First Thief Experience - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 84 Old 02-02-2019 Thread Starter
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First Thief Experience

I'm currently is a slip in Jacksonville, Fl that has locked gates to the docks etc. But that doesn't mean your stuff is safe:

We were awakened at 4am by weird noises and boat movements. Turns out there was someone trying to steal our dinghy right off of our boat's davits. He had managed to untie the davit lines and the dinghy was half down to the water when my wife, who had gotten up to investigate the noise etc. Guy appeared to have come by kayak and he paddled off after my wife went up and discovered him. I lost sight of where he went and by the time I put on some clothes and got a light I couldn't see where he went..

There isn't even really a close place near be to get into a kayak and there aren't any anchored boats etc. around with at least 2 miles. Someone paddling around at 4am in the rain you would think had a plan from the start and he had come targeting our dinghy.
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post #2 of 84 Old 02-02-2019
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Re: First Thief Experience

WOW! - just wow!!

Curious; is your OB on the dink, or was this jerk just after the dink?

Please tell me that you reported this incident to the cops.
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post #3 of 84 Old 02-02-2019
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Re: First Thief Experience

Was your outboard off the dingy..?
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post #4 of 84 Old 02-02-2019
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Re: First Thief Experience

Maybe consider a simple tether alarm.

I tie up alongside, run vinyl covered security cable under seats and and thru handle on outboard...back to boat. Sure it can be cut
Cables of different lengths are at home depot and lowes.
Dont chafe thru the vinyl cover...cable will rust away
They also carry all weather locks
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post #5 of 84 Old 02-02-2019
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Re: First Thief Experience

We used to encounter that fairly often at my marina, but not so much anymore. I keep a camera near my hatch, and snap a photo of them. I have also occasionally chased them, yelling vulgar threats loud enough so that I can hear my voice echoing off nearby buildings. At 4:00 am the voice carries, probably waking neighbors. At my advanced age, I have no hope of catching them, but I don't want to catch them, because then I'd have to fight them, and don't think it would go well for me. I want to create an image in their mind, so that they hear my deep, thunderous voice in their memory every time they doze off for the next month. That's what seems to stop them from returning.
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post #6 of 84 Old 02-02-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: First Thief Experience

I had my outboard on the dinghy. I would have missed losing my 6HP outboard more than the dinghy itself. I didn't call the cops, even if they "caught" him coming ashore down river what could they have done but harass him? Of course if a group of cruisers had caught him, that's a beating (I have wrinch handles ;-))?

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post #7 of 84 Old 02-02-2019
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Re: First Thief Experience

We had a new Alum RIB and 4 8hp stolen when it was tied to a stern cleat in Old Greenwhich RI. If it was a matter of the line untying.. very very very unlikely... no one found it an returned it. It had reg number and a plaque with our name, address and phone #.

Obviously dinks and OBs is too tempting for some people.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #8 of 84 Old 02-02-2019
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Re: First Thief Experience

A buddy of mine had his dinghy stolen in Jacksonville. They found the Dink, a day later, minus the outboard.
Glad your wife interrupted the crook. Keep those winch handles handy!
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Re: First Thief Experience

If you report the incident it may motivate the cops to investigate at any 3:am - 5:am activity in the marina when all good sailors should be passed out from the night before.
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post #10 of 84 Old 02-02-2019
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Re: First Thief Experience

I replaced the safety switch on our OB years ago and put in a simple toggle switch, labeling the on position off, and the off position on. So far so good.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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