Global Marine Insurance : Boat Theft Prevention Tips and Advice

Purchasing a boat insurance policy is certainly an important aspect of protecting you and your vessel, especially if it’s stolen. However, there are several boat theft prevention tips that you can implement in order to reduce the risk of your boat being stolen or burglarized.

Photograph: Dick Penn, Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dickpenn/3587671089/

Trailerable Boats

  • Store your boat and trailer in a secure garage or storage structure, if possible.
  • Secure the boat and trailer to a permanent object, like a concrete wall or floor, with a high-quality chain and lock.
  • Use tongue locks, or put wheel locks on your trailer’s wheels.
  • Remove one trailer wheel and store the unused wheel in a safe, secure place.

Storing Boats

  • Install hatch locks, and put dowels in the boat’s windows to prevent opening. These should be removed when the boat is in use.
  • Store your boat in a secure, well-lit area.
  • Install an alternate hidden power switch.
  • For outboard motors, install an outboard motor lock when in storage.

Other Precautions

  • If you keep your boat on davits, keep the main power turned off, and the control box locked and secure.
  • Install a GPS locator for your boat. Some GPS devices will notify you if your boat moves beyond a defined range, and you will be notified of your vessel’s latitude/longitude, speed, heading and distance to the nearest city.
  • Permanently mark or engrave your boat, trailer, and all your equipment and electronics with your vessel’s hull identification number (HIN) in an unexposed or hidden location. If your boat was manufactured before 1972, you will not have an HIN. We recommend using your driver’s license number instead.
  • Purchase and install an alarm system.
  • Photograph or videotape the interior and exterior of your boat. Showcase all installed equipment and additional gear. Store the photographs or footage in a safe place, not on your vessel.

Do you have any additional boat theft prevention tips? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.