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Author Topic:   Preventing theft
Marco Whalo posted 01-17-2002 01:25 PM ET (US)   Profile for Marco Whalo   Send Email to Marco Whalo  
I have a house in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In my neighborhood a boat was stolen the other day. The thief simply hot wired the boat and drove off. This is the second time this has happened this year. Assuming that all that was left on a boat was the batteries and engine (electronics removed), what you would do to make sure the boat (22FT 1983 Outrage & 225HP 1996 Mercury offshore) could not be hot-wired easily? Is there a great place to hide a kill switch? Is there a tracking device? Any ideas are welcome.....MW
JohnAz posted 01-17-2002 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
An armed guard might be a good "Lo-Jac" available in your area..
if the thief can't start it they simply tow it away in the night...
TRIDENT posted 01-17-2002 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRIDENT  Send Email to TRIDENT     
Maybe you can buy a cable with a lock and lock it to a piling?
Chap posted 01-17-2002 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
All you can really do is keep honest thieves from stealing it.
lhg posted 01-17-2002 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I have a hidden kill switch on my Whaler, which I think prevented loss of the boat.

The boat was stolen from a very nice marina, but the kill switch prevented the engines from being started. So they towed the boat (by a Towboat US boat, if you can believe it - he was in on the ring) but didn't get very far with it. The engines were removed (the replaceable part of the rig), and boat abandoned nearby, but it saved the non-replaceable Whaler!

Arch Autenreith posted 01-17-2002 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Since I almost never leave it in the water I don't have to worry about that kind of theft. The other kind I have to worry about: towed away on land. I have been so anal about this nowadays mostly from reading this forum about other thefts, including lhg's.

One method I use while enroute is to back the trailer up to a curb or somewhere else it can't go back any farther, set the trailer tongue on the ground and back the car/vehicle over it as far as possible. The thieves would now have to move the car first.

Another way is if I'm leaving it for a length of time I remove the coupling. 2 bolts and takes about 3 minutes. (I have the surge brakes disconnected at the moment. Otherwise I don't think I would do this.)

I continue to think of other ways especially when we leave it tied to the sailboat at night. It would be so easy for someone to untie and drift away silently. I have even thought of using a baby monitor sometimes, seriously, in that situation.

Kelly posted 01-17-2002 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
I don't know how, but find a way to disable the tilt with the motor up or lock the motor in a hard turn position. Or possibly disable the hydraulic steering. Maybe a valve hidden somewhere. Just my thoughts. Kelly
andygere posted 01-17-2002 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I often worry about someone firing up the kicker and just motoring away on that. Has anyone installed a kill switch on a rope start outboard in a convenient location? I think a hidden kill switch on the main engine is a great idea.

In terms of motor theft, what is the prevailing thought on using locking mounting bolts for outboards? I have heard of motor thefts in Florida where the boat was towed away, and the outboards were sawed off the transom with a sawsall. Is it better to let them get the motors without destroying the boat, or will the locks be enough of a deterrent to send the theives elesewhere?

ivansfo posted 01-17-2002 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     
What about installing one of the car alarms in a boat? It should be relatively easy. The features you can use on the alarm could be the starter kill and then perhaps throwing in a proximity sensor. Anyone ever try this? I think it can work but I'm just not sure how it will hold up over time in a marine environment
PondScum posted 01-17-2002 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for PondScum  Send Email to PondScum     
Pleeease, take my ex-wife!!!
browning20ga posted 01-17-2002 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
To slow down a thief from hooking up to my boat and trailer I padlocked the closed coupling, unfortunately my 2" coupler will
slip right over a 1 7/8" ball so I also
ran a very heavy and very strong chain and padlock through the wheel spokes and around the trailer frame.
I've also heard of people removing one of their wheels and blocking up that side of the trailer.
I'm getting ready to install a new motor and a kill switch sounds like a great thing to do and I've been thinking about an alarm also.
All you can do is slow down someone who is intent on stealing your property. It's a good thing most of the bad guys are to stupid or too lazy to get past a few common sence precautions

David Ratusnik posted 01-17-2002 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Browning hits it on the head. All you can do is slow a thief down and hope neighbors notice blowing the whistle or the thief realizes he has to jump thru too many hoops to run off with the boat. For years classic car collectors have applied the slow down method. Hope the thief goes down the road after easier prey. David
Andy Holmes posted 01-17-2002 11:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Andy Holmes  Send Email to Andy Holmes     
The way I see it, you take reasonable precautions and buy appropriate insurance. Normally, you just have to make your boat a little bit harder to steal than the next guy and you will be ok. Thieves are lazy, that is why they are thieves. They will move on to another if there is very much work involved.
Arch Autenreith posted 01-18-2002 12:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
"Thieves are lazy, that is why they are thieves." Andy, that is so true. I never thought of it that way in those words.

The likeliness of either boat or engine theft increases with the purchase of a new engine (which I'm just about ready to do). That's why I'm thinking about it now.

PondScum. It ain't gonna happen so quit dreaming. It's been 7 years and no one's taken my ex yet either. And I did a lot of dreaming... Lol.


JFM posted 01-18-2002 09:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Ask Bigshot (look at his profile),also browning20ga. If a thief knows what might happen he's less likely to steal. Bigshot I have a .44 and a .357 magnum. Isn't a .457 an elephant gun? Regards, Jay
blackdog posted 01-18-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Buy a Ficht. No one seems to steal them. LOL :)

Spot light with motion sensor that can pick up a raccoon crawling across the yard.
Gorilla tongue lock, pad lock on the tongue latch also. Cable through wheel and frame.


hauptjm posted 01-18-2002 11:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Last year I had a scare. My neighbor caught three guys eyeing up my 150 at three a.m. Unfortunately, for them, I had the boat backed in all the up to the garage door. Lifting it off the bracket would have been really difficult. Since, then I have purchased a very dense rubber-coated cable with swedged loops. They're run through the engine at the bracing and back to through transom eye bolts. Cable is better than chain because it's harder to cut with bolt cutters (a thiefs favorite tool). The engine is what the scum want. Boats are basically worthless to them.
Drisney posted 01-18-2002 07:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Drisney  Send Email to Drisney     
The East coast is not the only place transoms get cut out to steal the engine.....I know a guy who had the transom cut out of his Montauk in Berkley Area while boat was in a storage yard..Ruins the hull....makes you want to shoot first ask questions later..Grrrrrrrrr
Hank posted 01-19-2002 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     
I asked my boat mechanic if he thought it would be a good idea to polish up my prop as it was starting to look a bit discolored. His comment was that most folks around here paint their props black so they don't get stolen. A shiny prop is a special invitation to a thief. I guess the same holds true for a clean, new looking engine.
Pond Scum maybe you could invest in a makeover at some high class beauty salon for your ex-wife so some one will take her.
JohnAz posted 01-19-2002 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
Wonder wher you could buy a whaler with cut out transom,,might be worth repairing
Dr T posted 01-19-2002 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
And I keep hoping someone will steal the 82 35 hp Johnson off my boat so I will have an excuse to get a new one--just so they leave the hull intact.

Seriously, the cable through the wheel spokes looks like a good idea as long as the cable is tight enough.

flwhaler posted 01-19-2002 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for flwhaler  Send Email to flwhaler     
An uncle of mine rigged two flood lights and motion sensor together with a horn. He placed it inside the boat. As long as the theaves don't unplug it they will be surprised! I would keep a light buring on my boat if is was kept on a trailer, but for you guys that have boats in water I would develope a realtionship with any "live aboard" patrons at your marina.

A funny way to keep thugs away: Surround yor boat in yellow police do not cross line, make some chaulk drawings on the drive of people. Throw some 45 five shells and a couple of 12 guage shells in for good measure. And scatter them around!

gun owner


Draftmanswife posted 01-21-2002 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Draftmanswife  Send Email to Draftmanswife     
I put a kill switch underneath my console in my 13'. It works great. But if you really want to get them, pull the spark plug wire, or something as simple as a battery wire.
Stupidity should be painful.
where2 posted 01-21-2002 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
A determined thief will get what they want, a lazy thief will get what they can. My employer had a nice airboat stolen from behind the office, inside a 6' chain link fence w/ Barbed Wire, with a truck parked in front of the trailer the boat was on. Had to brake window on truck to push it out of the way. They WANTED that boat!

Couple of docks down my canal had a 13' whaler parked at it for awhile. One night, someone borrowed it for it's engine. The hull turned up about a mile away, less the engine, and quite beat up as if the thieves didn't understand the unsinkability of a whaler. (many holes in the hull skins). Even if I kept my whaler in the garage at the house, if a thief that wanted it saw it, they'd break into the garage some day and steal it.

Best way to keep a whaler from being stolen, SELL IT and buy an '80s vintage Bayliner Capri with a Force engine. Nobody steals them...

Back in '88, a friend was storing a '58 Johnson 18Hp engine behind my house. Someone helped themselves to it by carrying it off. Wasn't in great condition, wasn't new, just a thief that wanted it... Funny thing was, it needed a new cooling jacket cover... Wonder if the thief fixed that?

lhg posted 01-21-2002 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I recently saw a new 28 Conquest, and the twin 225 Opti's had been stolen off it AT THE DEALERSHIP!

Eric posted 01-23-2002 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
This is a topic that comes up occasionally, and that's a good thing.
My boat (Nauset 16 with 99 Johnson 90) lives on a trailer next to the house. I have a gorilla lock and coupler locks on the coupler, which is welded on. I jack the tongue all the way up and padlock the jack handle to the tongue so it can't be lowered. I have a heavy logging chain (too heavy for standard bolt cutters) run through the wheel on one side and padlocked to the frame. I have a prop-lock on my stainless prop. The light is on all night on the side of the house. Finally, I have a good insurance policy, with REPLACEMENT coverage, the boat's covered for $10,000. If anyone wants it bad enough, they'll have it, but I won't be without a boat for long.
JFM posted 01-23-2002 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
You city guys need to get a little country in you to protect your boats.
a) Get a gun and let every one know you have it.
b) Get an English Mastiff.
I have both, and the neighbors are all pretty much like me. No crime in my neck of the woods. The English Mastif is the key. The UPS man now blows his horn at the end of the driveway and throws the packages out the door. The dog is a big baby but nobody has to know that. Kinda kidding, Jay
where2 posted 01-23-2002 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
For what it costs to feed a Mastif, I could buy some good insurance like Eric. :) Atleast then, I wouldn't have to spend months in court trying to convince the judge that the guy trying to steal my boat was attempting to steal my second home, therefore I shot him.

JFM posted 01-23-2002 03:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
I got the gun ready after I bought the Mastiff! I hope I never have to shoot her. As far as theifs go, I'll quit kidding around. I have total replacement insurance also. It's kindda funny though because in 30 years I've never had to use it or them (including dog and gun). Regards, Jay
Draftmanswife posted 01-24-2002 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Draftmanswife  Send Email to Draftmanswife     
I'm with ya on this one.
Draftmanswife posted 01-24-2002 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Draftmanswife  Send Email to Draftmanswife     
I'm with ya on this one. Got the dog, ( a sissy bitch, green eyed lab), but if you don't know her name, she'll let you in the gate, but she won't let you out:)

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