From NBOA | Boat Theft and Keeping Your Boat Safe
Sponsored Content | NBOA Marine Insurance ( www.nboat.com )
Being pro-active is the key to preventing boat theft
If you own a boat, or you’re thinking of purchasing, please review these theft-prevention tips to keep your boat safe. Boat theft occurs all year round, whether it is in use or during lay-up. As one of your largest assets, your boat or yacht should be protected. In addition to comprehensive boat insurance, it is always helpful to take steps toward preventing theft.
1. Careful with the keys! Do not leave your key in the ignition or onboard when the boat is not in use, or when it is unattended. If you have a battery switch, make sure it is in the “off” position. Thieves don’t always think of that switch.
2. A secure boat is a safe boat. Secure your boat so it cannot easily be moved.
On land remember to install and use a high quality trailer ball and receiver hitch lock if the boat is left on a trailer for a short period. For longer periods, remove one wheel from the trailer and lock the removed wheel in a secure location, away from the boat. Also, chain the trailer frame to a large tree or other immovable object.
On the water – if your boat is large enough to carry or tow a dinghy, know that a dinghy in the water is an easy target. If you can, try and stow your dinghy aboard the primary boat. If it must stay in the water, use a cable and a padlock to secure it to the primary vessel. Remove the outboard motor from the dinghy and store it onboard your primary boat or on shore.
3. Never leave a “for sale” sign on your boat when you’re away for a long period of time.
4. If your boat is kept at a marina, choose one with full-time security and good lighting. Make sure your marina is aware of when your boat is being used by you or an operator approved by you. The sooner they become aware the boat isn’t in its slip or where it is supposed to be, the sooner they can notify you so efforts can begin to locate your vessel.
5. Install an anti-theft alarm and/or tracking system on your boat. NBOA marine insurance can recommend a quality model based on your needs.
6. Remove all personal property, such as portable electronics and fishing equipment (including small outboards and trolling motors), from the boat when not in use. If it cannot be easily removed, stow your equipment where it is out of sight and preferably in a locked storage location. Use a diamond-tipped tool and etch identifying marks on all electronic cases, high-value rods and reels, HD/plasma tv sets and other expensive personal items (do not etch your social security number or drivers license number on an item. Identity theft starts there). Outboard and stern drive propellers are targets for thieves too. Remove your propeller and store it away from the boat during the off season. Remember to grease your prop shaft then too.
7. If the boat is kept at your home, store it behind your house or on the side of your house. Avoid leaving it in a spot that is visible from the street. Also, park it so the trailer tongue doesn’t face the street. The best place to store your boat is indoors (garage, shed, etc.), out of the elements.
8. To avoid entry into your vessel’s cabin, replace the spring-latch locking assembly with a deadbolt-type lock. Make sure all portlights (windows) or hatches are locked and secured.
9. Do not leave registration, title or document papers on the boat when it is not in use. While in use, these papers must be onboard the vessel.
10. If you must leave your boat for an extended period of time, ask a friend to check on it regularly. Of course, if the worst should happen and your boat or equipment is stolen, it pays to have comprehensive insurance in place. NBOA marine insurance offers exceptional, all-risk insurance coverage for pleasure boats of every size – from the smallest to the largest – throughout the United States. Programs are available to protect an entire spectrum of pleasure yachts and boats and marine businesses, including luxury mega-yachts and sailboats, sport fishing boats, ski boats, personal watercraft, high performance vessels and select charter vessels, as well as yacht clubs, marinas, boat dealers, boat builders and more.
Thieves typically strike where they find an easy opportunity. You can help deter theft by keeping in mind three basic principles – time, noise and visibility.
Do things that increase the time it would take to steal your boat, engine or propeller. Take preventative measures that would force a thief to make noise in order to steal your boat. Keep your boat where it is invisible, making it difficult for a thief to steal your boat without being noticed.
This article is courtesy of the National Boat Owners Association (NBOA). For more helpful tips on boating and safety on the water, visit www.nboat.com. NBOA is also a leading provider of marine insurance, saving boat owners an average of $535 annually. Contact NBOA today for a free rate quote! 1-800-248-3512