PREVENT BOAT THEFT   Leave a comment


Boats, trailers and related gear are susceptible to theft.  It can be as simple as tire theft from the trailer or as complicated as stealing an engine or boat.  The key to theft prevention is to make it so difficult that the thief goes elsewhere.  He is after all the kind of person that does not want to work for his money or else he would not be a thief.

The greatest threat to your property does not come from professionals but rather from the joker looking to pick up some quick cash.  He most likely works alone.

Ways to put off the casual thief all have similar elements.  Make visibility, time and noise work against him.  These simple measures do not cost a lot and in many ways they are simple common sense.

Begin by storing your boat and trailer in a rented space at a commercial storage facility or leave it in a locked garage.  If these two options are not available try to keep it out of sight.  Since most thieves are opportunists they will find other boats to steal if yours is not in sight.

When stored or otherwise not attached to your tow vehicle keep your boat and/or trailer with a lock on it that completely covers the coupler cavity.  It he cannot hitch up to it, it is not possible to tow it away.

Along the same line, it is important to disable the trailer completely.  Remove one or both wheels and raise the wheel less axles.  You can also thread a cable or chain through the wheel rims and around the axels.  Then lock the two ends together.

On the road never leave your trailered boat unguarded.  Not even for a fast coffee break or fuel stop.  No matter how deserted the location there is a chance of an opportunist thief spotting it.  He will take advantage of a chance to make a quick buck stealing your equipment.

When the trailer is attached to a tow vehicle it is important to lock the trailer coupler to the hitch ball.  You can tack weld the threads on the tip of the hitch ball bolt preventing the thief from removing the hitch ball and stealing the rig even with the hitch ball locked to the coupler.

Also tack weld the bolt threads that attach the coupler assembly to the trailer tongue.  It prevents anyone from removing bolts that attach the coupler assembly to the trailer tongue.

Check with your local marine supply store for locking mechanisms for boat compartments as well as to lock the motor to the gunnel.  If possible remove all tackle and other gear from the boat and store locked in your tow vehicle.  If staying overnight at a motel, park in a well-lighted area, preferably where security cameras are present.

These simple tasks make the risk of discovery too great for thieves.  It takes too much time, makes too much noise or risks someone seeing him.  The risk of discovery makes them leave and find someone who is not as careful down the road.


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