Do you enjoy owning a personal watercraft? Thieves do too! From the smallest dinghy to the largest luxury yacht, about 700 boats are stolen across the US each month; and once stolen, vessels are rarely recovered. Knowing how to prevent boat theft can keep you and your vessel from becoming one of these sad statistics.
- Choose a secure marina: Your marina needs to be well lit, staffed and secured to prevent unauthorized entry. An efficient marina staff can help prevent boat theft, and can quickly spot empty docks at their facility. Awareness of a loss helps you act quickly and may aid the authorities in recovering your missing vessel.
- Don’t make it easy: Storing your boat on a trailer in your yard or driveway is an invitation to thieves. Move your boat out of sight; use a secured boat yard or a good quality hitch lock to keep a thief from simply driving your boat away from your home.
- Secure items on board: In many theft cases, the vessel itself is left behind after being stripped of all valuable contents. From expensive rods and reels to your outboard motor and electronics, secure valuable items and remove them if possible. Replace your cabin latch lock with a better quality deadbolt and store pricey items away from the boat itself to reduce your risk of theft. Avoid storing ownership papers and licenses on the boat to further reduce your risk, though you will need to bring these items aboard to legally operate your vessel.
Boat insurance can help you recoup your financial losses after a theft, but it can’t restore your feeling of security. Protect your investment and make sure your vessel isn’t vulnerable to thieves and you’ll be less likely to become just another statistic.