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You’ve always dreamed of owning a boat, of sailing free across the open waters.
You’ve poured every penny of your hard-earned cash into a beautiful vessel. It is your pride and joy. You want to show it off to everybody who passes on the docks, everyone you effortlessly glide past on the ocean.
Can’t say that we blame you!
Unfortunately, there are some terrible people in the world, and your beloved boat can soon become a target.
There are many threats to boat security, including burglary/theft of the boat itself, possessions within the boat, and even parts of the vessel.
There is the danger of vandalism, of bodily harm from poorly lit or patrolled ports, and even the terrifying possibility of piracy once out on the water.
So, how can you protect yourself and your property from dangers?
Boat security devices range from simple budget solutions to high tech systems.
Here is a run-down of some of the best security features with which to equip your boat.
1) The most advanced and expensive system: NiDAR – the Air, Surface, Underwater Privacy & Security Shield
NiDAR is a long range surveillance system used for protecting marine and land-based property. It integrates sensors, CCTV and multiple data feeds to monitor a 360° ‘shield’ around the high-value property.
- Complete 360° air, surface & underwater surveillance
- Intelligent algorithms ensure that response is rapid and appropriate
- Lasers and loudhailers give warnings to intruders to prevent further damage to property
- Touch command and control interface
2) Good old basic locks and bolts
The cheapest, easiest ways are sometimes the best. Sturdy locks, bolts, chains and catches, if used correctly, are usually enough to deter opportunistic thieves and vandals.
This website has a great selection of boat-specific padlocks, cable and engine locks:
3) Protect your precious fuel!
Even a basic vessel can carry upwards of £1,000 worth of fuel. This can be an easy target for thieves looking to make a quick buck. Here are some ideas for keeping your fuel safe:
Basic fuel anti-theft devices can be surprisingly cheap: https://www.force4.co.uk/vetus-fuel-safe.html
Or you could go for something a little sturdier and lockable: http://www.crew-safe.co.uk/acatalog/Locking-Fuel-Filler.html
You can use covered keyholes, heavy-duty fuel locks and even special secure tank-filling mechanisms:
4) Outboard Motor Lock
The outboard motor is possibly the most expensive piece of marine equipment you own – and it’s also one of the easiest to steal. That’s why it is crucial to protect it. The best on the market is the Fulton Outboard Motor Lock.
It boasts key locking mechanisms, foam filler to reduce noise and vibration and can be easily mounted on most outboard motors. Well worth the low cost for the peace of mind it brings.
(If you’re in the UK here are some other great outboard locks: http://outboardmotorlocks.co.uk/)
5) Wire and cable connectors
These are simple but effective devices with a range of excellent security features that keep your precious property safe from thieves. If you get a good quality product the steel cables are sturdy and ultra-tough and the pin impossible to pull out. Any attempts at tampering will trigger a shrill, ear-piercing 120 decibel siren to scare away would-be thieves.
Costing as little as $20 this is a great low-budget security option for protecting your boat. Wire and cable connectors are also compact, easy to store, and simple to use.
They are suitable for all weather conditions and can stand the frost, snow, rain and blistering sunlight, using only a single high-quality 9v battery. Now that’s a bargain!
6) Outboard Motor Immobilizer
People always tend to use immobilizers for their cars, but why not for their boats? Yamaha have some excellent boat security devices but one of their best is the Yamaha Customer Outboard Protection (known as the Y-COP).
With a simple push of a button, the Y-COP can be locked and unlocked for ease and maximum security. When unlocked, the boat engine functions normally, but once locked the motor will not even start.
Immune to ‘hot-wiring’, the system is almost impossible to override or break into, making your boat a significantly harder target for thieves.
7) Data Tagging
Obviously, preventing your boat from being stolen at all is the aim, but what happens if your vessel does get stolen? All boats have a hull or engine number to identify them, but it is very easier for thieves to remove this and once they have, your boat will need be identified.
So why not get a Datatag? A Datatag is a sequence of transponders, dots and labels which uniquely identify your boat. So not only could your vessel be retrieved if it is stolen, but with the warning decals that accompany a Datatag, any would-be thieves could be deterred entirely. Win-win.
Here is a handy website comparing the features offered by various trackers, Datatags and transponders:
8) Join a Boatwatch group
Other boat owners are your closest allies in the world of boat security. So why not join a Boatwatch group and help protect each other’s property?
Many regions throughout the UK and the US have pro-active watch schemes offering water and mooring site patrols, frequent boat safety checks, discounts on security systems, and close relations with local law enforcement.
9) C-Pod app
C-pod is one of the greatest inventions in the realms of boat security. Sporting a map showing your boat’s location at all times, it also feeds you data about your on-board gear.
Battery voltage, speed, bearing, any malfunctions or warnings. It even lets you know if flooding occurs – all from the comfort of your own home.
And that’s not all – it doesn’t just show you information about your boat, it also lets you control and manage your boat systems remotely from your phone. In the event of an emergency, it will even send alerts to ten chosen recipients. Well worth the money!
10) Mega-cheap alternatives to fool thieves:
Most thieves are just opportunists, and they probably never set out to target your boat specifically. But when wandering the marina looking for an easy buck you can bet they’ll be scouting for the boats with few security measures.
A simple sticker, flashing LED, or fake camera on show could be enough to deter thieves entirely.
Here are some options if you want to cut costs but still protect your property:
Superyacht Security Measures Which Will Blow Your Mind! https://yourhomesecuritywatch.com/superyacht-security-measures/
11 companies offering maritime security services https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-safety/11-companies-offering-maritime-security-services/