet to come – 2019 is only 4 weeks away! Those of you South of the Equator, your off-season will come soon enough, and the security problem is universal. Many folks have hauled their boats out of the water to ready them for next year, some folks are buying at the various boat shows and local dealerships or buying pre-owned boats more locally.
New boats, depending on the price-tag will come with state of the art security kit built in, all one has to do is make sure that you turn the Security systems on, keep them maintained and when your cell/mobile phone app tells you someone is breaking into the boat you have a way of summoning help – bearing in mind you could be a long distance away at the time. Security Company’s usually have Key Holder and Alarm Watch cover for homes and businesses, why not check them out and ask if they do boat cover? Top quality Marinas and boat yards will have in-house security to keep an eye on them but be aware boats do go missing. The more handsome the boat the more attractive it will appear to the thieves.
Older boats may not carry advanced security systems. If it is possible remove the electronics and attractive equipment and store it in a safe lock-up, out of sight is out of mind. Mark any kit and fittings with unique marker pens, etching with a diamond tool, there are many systems intended to reduce the likelihood of boats and contents being stolen, but these are mostly reactive, and we suggest that people need to be far more proactive in keeping their valuable property safe. By all means system-up your boat, car, house etc, up but switch on your security mind set too.
Is your boat on a trailer somewhere? Even if it is in your yard or driveway take the wheels off the trailer (mount it on blocks and remove the towing arm/bracket). Remove outboard motors, radio kit, electronics, even sails and any other equipment stowed ready for the new season. Photograph your boat using a digital camera and especially any tech information plates and identifying features that are unique to your boat, insurance companies will want a picture and the police stand a greater chance of finding your boat with photographic evidence. Install motion sensors, not much use in an anchorage, but for a boat on a trailer they are very useful.
Don’t assume, it makes an ass out of u & me!
Most thieves are opportunistic, if they have opportunity, they will steal anything not fastened down and sell it for the price of a ‘fix’.
However, organised thieves are ‘professional’, and they know what they want and will go to great lengths to get it, but even they can be deterred, so the more pro active you are, the more professional you are, and the more aware you are the safer your possessions will be. Even if you can’t stop the thieves you can make it easier on the police, and if all else fails you can demonstrate due diligence to an insurer in gaining restitution.
Hope for the best but plan for the worst.
Think smart. Think security.