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Old 04-01-2019, 15:51   #1
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Dinghy theft

On the thread on davits, there were several posters who said that they raise their dinghy in the davits every night as a theft prevention measure.


Overall I see theft as a risk that I have to live with. I take prudent steps to improve the odds. In this light, I have some questions.


I will never have a motor on a dinghy that anyone would want, because my tastes run to 3HP Johnsons from the 1960s. (Light, integral fuel tank, good parts availability, cheap, readily available locally in any quantity desired).


1) Is dinghy theft a real concern even when there is not a valuable outboard present?


2) Do hard dinghys (I'm looking at the Trinka) pose a theft target, or just inflatables?


3) Are there any effective deterrents that are worth considering that do not involve hoisting the dink out of the water?


4) Has anyone ever recovered a dinghy or motor that was stolen while cruising? Is it worth reporting and following up on with the local police, or is it better to shake the dust off your sandals and move on?
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Old 04-01-2019, 17:04   #2
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Re: Dinghy theft

Quote:
1) Is dinghy theft a real concern even when there is not a valuable outboard present? The answer to this is that some places it is a real concern; some places it is a seasonal concern; and different areas it is different, yet again.
10 & 15 hp outboards are often desirable to others in poor countries.



2) Do hard dinghys (I'm looking at the Trinka) pose a theft target, or just inflatables? Who steals dinghies? People who want them for re-sale, people who want them for joyriding; people who want to go somewhere on the water or visit a boat (this may have alcohol in the mix). The last group would take anything that will get them where they want to go, the former, not so much.


3) Are there any effective deterrents that are worth considering that do not involve hoisting the dink out of the water? Some people intentionally make the dinghy look unattractive: watched a guy throw all his different leftover paints all over a brand new dinghy, in Baja California, MX. Don't know if it was effective.

Hoisting is pretty effective, especially with it also chained to the shrouds, it makes a heck of a noise, definitely would wake someone to deal with discouraging the perp. It also significantly slows marine biofouling.

Chaining the dinghy up and locking it are a deterrent to undetermined folks, not carrying hacksaws or bolt cutters.

I think the molded plastic dinghies are probably the least attractive.



4) Has anyone ever recovered a dinghy or motor that was stolen while cruising? Is it worth reporting and following up on with the local police, or is it better to shake the dust off your sandals and move on?
I know of only one that was recovered entire, and this occurred in Fr. Polynesia a long time ago. A young adult Polynesian male was the perpetrator
The US cruiser reported it to the local police, and was advised to take a bunch of the other male cruisers, and look for the dinghy in a certain location, and allowed that he would turn a blind eye to it if the lad was beaten up. The show of force was adequate for the return of the dinghy and o/b; and the young man was not beaten up.
I believe you will get the best information about your area from people located there. Or see if the police or water police can give you a feel for it.

Ann
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Old 04-01-2019, 17:40   #3
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Re: Dinghy theft

In St. Maarten the police do not care and will do nothing. A few years ago in St. Lucia the police chief's brother in law was stealing the dinghies.

Many cruisers do not realize that however modest their boats are they are luxurious compared to the homes of the local people. The Caribbean has a lot of poverty. Their education systems are poor and there is little economic opportunity.

Pulling your boat out of the water on a halyard, suspending it tied to the side of the hull and locking it to the shrouds is fast and easy. Thieves will look for the easier mark. Besides, then you won't have any growth on it.
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Old 04-01-2019, 17:58   #4
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Re: Dinghy theft

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Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
Besides, then you won't have any growth on it.

That's a very important point. Some time ago we used to have two dinghies for a while, the new one was hoisted every night and the old one was just tied to the boat for some weeks. The new dinghy had absolutely no growth on it as it spent at least 8 hours per day (normally more like 12) out of the water. The old dinghy had an insane amount of growth on it. We had to flip it over and give it a serious scrubbing.
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Old 04-01-2019, 23:40   #5
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Re: Dinghy theft

Sometimes the risk is not so much thieves but other careless folks who un-cleat your painter to get at their own and don't properly re-cleat it.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:05   #6
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Re: Dinghy theft

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Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
Sometimes the risk is not so much thieves but other careless folks who un-cleat your painter to get at their own and don't properly re-cleat it.
Indeed.
And, it's not entirely unknown for other cruisers to have light fingers, especially when far from home.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:28   #7
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pirate Re: Dinghy theft

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Indeed.
And, it's not entirely unknown for other cruisers to have light fingers, especially when far from home.
Aint that the truth..
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:31   #8
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Re: Dinghy theft

Years ago I had a Dyer Dhow hard dink, almost new and fairly expensive.
Dingy theft in the USVI was fairly common, painted the dink bright yellow on the inside.
Easy to recognize if stolen and easy to spot from the air. (Rent a small plane and go looking for it)

Several friends had their dink’s stolen in Nassau while in the water on a painter.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:45   #9
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Re: Dinghy theft

JPA Cate

"10 & 15 hp outboards are often desirable to others in poor countries".

So, they are not stealing in rich countries. Next time try British muddy damp marinas, let alone rivers, creeks etc., they will steal your arm let alone dingy if they have chance or no one watching.

Few years ago when I was cruising around Croatian Istria peninsula there were dinghies and outboards theft and guess what, they caugth 3 Britons and 2 Italians.

….or we can start with "rich" tourists making FAKE sickness bug claims about hotels and restaurants all over Mediterranean.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:50   #10
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Re: Dinghy theft

We lost our hard dink from the yacht club in August. Little 8ft GRP pram dinghy used to get out to the mooring. Bought a Avon dinghy which is now on the boat and the scruffy inflatable we had on the boat pressed into use to ferry us out. However, it doesn't row anything like the little pram dinghy did and I now really miss it.

An old piece of rigging and copper pipe hammered to make loops at each end with a padlock may discourage the less determined light fingered scrotes.

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Old 05-01-2019, 05:44   #11
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Re: Dinghy theft

It seems to depend.
I left Marsh Harbor a couple days ago, a place that I thought was particularly high in dinghy theft. First got there and was locking my dinghy to the dock, noticing no others were locked. This was the marina dock, not the public dock.
Asked someone if dinghy theft was a problem, they laughed and said no, if a dinghy was stolen everyone would recognize it.

Almost every boat in the anchorage left their dinghy in the water overnight on a painter.

Then went next day to the public dock where there are often “boat boys” and all the dinghy’s were locked, I even removed my oars and left them on the boat.
You could see them crawling around on dinghies from time to time.

I bought a Master Lock vinyl covered steel cable from Lowe’s, can,e is as big as your finger and long, it locks through the dinghy attachment and to the motor, motor is additionally locked to the dinghy, this cable then goes through the bow loop with plenty of length so your not hogging the dock.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Master-Lock...-Lock/50371776
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:18   #12
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Re: Dinghy theft

We religiously secure our dinghy and motor with cable and a high quality lock everywhere we go. It’s really not that much trouble.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:28   #13
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Re: Dinghy theft

An interesting theft deterrent I saw was to install a deck plate in the transom and remove the insert when leaving the dink unattended. Not optimal when leaving the dink in the water of course.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:59   #14
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Re: Dinghy theft

Through the course of many years in Mexico, I never had a dinghy stolen and never locked it, either. Oars got stolen, once. Sometimes I hoisted it alongside, amidships, sometimes not. The dinghies were one Achilles 8 footer and two different Tinkers. Tinkers were really pricey, but didn't look it. All were used. Biggest engine was a Suzuki 4 HP. The bottoms of the dinghies needed regular scrubbing.



I now live, cruise, and charter in the Caribbean, mostly the BVI. My dinghies have been various iterations of 11-12 foot AB RIB's, all with the same 25 HP engine. The BVI has plenty of dinghy thefts, although usually not talked about. Two of my dinghies have been stolen, one in Road Harbour, far from shore, and the other in Charlotte Amalie (USVI), also far from shore. The first one I recovered with a friend; we used his dinghy to search everywhere nearby, and where we found mine, we found three others, including a very expensive console rib. The thief took the second one all the way to the East End of Tortola, where the marine police recovered it. I was notified, through the local AB dealer. At the time, I sometimes lifted the dinghy, sometimes not. I calculated that my dinghies had been in the water a maximum of 80 to 100 nights, total, and been stolen twice! Not a good ratio. Since then, the dinghy has been hoisted EVERY night, and sometimes in the day, too. (Both thefts occurred whilst someone was awake and onboard!) I eventually bought a Winch Buddy ( Milwaukee 28 volt angle drill with bit that goes in a winch) so there is now absolutely NO excuse not to lift. My dinghy is spotless, looks like new. A win, in every regard.


My insurance covers the dinghy, but if ashore, only when locked. So, if in any doubt, I lock.



The BVI Police take dinghy theft seriously and are very helpful. A friend just got his dinghy back, last week. But, there certainly is a lot of dinghy theft here, although it tends to be periodic, and the BVI is generally an honest and law abiding society.


But.....the Charter Yacht Society did a survey, about 8-10 years ago, and was able to identify 30 (!) dinghy thefts, over a period of two months, from charter yachts and companies, alone......................so you are warned!!!


Hope this helps inspire people to be careful.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:04   #15
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Re: Dinghy theft

In general its not actually the dinghy thats being stolen...its the motor. Quite often dinks are found floating afterwards sans motor. Its just quiker and easier to steal the whole rig and remove the motor after away from the scene.

I lift AND lock every night regardless of venue. Just a good habit.

Several threads on this subject already...give those a look too.
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