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Old 15-07-2018, 11:24   #1
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Locks on a sailboat

Hi, I'm a new owner of a 30' sailboat given to me by my dead grandparents. Currently I had to either sell it or move it and I decided to move it. This is in the lagoon of the treasure Coast. So they had no locks on it and several things have been stolen in the past. I want to add security like cameras, motion sensor lights and locks on any and all hatches. Lights will be easy but I'm curious on how to lock my bedroom hatch, main entry hatch, my stern seat covers, etc.. Are any hatches with a padlock option okay? Is it okay to drill into fiberglass? That's my main concern I guess.
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Old 15-07-2018, 11:32   #2
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

Most boats have hasps fitted on the companionway and cockpit lockers--usually the other hatches can be dogged from the inside. Any boat store will sell suitable hasps and padlocks. It is OK to drill into fiberglass with a few cautions: if drilling into core material, you need to ensure that water can't seep into the core from the screw threads. There are endless threads on this forum discussing how to do that.
Depending on your location, locks may not be needed, or might be absolutely necessary. I like to lock and keep honest people honest.
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Old 15-07-2018, 11:37   #3
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

I like the idea of locks too. Where could I find any posts about locking a sailboat?
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Old 15-07-2018, 11:39   #4
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

I did notice one in the sleeping bay under the hatch but after 3 hours of setting a mooring and stern anchor, I just wanted to float ashore, not getting any ideas of locks
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Old 15-07-2018, 11:49   #5
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

There are different levels of security. I have what Benz mentioned, but if someone really wanted in, they could bash through the companionway hatch. Naturally, it would be a noisy affair, but no doubt successful.
Others go to the trouble of using metal to wall off the cabin in really dicey areas.
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Old 15-07-2018, 12:04   #6
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

-Get hasps that cover the screws when locked.
-Get good quality combination locks so you can make the code all the same.
A crowbar will defeat most anything but that's the best you can do.
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Old 15-07-2018, 12:29   #7
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

Okay. I'll have to do further research I suppose with the local boat owners
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Old 15-07-2018, 12:51   #8
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

Charlton-
Ask at the local West Marine or other chandlery. They may not have everything and they may not be competitively priced, but if you find an Ace or TrueValue Hardware store anywhere near a marina? They'll also have things to show you.
Almost overwhelmingly, hatches are locked simply by closing them from the inside, and most have no outside release. If you can post some pictures of what you've got, that might help.
The companionway hatch, even on 1/4 million dollar yachts, is usually just a padlock that secures the top hatchboard to the companionway slider. Same security that would be on a garden shed, yes. Obviously you can do better if you really want to. Padlocks that use four-digit codes are easy to get past. Master locks of any kind are easily bypassed. Good padlocks aren't cheap, but a tire iron can break off most of the latches anyhow, so again...see what can work to at least keep out idle hands.
Anything particularly valuable and portable, you might want to permanently mark/engrave or just get it off the boat for now.
In terms of security systems, a boat is very much like a car. Same twelve volt power supply. Same systems that can protect "spaces" and openings. Finding one that will use a cell phone (hidden away) and send you a text or video if the alarm goes off, again won't be cheap, there will be monthly data charges for that account. But a good web search can pick them up, and a local car stereo/alarm store might turn up some options that are not at "marine" prices. A dedicated marine system might add things like a bilge alarm (for water in the bilge) but at a cost.
For an unattended boat and a new boat owner? If you are not familiar with these things, make sure all the through hulls are closed and secured. Leaking fittings and hoses can quickly sink a boat. And make sure the bilge pump works, automatically, and the batteries will support it. (Yes, battery charging will be a problem, especially if you rely on solar panels and someone steals them.)
Good luck with it.
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Old 16-07-2018, 02:16   #9
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Charlton.
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Old 16-07-2018, 08:51   #10
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

Be aware when installing the hasps to install them in such a way as to prevent accidental engagement. You don't want to crawl into the lazerette and have the hatch close behind you, and the hasp to engage. One could be trapped, and you could end up anywhere from embarrassed to dead. Enjoy the boat and sailing!
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:31   #11
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

Locks are to keep honest people out. They may deter the curious or kids. Making it bullet proof may cause more damage that the value stolen. Find a safe harbor.
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:57   #12
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
Locks are to keep honest people out. They may deter the curious or kids. Making it bullet proof may cause more damage that the value stolen. Find a safe harbor.
This is about the best advice you could have gotten, heed it!
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Old 16-07-2018, 10:51   #13
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

It may cost more work and money to fix smashed in hatches. And they can be very hard to make and fit unless you are a good carpenter....I take any higher value & leave it open with something across lock to see if anybody opened latch.
...*They will take your sails, your boom, your winches (which are expensive). If you can afford it, take to a marina or pay a small amount to anybody who lives on their boat or lives nearby. It's not easy. Maybe some alarms will text you.
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Old 16-07-2018, 11:59   #14
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

DO NOT INSTALL A HASP!!! It is a complete waste of time. To break in just slip the end of a large screwdriver between the base and flap then lever out - it will pop apart with little sound. And yes, this is widely known.

The best lock is usually a dead bolt, bought at your local hardware store. Mount it through the top drop board, with the bolt extending upwards to prevent the hatch sliding forward. Some reinforcing will probably be required to make it fit. This has the additional advantage of allowing you to lock yourself in at night in places where swim-aboard thieves are a possibility.

Ultimately it is best to keep the boat in a secure marina - any boat on the hook or a mooring is at risk. Having an expensive security system alert you that your boat is being cleaned out is probably not going to change the outcome unless in a marina, as the response will be too slow. Spend the money for the slip instead. Take home anything valuable, and don't leave things on deck.

Don't bother using an IR motion detector - they are prone to going off at dawn or when the boat swings.

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Old 16-07-2018, 12:29   #15
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Re: Locks on a sailboat

Take the advice of the ones telling you that if you really care about your boat then you will store it appropriately instead of doing the absolutely cheapest possible choice of storage. You cannot have both safe and cheap. Choose.

I have an old friend who was a childhood criminal with the sealed rap sheet to prove it. Somehow he was never caught as an adult. He doesn't have one job he can go back to.
These days he's an executive with AT&T... The way you intend to store your boat is exactly what criminals look for.

Look on YouTube for the YouTubers who post often about locks. One is a lawyer who buys the best padlock and combination locks and picks them. You will learn very quickly there are no great locks. And the test of so-called "Marine" or "Marinized" locks is a joke.

The old cliche "There is safety in numbers" is perfect for your quest. The cost of a slip is the cost of keeping your boat. One of the many sailing YouTubers I follow regularly traded their great and fully kitted sailboat for an alloy expedition sailboat sight unseen. They secured the deal but by the time they sailed back from Europe to the east coast of the USA much of the boat had been looted in a marina yard. The cost of refitting the entire boat was $100Kish. It broke them financially. So IMO you'd be wise to heed the advice of the forum member who mentioned what thieves would steal and implied perhaps the value of your boat after that gear is stolen; zero.

Unless you are living aboard, the cost of a slip is IMO a test. If you cannot afford to store your boat properly then you certainly cannot afford to maintain it. You may have gotten lucky because you make money on boats the day you buy them not the day you sell them. Make no mistake about what the poster above implied. A sailboat robbed of those expensive parts is a boat you will have trouble giving away.

Good luck!
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