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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-16-2010 03:50 PM
SeaFever2000 I close my hatches and companion way door before I leave. Always. If I was to live aboard and am going to be back in the afternoon, I would still lock it up. I would then invest in the solar vents as mentioned above. I would find a way to ventilate the boat safely but would not leave the boat open.

Why tempt someone? I don't think that is wise. But then that is my opinion...:-)
07-16-2010 02:39 PM
ArcherBowman My workshop was ripped off five times before I wised-up. Tweegs is right - you can't keep thieves out. You can make it more work that it's worth. Lock up when you leave.
07-16-2010 02:07 PM
Tweegs Our marina seems fairly secure. 24 hour guard at the only entrance plus surveillance cameras and live-aboards scattered throughout. Still, we lock up tight when we leave, even if we just go out for dinner.

When we go home, the portable electronics and tools are taken with us, the GPS units, VHF, stereo, radar and other instruments are all securely mounted. While that won’t stop a thief, it will slow them down some, hopefully to the point of abandoning the effort.

No illusions here, a thief will get anything they have a mind to. I see it as my job to make it as difficult as possible for them.

I don’t know that I would call it living scared, just making a reasonable effort to secure our belongings. Makes for a better story to tell the insurance adjuster, should the worst happen.
07-16-2010 05:49 AM
tomwatt Thieves, while often slick, are not always very smart. A friend of mine had his convertible top slashed by thieves who took his stereo... however, the vehicle wasn't even locked.
And a recent eBay listing featured a recent new boat owner reselling the boat because it had been stripped, winches, rigging and all, between the time he bought it and went to have it moved.
07-16-2010 03:50 AM
Omatako I have three small hatches in my boat, one into each head and one over the galley. They are too small for anyone other than a very small child to get in. Leaving these open along with two Dorades keeps air circulating quite well.

Before we go off cruising I intend to make a stout stainless grid that fits into the wash-board slots so that we can leave that open too.

I find the biggest problem with leaving anything open on deck especially in the tropics is that it can rain torrents within a moments notice and if you're not on board . . . . . .

We met some people in San Diego with a magnificent Passport 47 who were in the islands and were at a pub ashore, left all their deck hatches open to combat the heat because they could see the boat from the restaurant. And then a deluge came and all they could do was sit and watch as their boat got drenched down below.
07-15-2010 11:52 PM
bljones moonie, you make a good point about perps skedaddling by boat. I pondered that very possibility myself, and then continued pondering. In fact, why worry about them escaping in their own boat, when, since they have broken in, they could steal MINE?
Or, they could arrive by helicopter!
Hell, a truly determined thief could swim across the fairway from the gas dock and plunder me asunder!

No matter what i do, i am not going to be able to build an inpregnable floating fortress of solitude, so i simply decided to find that balance, for ME, of acceptable risk. Your risk level may vary.
07-15-2010 11:17 PM
Originally Posted by txmatt View Post
.... I don't lock my boat, but I also don't keep anything in there I couldn't stand to lose.
There's some good advice right there.

FWIW, we have a full-length stem-to-stern boat cover that hangs off the boom and is held down by s-hooks and lead rope. Since (pointed out already) thieves tend to be opportunistic (and often a bit thick) if they can't work out how to physically get on board, hopefully they'll give up and go home.

Sure, the cover might be a pain to get on and off, but it does keep the brightwork bright and the bird-poo off the deck..
07-15-2010 11:10 PM
bljones I like to think I have weighed the risks and think i have found a viable compromise between being prudent and living scared. If the weather's clear and i am not going to be gone over night, I leave her open. Here's my thinking:
1. My slip location works in my favour- we are a LONG way out on a LONG dock (roughly 1/8th mile from shore) so the average thief is not making a quick getaway.

2. Relations among my dock neighbours are good- we watch out for each other and watch out for strangers on the dock.

3a. All of the easily removable, mildly valuable items on our boat are marked with my DL number, the boat name and the boat number. Some one can take 'em, I'll just get 'em back.

3b. All of the easily removable, mildly valuable items on our boat are documented at home with serial numbers, photos and warranty cards kept in the firebox. I can prove it's mine, so I get it back, or the insurance company gets me a replacement.

4. My valuable stuff really isn't all that valuable, and locking my boat will simply cause a thief to do more damage getting in than the stolen goods are worth. It's the same reason i don't lock a convertible. Why risk getting a $900 top slashed to protect a $200 GPS and a $150 stereo?

5. Reverse psychology. Make the would-be criminal genius ponder the possibilities. "If it ain't locked, the dude must have nothing to steal... or all the stuff in the boat is already stolen.... or the dude is in there, ready to blast me with a shotgun... or maybe he's a serial killer looking for another victim..."

6. An admittedly optimistic view of the world. I believe that people are fundamentally and generally good. I don't believe that crime is on the rise, and that I am about to be victimized at any moment. Yeah, i understand the world is not perfect, and bad things happen, but I temper my situational awareness with a dose of faith, because I don't want to start to descend down that slope of suspicion and paranoia and fear that leads one to live scared.
07-15-2010 11:04 PM
txmatt I have heard of a boat being broken into in my marina by means of breaking the companionway boards. This was in order to steal a bottle or two of booze. I don't lock my boat, but I also don't keep anything in there I couldn't stand to lose.
07-15-2010 10:22 PM
sailingdog I hope the cops filed charges against the pawn shop... for receiving stolen property.... intentionally altering the serial number in the database is also against the law... and if the pawn shop was willing to do that, they're likely a fence for stolen goods on a regular basis.

Originally Posted by moonie5961 View Post
I kept my old Catalina 22 at Scott's Landing on lake Grapevine when I was younger, I had a nice outboard-probably worth more than the boat-which was stolen off of the stern. It wound up in a local pawn shop. A very nice detective did some real police work to track it down, and I eventually got it back. I had my outboard locked up with a pretty beefy OB lock... but like others have said-and to borrow an old adage from my gramps- Even a lock will only keep the honest thieves out. Don't tempt fate.

In the case of my outboard, the thieves had the pawn shop enter the serial number a few digits off, to throw police off the track. Apparently, pawn shops are required to submit serial #'s in a database to check for stolen merchandise. The great detective handling my case noticed the similar description and slightly altered number and did some foot work. I was so happy, I was really impressed. It's nice to find public servants who still care.

Anyway, my point is- thieves on the area lakes do exist, and they will not hesitate to help themselves to the goods!
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