Tips from Navigators and General to stop toerags making off with your engine

There has been a significant rise in outboard motor thefts over the last 24
months with the number of outboard motor thefts in 2009 being almost double
the figure for 2007, Whilst the trend is nationwide, thefts tend to
concentrated in areas where there are large accumulations of boats with
outboards suggesting targeted activity. An eagle eyed yard owner in the
West Country reported a suspicious car load of individuals to the police,
which (as I understand) led to an arrest and recovery of engines.

Feedback from specialist loss investigators suggests that
many are ending up in Eastern European countries through the activities of
organised gangs, and we can see no reason to dispute this. The increase in
outboard thefts have been most noticeable in the medium to large, (higher
value) engines category, with thieves apparently not being put off by the
weight of large engines. We have seen evidence of high quality anti theft
devices being breached, which suggests that thieves are also pretty

Owners should ensure that they fit the most secure and suitable purpose
manufactured anti theft device for their particular engine and boat.
Police in Norfolk and Essex have been introducing branded engine covers
which are fitted instead of the cowling and draw attention to the engine,
or anyone purchasing a cowling as a deterrent. Given the current climate
owners may wish to fit more than one anti theft device, as the greater the
deterrent the less your chance of becoming a victim of theft. In that vein
it is critical that policy, or endorsement wording relating to anti theft
devices are complied with in full and evidence (i.e photos & receipts)
kept. Failure to do so may invalidate your policy cover. We strongly urge
boat owners to read their policies before a claim needs to be submitted !

Boat and yard owners should be extra vigilant, particularly as the nights
begin to shorten and when storing a boat ashore consideration given to
general security, lighting, and recorded CCTV coverage of the appropriate
part of the yard being used.  Whilst probably more accessible ashore N&G
has seen evidence of the smaller engines being stolen off boats whilst
afloat so everyone needs to be on their guard and report or challenge any
suspicious activity.