How to stop a thief from stealing your boat

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How to stop a thief from stealing your boat
Boat Safe from Intruders Keeping the boat safe from Intruders

A range of hazards are covered by on board security. These include securing the boat against common theft; securing the boat against fire, deadly vapors, water; securing the occupants of the boat against attack, harm and injury; securing the boat against intruders who might try to steal the contents etc. The security measures used in homes and in other automotive systems are quite common and everybody knows about them. But the security of the boat is a different sphere. The insurance policy can be no substitute for security system and after the higher renewal premiums and deductible come into play, a good boat security system seems a good and more affordable prospect. The theft alarms also provides for saving of money as the insurance company might extend the discount premium after reviewing the security system alarm.

Complexity level: Moderate

Time required: 24 hours

Resources required:

1. Sensors

2. Magnetic and proximity switches

3. Pressure pads or mats

4. Infrared

5. Photoelectric beams

6. Motion detectors

7. Stress sensors



1. You have to plan first for securing your boat and this includes conducting an audit for assessing all the boat areas which have ingress points or have access to areas where the valuables are stored, the lockers having generators and other valuable machinery which can be used for driving the boat away.

2. You can do this easily by preparing a layout of the boat with each area being noted with respect to its contents. A more effective way of doing this is by seeing the boat by the thief’s perspective and putting oneself in the thief’s shoes. This way you will not overlook a single minute detail and will be able to have a thorough review. A good assessment will be able to expose all the risks and weak points.

3. Boats have a frequent movement while they are at the dockside. Therefore you will need a range of sensors for eliminating all the false alarms. These packaged systems are available for the sailboats and powerboats and start at $150. All of them have similar components which are used in different ways and compositions. You can get a surveillance equipment and specific sensor type for every situation and equipment. The use of marine grade equipment must be preferred as they have corrosion resistant terminals, coated circuit boards, tinned copper wiring and other features which are necessary for the equipment which are to be used in water. Automotive systems are not commonly found on boats. These quality systems come with tamper proof designs and are also immune against electrical interference and radio noise. Many alarm sensors are available which can be purchased as per the budget considerations and used depending on their installation and application parameters.

4. Magnetic and proximity switches- They provide security at ingress points such as at windows, doors and at the hatches.

5. The vinyl, sealed and pressure mats or pads- They can be used at the strategic locations of access.

7. The passive infrared- It can be used to radiate or direct infrared beams at a given defined area. An alarm sounds when a heat source, for example a human body passes the area.

8. Photoelectric beams- It can be used at the areas where the deck movement sensors or pressure mats could not be used. They can be easily installed and hidden. The alarm activates when the light between the transmitter and reflector point gets broken because of some movement.

9. Motion detectors- for main cabin areas motion detectors can be used. The K band wavelengths help in reducing the false alarm rates.

10. The stress sensors- They can be positioned beneath the deck. It is able to detect the strain or stress of the intruder movement and effectively sounds the alarms when such movement happens.

11. The closed circuit surveillance systems- these are highly useful in larger boats. The port area security is largely ensured by these CCTV systems. They should have no blind spots and must be positioned at points which are tamper proof.

Frequently asked questions:

1. What happens when the alarm is triggered?

Various systems are activated when the alarm is triggered. This signals the presence of an intruder. It can also help in scaring off the thief or intruder.

2. What indication methods can be used?

A high intensity xenon strobe light can be mounted on the boat at an elevated location. This will provide for maximum visibility and will also give indication.

3. What types of sirens should be installed?

The sirens having the maximum output must be installed. To avoid their disabling by an intruder, two can be installed outside and two can be installed at the inside at different locations.

Quick tips

1. The main control box must be installed at a location which is easily accessible but is still out of sight.

2. The internal audible alarms must be mounted away from the main control box. This will help in reducing the risk of its destruction by any intruder.

Things to watch out for:

1. Always use highly quality security equipment.

2. Install the systems in such a way that they are not visible.

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