Boat burgled, need a plan for next time. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 52 Old 01-25-2008 Thread Starter
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Boat burgled, need a plan for next time.

Last year I got a call that 17 boats in the mooring field I use had been broken into. I took a trip out to the cove and found my boat was one of them. They walked right by the $600 GPS and took an old Nikon camera and a pair of binoculars. Kids probably, pros would have snatched the outboard motor and GPS. They kicked in the hatchboards and messed up the interior, throwing cusions all over, used the head and didn't know how to flush it, but it could have been a lot worse. Assuming pros will not be stopped by anything, what plans and ideas have you folks used with good results to stop these idiots? It would take three trips with my little dingy to get the valuables off every time I leave, and I hate to leave all the stuff I want to use on the boat at home. I thought about those game cameras the deer hunters use to photograph game, lights and a klaxton, but what do the experianced folks use that has worked? What have you done to make your boat less vulnerable to theft?

"Ulysses" - Alfred Tennyson
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I not only haven't had the opportunity to see if it works, but haven't even tried to set it up yet. I bought a motion sensor (eBay) that has not only a loud noise, but also a strobe light alarm. it can be armed with a remote control. It wasn't expensive and should be fun to set up (aimed down).

Robert Watson

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post #3 of 52 Old 01-25-2008
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Sorry to hear about that Probably was just punks...

You could look at getting one of those Viper (auto) alarm systems - that has a proximity sensor... naturally you'll need a solar panel unless you are connected to shore power...

Or a really low tech and believe it or not works - simply put a "Protected by ADT" sticker on the hatch...

Another path is to get a custom set of bars that can be slid and the hatches slide in front...They'll try to kick it in but won't budge...Alot of cruisers that travel in areas where this is common do this...

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post #4 of 52 Old 01-25-2008
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there are also motion detectors that trigger things like lighting, the sound of a dog barking, door chime etc. i'm no electronic engineer by any means but they generally donot use very much power. some of the motion detectors such as X-10 Eagle Eye (click link)run off of two AA batteries which seem to last me for about a year. the remote door chime (fairly loud doorbell sound) states 120 volts AC 60Hz 1 watt. hope this helps. sorry to hear about your situation. these type of gadgets will generally keep an honest person honest but if anyone wants anything bad enough, they will go to any extreme.

edit: as stated above, you could also use this device to trigger a spreader light, i bet they'de dive for the deep six upon boarding your vessel (at night) and the spreaders come on .

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post #5 of 52 Old 01-25-2008
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Point one; If your hatchboards cave in to one or two kicks then they will not keep the water from a serious boarding wave out of your cabin. Filling up with water and sinking is generally considered bad, so you may want to look at strenghtening the boards and the track they run in.

Two, motion sensors are excellent. A siren and lights that come on when someone is standing in the cockpit. A reed switch on the hatch board that if broken triggers a serious strobe light and second siren that live inside the boat and are aimed at the companionway! One of those "if the flash don't get you then the fallout will" sort of situations.

I know someone that has a smoke-pack rigged to go off alongside as a stage three....On the grounds that two alarms, a bright disconcerting strobe light and the inability to breathe will convince poeple to leave without first even taking out their frustartions on the contents of your boat.

Another fellow at our mooring field uses a 12volt electric fence generator that he claims is set to "Keeping an angry rutting bull in the paddock when he can see the cows in the next field". He claims that the lifelines are what is set to zap....In fact it is the grab rails for getting down the companionway ladder.

I am not sure I reccomend that last approach.

Having the motion sensor trigger an MP3 of the "alarm" system speech from RoboCop through your cockpit speakers might have a positive effect, too!




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post #6 of 52 Old 01-25-2008
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Sadly, anything that can hurt a criminal POS breaking and entering is probably going to leave you liable for his/her/it's injuries. Your property protection rights do not supercede that in most states.

About all you can do is motion detectors and lights/alarms and good insurance. Put all your valuable 'carry off' items in one place to reduce the random search and destroy?
Are there any liveaboards in your mooring field? That would help. Leave a light on, and a throw away dinghy in the water; fool 'em into thinking someone is aboard.
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post #7 of 52 Old 01-25-2008
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My question is what were your drop boards made of??? Mine are 3/8" lexan, and I seriously doubt that you'd be able to kick them in like that.

Some of the suggestions above require you to have shore power and that is less than useful on a MOORING.

A motion sensitive light, preferably high up in the rigging that is solar powered might be a good thing. Lighting that shows the cockpit area off at night tends to reduce people boarding the boat.

As for more painful deterrents... it really depends on the law in your state. Some states allow you to use up to lethal force on people who invade your home, and a boat can often be considered a home. Personally, I'm against that idea, since you could also unintentionally injure someone boarding your boat to help you out—for instance, if you sent a friend over to check on your boat, and they didn't know about the security setup.

Cameras aren't really a deterrent, but if they're not stolen, can be useful in the prosecution of the the jackals who did break into your boat.

The best deterrent is to have a community where the other boaters are around and look out for you. We had a break-in on several boats at my marina by three kids in an inflatable... and one of my friends there chased them down and got them arrested.

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post #8 of 52 Old 01-25-2008
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I can see my drop boards holding up to a good kicking. But I can see the teak tracks they are riding in failing. As far as the tracks, I am not sure I have an answer right now.

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post #9 of 52 Old 01-25-2008
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Question Not sure this works

All I know, no one ever broke into my boat when it have this on a Hatch.
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post #10 of 52 Old 01-25-2008
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Exclamation Throw some of this tape in the cockpit

Just lay it around like it was accidentally broke.
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