Preventing Powerboat Theft

Have you ever had anything of value stolen from you? It leaves you with a sick feeling and a feeling of vulnerability unlike anything else. We are all well aware that there are crooks and thieves that live among us. We lock our cars and install antitheft devices on them. We lock our homes and install devices that will tell us when security has been breached. Powerboats need to be equally well protected from theft. Powerboats are even more vulnerable to theft than are cars and much more easily entered than homes.

You may want to consider installing an alarm system on your powerboat whether is will be parked in your driveway or your garage or at a marina. You can, of course, install a simple trailer lock in the hopes of deterring thieves but a determined powerboat thief won’t be slowed down much with just a trailer lock.

Most boat dealerships will install an alarm system on the new powerboat that you purchase. Be aware, however, that these alarm systems can be set off easily. Even gentle waves can set them off and this will most certainly not keep you in the good graces of the owners of neighboring boats owners who sleep on their boats.

There really are only two good choices of theft deterrent alarm systems. One is the closed loop sensor which is placed on the hatch or on other expensive equipment. When the hatch is opened or equipment is moved, the alarm is sounded. The other is the open circuit alarm and it works much the same way as the closed loop sensor. It only sounds the alarm when the power to the alarm is cut off.

Either of the above listed alarm systems will work to help deter thieves but due diligence is still required to be certain that the alarms are set when you don’t have both eyeballs trained on your powerboat.

Bruce Stott is the Chief Instructor of Gulf Islands Cruising School Ltd. in Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island.  He is the author of Boating FAQ’s, 71 Essential Answers for Every Boater.

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