According to the Boat Owners Association of the United States, crime rings are responsible for stealing boats, Yamaha outboard engines, Garmin electronics and other expensive navigation units. Boat dealerships and boat-storage facilities are two prime locations hit hardest but it can happen anywhere. It’s difficult to stop a thief but BoatUS offers seven tips.
- Take a look at where you store your boat. Is it lit? Does it have motion-lighting or audible alarms? Is it difficult to gain entry? Have signage of surveillance.
- Slow a thief down. Lock electronics. Use tamper-resistant fasteners. Use a special nut with an engine-mounting bolt that requires a special key.
- Make stealing expensive electronics less appealing by engraving and posting a warning. Keep an inventory list with serial numbers; and take pictures.
- Be wary of suspicious questions. Boaters should remain cautious to questions from strangers. Recognize suspicious activity and people who don’t belong.
- Consider adding a boat tracking device that can sound an early alarm.
- Engine owners may want to investigate programs like Yamaha Customer Outboard Protection.
- Help get the word out. If you are a victim share the information with the National Crime Information Center, a computerized database available to every law-enforcement agency.