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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's hear how you keep your dinghy from being stolen. Let's not talk about how to prevent components, such as the motor or the pfds, but how do you keep someone from pulling the cord and motoring away with the whole thing!!

I've rarely seen someone put a cable to the dock, but I suppose that could be reasonable. However, I laugh when I see it run through a canvas or plastic handhold on the dinghy. I quick swipe of a knife and it's free. You come back to only find your cable securely fastened to the dock, but the dink is gone. :eek:

Extra points for ideas that do not require you to take anything (other than a key) to shore with you, such as bringing your fuel line with you.
 

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Somewhat related to another recent thread, don't leave anything especially tempting in the dinghy if you don't want to lose it (inflatable collar PFDs, eg.) We take the safety toggle with us if the motor's on. In a sketchy area we will use a cable and a lock, but with a rollup that's not particularly strong security as you say. With our newer RIB we cable around the welded transom gusset..

In the Caribbean we did cable-lock the dinghy to the transom at night, and to a pier, tree, or other available strong point when ashore, and on one occasion hired a local 'boat boy' for a couple of dollars to keep an eye on it.

At the end of the day, though, most locks generally keep the honest folks from temptation, a seriously dedicated thief can often find a way around whatever you use.
 
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Down here in the Eastern Caribbean, there is no fool proof way to prevent a dink from getting stolen. If someone wants a dinghy, they will have wire or bolt cutters with them and that's that. Even stainless steel chain is hasta la bye bye with big enough bolt cutters, in just a few seconds.
Leaving it in the water off the back of the boat at night, is just plain asking to have it stolen, security cable/chain or not.
Most people steal a dink down here for the motor. Yamaha is the motor of choice as parts and service are everywhere. Very few thieves want a troublesome motor like a Mercury, Suzuki, Honda or Tohatsu. My Johnson isn't even made any longer, so that helps, too. These thieves aren't stupid.
I wish I knew a fool proof security measure on this one, but I don't. My plan when I must replace my Johnson, is to get a Yamaha and have it repainted and get decals made that label it as a Chinese motor. Perhaps that will help?
 

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I used to leave my girlfriend in the dink. One look at the frothing mouth, glazed demonic eyes and shards of my back still adhearing to her fingernails in infected black oozing strips, should have been enough to scare any theif. Until one day I returned to the dock to see nothing except a bloodied and crumpled pice of paper saying: "Send Photo of Boat and Motor".


:)

Mark
 

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Not sure where you have sailed but in the USA we generally did not have an issue but still we did use a stainless steel cable with a strong lock. But if someone wants your dink they will take it.

We painted our brand new merc 5 hp 2 stroke bright yellow on the outside, shank, and then we took off the cowing and painted it yellow inside as well.

Then again as above they really do not want the dink they want the motor. 5hp is not really desirable as usable on the islands but they will move it either inter or intra island to sell it to someone else; like a cruiser who had their dink stolen.

The only place really pulled our dink out of the water was in St Martins where they were stealing one dink a day while we were there regardless of the motor. Unfortunately the police caught a couple of them thiefs and they were young kids and released them to their parents. Problem is the kids went right back to stealing as there were working for others who would give them a few bucks for the theft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didn't really have location in mind, understanding that the likelihood your dink is stolen is highly variable.

I'm also focused on the idea of it being at the dock, rather than at your boat. Pulling it up on davits is an easy solution aboard. At the dock is trickier. Especially a busy dock, where you are tied off three deep and all need to be relocated to let the trapped out.

My theory of dinghy theft protection is like the story about being chased by the bear. You don't have to outrun the bear, you have to outrun your friend. :) I think you just have to be a less attractive or more difficult a target, so someone else's dink is taken instead.

Currently, ours requires a key, because we have a center console. I'm sure it could be hot wired, but I'm also sure that AB next to us, with the brand new 20hp tillered Yamaha that can simply be started with a pulll, will go first.

I actually started this thread, because I'm hoping to trade our current dink for that AB/Yamaha setup.

One trick I like, is to open the cowling and unplug a spark plug wire. Or take it with you. A thief is very unlikely to troubleshoot, if they can't get it started in a few pulls.
 

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My main strategy with the dingy and my boat is, my neighbor has something better then I have to steal, why would they take my old stuff. But I put a 3/4" nut and bolt thru thru transom and drilled a hole thru the bolt big enough to except a padlock. Then I use a coiled bike plastic covered cable with loops on the end. Feed the cable thru a dock cleat ands one end of the cable thru one loop and pull thru, then padlock the other loop to the bolt. The cable coil works nicely and a spring line when I attach the painter to my sailboat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've seen cables padlocked to the dock, albeit not frequently. I assume there is some frequency of spraying them with WD40 so they work.

In the summer, its not uncommon to pull up to a dinghy dock that is two or even three dinghies deep. Stretching a cable that far, let alone across other dinghies, would make me anxious.
 

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As mentioned they will always go after the pretty girl first. I like the repaint your motor a ridiculous color and have Chinese decals made up. Buy an older raft, rub dirt on it and stick a couple of big colorful patches on it. Wha La worthless to a thief.
 

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The one mooring field that is "public" by me there seems to be two things that people do. They adhere to the "ugliest dingy" but the problem is there seems to be a competition going on. One worse than the next. I suspect they even bail water into them to make them look like they are leaking. This is the ugliest gathering of aluminum flat bottom and boats and dented canoes that you have ever seen. So last years winner of the ugly boat competition now looks good in comparison to this years winner.

So the second attempt is now made, it needs to be locked up! Yes even these pieces of junk need to be locked up! I think a lot of the folks take there oars with them. None of them have motors on them by the way. One of them seems to use old anchor chain from the Mayflower, old and rusty, but so big I am surprised it does not sink the dingy.

There are a couple of fiberglass ones, and they have had splotches of paint sprayed on them. There attempt at making them "ugly" are so obvious they stick out.
 

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I have set up an alarm system based on the following link.

If anyone is interested, pm me with your email address and I can supply an updated circuit diagram as I seem to remember that there was a small error with the attached diagram and I have an amended diagram on Excel. The circuit is based upon a $6 Radio shack relay

Dinghy Alarm

Most of the solutions I had seen before tell you after the dinghy has gone, This solution tells you that some one is trying to take it because as soon as the wire loop is cut, the alarm goes off. I have loud buzzers and lights attached to the relay.

We have also extended the circuit to allow us to have a "panic" button in the sleeping cabin in case you feel someone is too close at night.
 

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Around here, dingy theft is rare, so I don't know if this helps or the infrequency of dingy theft has been the solution.

We always have painted state registration numbers directly on the inflatables we've owned. I have figured it might be a pain to remove them, and that might be a deterrent. Obviously, this does nothing to deter motor theft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We always have painted state registration numbers directly on the inflatables we've owned. I have figured it might be a pain to remove them, and that might be a deterrent.
Good point. One would certainly have to feel they could far enough away, quickly enough, to deal with them. Mine are vinyl lettering, but would be a bit tough to quickly remove and not look suspicious.

Obviously, this does nothing to deter motor theft.[/QUOTE]

I'm happy to hear motor theft prevention too, but I am focused on the whole boat. It's just so easy to take your pick, pull the cord and take off. I'm pleasantly surprised it doesn't happen more often.

I confess that I'm also thinking about how you prevent a drunk from just taking the wrong dinghy. This, in fact, does happen to charters with some frequency. The idea of pulling the plug wire or something that makes it inoperable or gives the drunk enough time to realize they're in the wrong dink is attractive.
 

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Most dinghies don't have power. How does that work?
This solution is designed to protect the dinghy when it is alongside the Mother vessel, i.e. at night at anchor.

The power for the alarm comes from the mother vessel and whatever devices you have attached to the alarm are on the mother vessel

The rest of the time when we are not attached to the mother vessel, we have to rely on chains cables and padlocks

Around these parts, if it raining heavily at night, it is a dinghy at risk night, the bad guys sometimes swim up to the dinghy and try and free it and let it drift down wind then take it away to remove the engine
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I have replaced the screws on my outboard with security bolts (the hex heads with studs in the middle). That means using a driver to get the engine on and off the dinghy but really not a big deal. I have a 20' stainless cable with vinyl coating. It's hooked to the towing padeye with an Abus marine lock and to the dock with another one (keyed the same). At night I hoist the dinghy up above the deck edge on a spinnaker halyard and lock the cable through a cleat.
 

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As I can't advertise a company I can only suggest that anyone that may be interested try searching for cable lock alarms in the UK made by a firm that has the same 3 letters as a certain bunch of Special Forces characters hailing from the Hereford area. The alarms include one with a 15' cable for a cost somewhere between £29.88 and £30.00 and a decibel on cutting the cable or attacking the alarm of between 119db and 121db.
It should be possible to protect the unit from the elements by the use of a plastic zip closure type bag.
There, hope that classes as assistance rather than advertising.
 

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As I can't advertise a company .......
You can't advertise YOUR company without running afoul of the rules here. If you know of (and want to pass on) a useful product or service with which you have no affiliation, generally that's OK...
 
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