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Man hitching his boat trailer to the ball on the back of his truck at the boat yard marina.
Chaining up the wheels and locking the coupler can help prevent theft of your boat and trailer.
A tight-fitting canvas cover hides your boat’s interior from prying eyes and helps deter would-be thieves. McGard offers special corrosion-proof locks for propellers, outboards and sterndrives; without a key, the lock just spins if a thief tries to unbolt it. Pick the most secure location possible, whether you store your boat on a trailer or in the water.
If you slip your boat, pick a marina with gates that exclude access to non-keyholders from either direction — creating a tough time for thieves wanting to enter or exit with ill-gotten gains.
Remove from your boat as many valuables as possible between trips, especially expensive saltwater rods and reels — among the most coveted booty for thieves. Companies such as Perko and Southco offer keyed cabin-door and locker latches, making it easy to retrofit your boat with locks. Thieves regularly pluck outboards and sterndrives from trailer boats, so McGard offers corrosion-resistant locks that replace one of the mounting nuts on outboards and drives. You should always remove any ignition key(s) and kill-switch lanyard(s) when you’re away from the boat (especially if you keep it in the water), but also avoid hiding a spare set on board — a ­determined thief will eventually find it.
You also can disable the boat engines by installing a toggle switch (hidden behind the dash) in one of the kill-switch wires; in the “off” position, this breaks the circuit and prevents the engines from starting, even with the kill-switch lanyard in place. Thanks to today’s online technology, electronic alarm systems help you watch your boat and alert authorities even when you’re at a distance. In addition, many security systems offer a hidden GPS-tracking option showing boat location.


None of these steps is guaranteed to stop a boat theft or burglary, but a combination of them might send would-be thieves away in search of easier targets. The boat was transported by trailer and was unloaded with a huge mobile crane on the quay at the port of Halden, Norway.
Boat & Yacht SeatingContact Fibrenew Waikato for a quote on your leather, plastic, vinyl, upholstery or fabric repairs. I also like the idea of live-aboard boaters in the marina, as they keep a watchful eye for unsavory characters. Don’t forget tackle boxes, binoculars, cameras, iPods and other personal electronics, and handheld VHF radios and GPS units.
DuraSafe, for example, guards your marine-electronics displays, VHF radios and other bracket-mounted electronics with keyed locks that secure the units to their brackets.
Fulton’s Trailer Keeper Wheel Lock, for example, keeps the wheel of a trailer from revolving, securing itself to one of the lug bolts to prevent removal and replacement of the wheel. Have a locking compartment for the battery switch (which should be turned off when you’re away). In addition, unplugging the main electrical harness prevents the engine from starting, but if you do this, make it appear as if it’s connected; this could foil an attempt by a would-be thief to troubleshoot the problem. With some systems, you can activate wireless sensors or respond to an alarm with a computer, tablet or smartphone. I recently purchased a used car with deep scratches, cuts and rips to the plastic interior and liner of the driver's side door panel and glove box. Tough times and drug ­addiction have driven thieves to bolder, more desperate acts of larceny. Only the most brazen thief would dare enter, and backing a tow vehicle down my narrow driveway to snatch the trailer would pose a serious challenge.


Get to know the regulars in your marina, so you too can spot would-be thieves before they hit one of your neighbors. Few thieves want to hassle with unfastening a cover — a time-consuming process that attracts attention. DuraSafe also has special locks that help prevent removal of an electric trolling motor from a boat.
McGard offers the same design in a propeller lock and wheel locks that replace lugs nuts on trailer wheels.
Some of them lock the coupler on the tow ball, but models such as the Master Lock Chrome-Plated Coupler Lock prevent use of the coupler by crooks trying steal a trailer boat sitting by itself.
Door-hatch sensors, motion detectors and video cameras, as well as smoke detectors, all tie such into such alarms. A fishing boat falls well within the strike zone of unconscionable criminals aiming to ransack it for valuables or steal it all together.
However, if a thief manages to sneak undetected under the boat cover, the canvas will cloak his evil deeds.
Avoid storage yards, especially those close to freeways, where your boat is visible to passersby — such rental spaces act as thief magnets.



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