The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS), a leading advocate for recreational boaters, has issued a press release on how to prevent theft from boats during the passive winter months. The association provides over half a million members with government representation, programs and advice.
The report states that boats stored over the winter can be easy targets for thieves, but there are many precautions that can be taken to deter this. Generally, anything that will make boats, equipment or accessories look less appealing will discourage theft.
The press release gives these tips on preventing boat theft:
– Remote yards and marinas should be secured with fencing or security cameras.
– When storing trailerable boats at home, the trailer tongue should not be facing the street. The trailer should be blocked, tires should be removed and placed in storage and wheel locks should be added. A lock should be placed on the hitch receiver.
– Personalized markings on equipment will help to identify or recover stolen items as well as make it more difficult for thieves to sell.
– Lock the boat dinghy when leaving for long periods of time.
– Check on the boat periodically during the winter to make sure nothing has been stolen or vandalized over long periods of time.
– Don’t place supplies out in the open.
– Don’t leave a “for sale” sign posted all winter. This may create purchaser attention but it also gives thieves an excuse to check out the boat and surroundings.
– Don’t leave removable electronics on the boat. Non removable electronics should have ownership information, such as serial numbers and models recorded.
– Outboards should be removed and stored securely or be installed with a lock.
– Outdrives should be removed, stored and have a serial number recorded or have a outdrive lock installed.
– Raccoons and other animals can also create havoc, so boats should have winter covers, not be stored in places where animals can easily climb aboard and large exhaust ports should be covered.
Most boat owners don’t find out they have been a victim or theft or vandalism until long after the incident, such as during spring preparation. Taking proper precautions in the winter will go a long way in preventing theft and dealing with this common problem. For more information and tips regarding boat theft, visit the BoatUS website.