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Author Topic:   Stolen Whaler, SW Florida
triblet posted 07-25-2000 12:53 AM ET (US)   Profile for triblet   Send Email to triblet  

I'm sitting here in a total state of shock. Went to the boat slip this
evening to find.....NO BOAT! The lines had been cut and the boat is
missing. It was a 22' Boston Whaler Revenge Cuddy Cabin with a brand new
Yamaha 225 OX66 (less than 7 hours on it). The sheriff said it was likely
the boat will be found floating in the mangroves minus the engine.
Apparently there's a pretty good market for the bigger outboards. Has
anybody had a similar experience? Anybody with words of encouragement of a
similar story that ended with the recovery of the boat/motor? (wishful
thinking, I know.) Meanwhile, if you're boating in SW Florida (Ft. Myers,
Bonita Springs, Naples, Marco) this weekend, please keep a lookout for a 22'
Boston Whaler Revenge Cuddy Cabin with a Yamaha Salt Water Series II 225 on
the back--the boats name is "Hooked." If you see it, please call the
police. Hope you all have a great, safe weekend on the water while I sit
home and sulk.

sport15er posted 07-25-2000 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for sport15er  Send Email to sport15er     
That truly sux. Best of luck to you, hopefully it will be found with minor damage.
lhg posted 07-25-2000 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I know this story well! Too well, since it happened to me. In 1997, I trailed the 25 Outrage to Savannah GA for a 4 day boating vacation, making arrangements to dock the boat at a very nice, upscale marina in Savannah, while we stayed at the Hyatt downtown. The first day, we got the boat launched, by the hoist at the marina, late in the day and only ran it for about 2 hours.
The next day, we had a full day on the water around the GA coastline. Next morning, about 9am, we showed up at the marina, and the boat was not where we had docked it! It was gone. One of the marina hands had noticed it was gone early, and figured we had gone fishing. We hadn't. This is not a good feeling, to find your specially equipped, custom rigged, and no longer manufactured, Outrage missing, when you are 1000 miles from home. The guys at the marina were not surprised, saying I'd probably get the boat back minus the engines. They said a lot of V-6 engines were being stolen in Savannah these days, particularly Mercurys. I said thanks for telling me in advance! I was a sitting duck! So we called the police. A lady cop showed up in about a half hour, and when asked to describe the boat, said "what are Merc 200's?" I knew I was in trouble. She then said I'd stumbled into an outboard motor theft ring. During these 2 nights I'd been docking at this marina, I talked Whalers with a Towboat/US guy, who also docked his 1974 21' Outrage here, now used as a towboat, and with a newer Yamaha 200 on it. He thought my engines were in great condition, and loved the boat. He & his wife, it seems, were live-aboards on a sailboat, docked next to me at this same marina. So after the boat dissappeared, he said he'd take me out, and we should be able to find my Whaler around the Savannah waterways. Coincidentally, within 15 minutes, we had located the boat, tied to a residential dock, missing both engines. All control lines had been hacksawed, with engine and hydraulic oil all over the place in greasy footprints. About 10 empty beer can littered the deck. The engines bolts had been cut with a torch. But other than that, they had not trashed the Whaler. I have engine kill switches hidden on the boat, and I think that saved it, since it had to be towed away evidently.

They must have used a crabbers boat with a lift to hoist the engines off the boat. The I started to add things up. My guess is that it was an inside job from the marina. The boat was totally unknown around those parts, and who better to tow it than the Towboat guy. He said he & his wife, with boat hatches open for air, didn't hear a thing on their sailboat all night, even though they were docked next to me. If by engines had been started, he would have heard it. Or he should have heard the towboat's engine. And he knew right where the boat had been taken to.

So I was happy to get the un-replaceable part of the boat back. Engines can always be replaced, but not an extremely rare Classic Whaler!

Clark Roberts posted 07-26-2000 06:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Triblet, I will fly the Spruce Creek Navy flag at half mast! What a horror story... I have heard of the tansom being cut out of a boat (on its lift) with engines intact... seems these motor theft guys will stop at nothing.... and Larry, the inside job is hard to stop... I'm going to figure out a simple "alarm" for my new Optimax... anyone got any ideas... Clark... The Old Man and the Sea...
triblet posted 07-26-2000 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
BTW, it was not my boat. I picked up the
post off My Montauk is still
in the garage (buried under a mountain
of stuff the new housekeeper decided didn't
belong in the house (what's wrong with a
a bicycle and a mountain of scuba gear in
the dining room??? ;-))

BTW, those guys in Savanna weren't very
efficient if it took ten beers. (even if
there were four or five of them). Or they
drink beer a lot faster in Georgia than in
California. ;-)

Chuck Tribolet

lhg posted 07-26-2000 03:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Clark: I used the kill switch that now comes with all outboards, originally intended for use in case you get tossed out of the boat. Instead, I hid it on the boat. When that switch is off, the engines will crank, but there is no spark. My thought is that this could confuse and slow down a thief enough to cause him to find an easier target, or at least force them to tow boat, as happened with me. Stolen engines are getting to be a huge problem in Florida, from what my insurance companies tell me, primarily because of their high initial cost. I understand most are then sent out of the country to third world markets (Latin & South America, the Islands, and Africa), where there is huge demand for them, and it is not illegal to own stolen US goods. A sad situation.
lhg posted 05-01-2001 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Bringing this back up for Tom Clark to read!
Tom - sound familiar!
Tom W Clark posted 05-01-2001 08:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
ohhhh....I'm having flash backs. I need a grief counselor. It's true what they say: misery loves company, thanks for sharing.
Eric posted 05-02-2001 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
This is really terrible. I would like to add that some of the major theft rings have been broken, according to the local (Sarasota) paper. Don't ever let down your guard though, and remember that if you see something suspicious, call the cops and let the pros sort it out!

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