Gardaí offer boat and boating equipment security advice

Gardaí are advising boat owners to secure and protect their vessels and equipment.

Crime Prevention Officer for Clare Sergeant Triona Brooks has warned that boats and boating equipment are at greater risk of being stolen because they are easily movable.

Sgt Brooks added: “Regularly each year boats, boat trailers, outboard motors, electronic and safety equipment are stolen, e.g. Sat-Nav, VHF radio and binoculars. A lot of boat crime is opportunistic by nature.”

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What measures can you take for securing your boat?

There are several measures that can be taken to provide adequate security precautions to protect your valuable property and reduce the risk of theft. Although boat insurance is essential, it is not a substitute for improved security.

Where possible moor your boat in an area that has good natural surveillance – somewhere that maximizes the ability to see what is occurring in that space. Consider cutting back vegetation and installing lighting and CCTV.

If possible, remove your outboard engine after use.

If the engine cannot be removed, consider detaching the plastic cowling (cover) and replace it with a PVC engine cover when not in use – this makes the engine less attractive to thieves.

Lock the engine using accredited locks. As well as locking the engine to the boat, a secondary chain and lock should be used to lock the engine to an external robust anchor point on the pier or mooring post.

Consider installing a GPS tracker into a concealed part of the engine.

Record the serial number and take a photographs of your engine.

Consider property marking using one of the many microdot, chemical or DNA marking solutions that are available.

What should you do when leaving your boat for a period of time?

Close cabin curtains before leaving your boat moored or parked, preventing passers-by from viewing cabin contents or layout.

Remove all equipment from your boat and keep it locked and out of sight elsewhere.

Make sure your boat is checked regularly. If the boat is left for long periods of time, ensure that someone else is able to check on your boat.

Secure outboard motors to immovable objects around the marina using quality locks and chains.

What about parking at home?

Where possible reverse a boat with an outboard engine close to a wall or building to make it more difficult to lift the engine off.

Keep the boat and trailer out of sight of the road and the engine out of public view. Ensure the trailer hitch is not easily accessible.

Park another vehicle or other large object in front of the trailer to obstruct its removal.

Consider installing ground or wall anchors for this purpose.

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