Top tips to deter thieves from your boat

Joshua Slocum may have sprinkled tin-tacks on his deck to deter barefooted thieves, but marine crime has moved on since his day. Here are some boat security tips from famed lock manufacturers Yale.

1. Be alarmed! – Many people invest in home security
alarms, but it is just as important to alarm your boat. By using portable standalone
alarms you can protect your boat and deter intruders. Standalone alarms can be
placed anywhere on board, the new range from Yale includes a door contact alarm
and a PIR motion sensor alarm, which both come with in-built sirens. Additional
sirens and an optional remote keyfob are also available.

Remember, it’s a good idea if you’ve got
an alarm to use a visible sticker to say that one is fitted.

2. Keep it locked – You should always secure your hatch
door with a weatherproof padlock, this will help to deter would-be thieves and
protect against unwanted intruders.

3. Keep it safe – Boats are an attractive proposition to
thieves, who could steal anything from your expensive marine equipment to radios,
tools and personal valuables. Installing a Certified safe can help to protect smaller
items, such as passports, jewellery and music players, especially whilst you’re
away from your boat.

Travel safes are also a good option if you
don’t want to fit a permanent safe. The lightweight Yale Travel Safe can be
securely fastened to any immoveable object either on board your boat or while
you’re ashore, and is large enough to store important documents and

4. Mark your property and your boat- It is important to mark everything you
buy for your boat, and to keep an up to date list of serial numbers. This can
help police to identify your property and makes it easier to prove ownership in

Plus, as well as marking your possessions,
the new Boatmark scheme from HPI Ltd, the British Marine Federation and the
Home Office, is working to ensure that all new and second-hand boats are
electronically tagged with a unique 14-character Hull Identification Number
(HIN). This makes it very difficult to destroy the boat’s original identity
tag, allowing police and buyers to find out if a boat has been stolen.

5. Key advice – It may seem obvious but remember to always
take your keys with you and never leave them in the ignition, even if the rest
of the boat is secured. Plus, it is also recommended that you keep your boat
keys separate from your engine keys.