Whether you keep your boat in your yard, at a marina, or in a storage facility, it is at risk of watercraft theft. Unfortunately, boats and other personal watercrafts (PWCs) are being stolen at alarming rate across the country. So, what can you do to help protect your boat, or parts of your watercraft such as your engine, from being stolen? Use these watercraft theft prevention tips:
- Install a “kill switch” system that can disengage the ignition in the event of an attempted theft.
- If you store your boat at a dock, even if it is a private one, be sure to lock it properly and attach it to the dock using a steel cable.
- Boats on trailers are unfortunately seen as easy targets for theft and crime, since anyone with a trailer hitch can quickly steal a watercraft that is not properly secured. If you have a trailered boat, always use a trailer hitch lock whenever your watercraft is parked. Your trailer should be locked to your car or to a permanent object like a pole. Always store your trailered boat in a secure area, and consider wheel locks in addition to the trailer locks.
- Remove any expensive electronics or equipment with you when you leave the boat.
- If you store your watercraft in your yard or driveway, keep it out of sight and away from the road. Consider installing lights and motion detectors around the area. It is also a good idea to park your vehicle in front of the boat trailer in your driveway, so it helps prevent easy removal from your yard or driveway.
- When storing your boat, always disable it by shutting down the fuel lines or removing its batteries.
- Whenever possible, choose a locked garage or a secured storage facility to store your boat.
- If your watercraft’s motor is detachable, be sure that it is chained and locked properly to your vessel when being stored.
- Never leave crucial documents, such as your title or registration papers, in the watercraft when you are not using it.
- Permanently affix your watercraft’s Hull Identification Number (HIN) onto your boat in a discreet location. Also, know your HIN or keep it in a secure place in your home. If your boat is stolen, taking these precautions can help you identify that it is in fact yours.
Thieves are looking for a quick and easy target, so the more precautions you take, the better. Help protect your boat by making these theft prevention tips part of your routine. Since not all watercraft theft or crime can be prevented, be sure to call your AssuredPartners NL agent for answers to all of your watercraft insurance questions, and to make sure you are properly covered.