How do you keep your stuff from being stolen - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-02-2012 Thread Starter
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How do you keep your stuff from being stolen

I am new to boating. I want to buy a sail boat and go coastal cruising down the pacific coast of mexico. How does this work. You sail and then when you see a harbor you want to park for the night you drop your anchor take the dingy to shore. Explore a new town on foot. When you return to the dock the dingy may have been stolen, your boat at anchor may have been broken into and robbed or worse yet someone stolen the the boat with everything. I am afraid to park my car in a shopping center for fear someone will ding my doors parking next to me. How am I going to park a $100k or more boat with all my personal stuff in it at an unknown harbor with no security? it seems I will never be able to go further than eye site distance from my boat. This will turn me into a boat slave.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-02-2012
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Mariopoli:
Great question. Lots of answers, some of them worth considering. First, don't be flashy. Look for a boat which looks sad. Second, lock up the yacht when you leave it. Get a cable and lock for the dinghy, long enough to loop through the outboard handle as well as the dinghy. Stay at a Marina with guards. Stay out of dangerous anchorages. When going ashore, find out who the quality local guides are, hire one, and ask him to hire a boy to watch your dinghy. (On occasion the guide has helped us bargain for provisions so effectively that we saved more than the cost of his services.) Read these forums for others suggestions. Be lucky.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-02-2012
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Hire Captain Ron !
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-02-2012
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Quote:
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This will turn me into a boat slave.
That's pretty much guaranteed after you buy a boat!
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-02-2012
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It's unfortunate that theft is so common in Central and South America. I had a flight examiner that was born in Mexico tell me that I could never fly a small general aviation plane to any airport other than the largest of cities in his home country, as it would be certainly gone when I retuned. Sad.

A large dog in the cockpit might do the trick, but I think dogs are tough to cruise with. Chaining the dinghy to the boat while you sleep is also necessary. You also have to separately chain the outboard to the dinghy, as that is the valuable prize.


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post #6 of 17 Old 03-02-2012
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I have had little or no problem with thieves & do not worry! I keep a tight ship and don't let things lay around! Then if they steal, they must have needed it more than I. Pity them if I catch them. Pay back a bitch!.....Dale

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I have had little or no problem with thieves & do not worry! I keep a tight ship and don't let things lay around! Then if they steal, they must have needed it more than I. Pity them if I catch them. Pay back a bitch!.....Dale
On the Mexican coastline?

I too have had little problem with theft in RI. Someone took my 1 gal spare gas jug for the dink. When I went to buy another, I realized they now require these ridiculous anti spill valves, which ironically are so bad they cause more spillage. I've hunted tag sales all winter to find an old one, with a nozzle that fits down in the can. Worth their weight in gold now.


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post #8 of 17 Old 03-02-2012
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Good thread.

Can anyone suggest a good chain or cable to use? I'm thinking that a typical chain won't fit through the bolt eyes on my dinghy -- at least I think that's the suggestion..

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post #9 of 17 Old 03-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Good thread.

Can anyone suggest a good chain or cable to use? I'm thinking that a typical chain won't fit through the bolt eyes on my dinghy -- at least I think that's the suggestion..

Regards,
Brad
Any chain or cable will do. All you are doing is deterring the opportunistic thief. The pro thief will be carrying serious bolt croppers and or a hacksaw.

Anchor next to other cruisers and never be the boat closest to shore. A simple proximity sensor light in the cockpit helps deter the swimmer thief.

If you really want to thief proof a sailing yacht you need to start with a steel boat and think about steel plate over all hatches. Give me a jemmy and 1 minute and I will be into any grp or wooden boat. I will also do more damage in dollar terms than I will typically steal.

Cover you dink with patches and some paint splotches, repaint the engine with unusual colours, bright pink is good. Alternatively have a dink and engine that no self respecting thief will bother with. Old grp dinks with Seagull outnboards do not get stolen in the Caribbean, they don't even get ' borrowed ' during the Heineken regatta in St Maarten!

Last edited by TQA; 03-02-2012 at 10:26 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-02-2012
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Stopping sticky fingers can be like playing whack-a-mole, no matter what you do they'll pop up elsewhere.

FWIW there are plenty of inexpensive auto alarms that use a small radiopager when the alarm is tripped. You could rig one to the companionway hatch (which should be locked anyway) to page you if someone breaks the hatch open. Limited range, probably up to a mile in clear sight, and "more stuff" to carry. But an option.

Keep things secured, keep a low profile, and just as with your car, don't bother parking it and walking away in a neighborhood you can't trust. There ARE some places better left unvisited. And if you can't replace, secure, or afford to insure something, maybe it is worth buying something less expensive to start with.
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