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Old 20-03-2019, 11:54   #1
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Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

The CSSN and Noonsite reports indicate that a staggering number of dinghy thefts take place. This seems to be largely corroborated by firsthand reports from CF members. It appears to me to be exceptional to make it through a few years of Caribbean cruising without having the dinghy stolen at least once.


To what extent are dinghies stolen if they have no outboard?


Is there such a thing as an undesirable outboard that will not be stolen because no one wants it? Smaller, older, unusual brands


Some cruisers make their outboard distinctive or ugly to discourage theft, usually by adding stickers or repainting a nonstandard color. Does this help or is it just a feel-good measure?


In many if not most cases, the dinghy or motor are secured with a chain and the chain is cut with boltcutters or a hacksaw. Chains are available that cannot be cut with these tools. Other locking devices, such as U-shaped bicycle locks, may be useful in some cases. Would any of this help?


Or is dinghy theft something that should be accepted as one of the inevitable problems of cruising?
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Old 20-03-2019, 12:44   #2
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

Starting to see a pattern here
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Old 20-03-2019, 12:52   #3
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

99% of dinghies that I have heard of that went missing, simply untied themselves and went on a trip by themselves, some people are sure they were stolen.
Many of the stolen dinghies are later found downwind.

Some of course are actually stolen and I believe it is in areas that are known to be crime ridden.
So far, I have just stayed away from those areas, nothing there for me.

However I do always lock our dinghy with a 30’ plastic covered steel cable I got from Lowe’s. Usually we have the only dinghy that is locked.

Outboard motors are what is stolen, just sometimes they are on dinghy’s and it’s easier to steal the whole thing, but they are after the motor, seems I guess there is no market for used dinghy’s.
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Old 20-03-2019, 13:34   #4
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

As 64 said, a lot of stolen dinghies are actually poorly tied knots. Having once lost a dinghy to a knot debacle after far too much rum, I always tie ours on tbe stern with two lines.
Places where dinghy theft is common it is almost entirely to get the outboard. The smaller tbe outboard, the less attractive. Theft around rowing dinghies is often just taking the nice wood oars from a beached boat.
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Old 20-03-2019, 13:50   #5
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Starting to see a pattern here
John,
Can you elaborate??
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Old 20-03-2019, 13:56   #6
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

Unfortunately, when high crime rates exist, it's because of police involvement. Face it, cruisers aren't welcome in some places and if they go there they are fair game. Boycott those areas and hopefully the impact on the tourist trade will bring changes.
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Old 20-03-2019, 13:59   #7
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

Having a unique appearing dinghy is a plus to prevent theft and/or aid in recovery. A few years back a boat in the Caribbean had a red inflatable stolen. Word went out on the local HF net and the dinghy was discovered on another cruising boat at the next Island. Some dinghy thefts are our fellow yachties. The locals will mostly steal motors over 10hp or so. They usually aren't interested in an inflatable other than as a means to transport the motor they are stealing to shore.

As a64pilot says, most wandering dinghies are the result of the painter coming loose. Think it's caused by small diameter painter line cinched on large cleats. Had our dinghy go walkabout twice but fortunately easily recovered on a close lee shore. Switched to a bowline looped over a cleat and boat hung around.
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Old 20-03-2019, 14:02   #8
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

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As 64 said, a lot of stolen dinghies are actually poorly tied knots. Having once lost a dinghy to a knot debacle after far too much rum, I always tie ours on tbe stern with two lines.
We lost one that way. At least we think we did. It was "just" a $300 inflatable kayak, but it was brand spanking new, so it hurt a little to wake up and see it gone. Low crime area, very windy that night ... I definitely think it was my knot tying. Er ... I mean, I definitely think it was the rum.

It will never happen again, I'm sure of that much.
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Old 20-03-2019, 14:06   #9
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

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John,
Can you elaborate??

I believe he's referring to both threads about theft and burglary started by Jammer...
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Old 20-03-2019, 14:20   #10
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

Its rare that locals are actually interested in the typicall dinghy (commonly a RIB). The dinghy just happens to be attached to an outboard, which they do want. Its just easier to steal the whole set up and then separate them later. As a result, its common to retrieive the dinghy sans motor later.

Ive never had a dinghy stolen, but I lift it the davits & lock it every night regardless of venue. Its just a good habit. This also prevents them from going walk about due to a failed or poorly tied painter. However, even this is not fool proof, Ive friends who've had their dinghy & motor stolen from the davits while they were aboard!

When cruising the Bahamas I heard many cruisers on the radio exclaiming their dinghy had been stolen...only to have it returned later by a local who found it adrift.
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Old 20-03-2019, 14:31   #11
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

I had an electric outboard stolen at my home, private dock. There's no safe place. Now everything is locked and in some cases chained. It's a pia, but less trouble than shopping for a new motor.
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Old 20-03-2019, 15:21   #12
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

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Originally Posted by Souzag818 View Post
I believe he's referring to both threads about theft and burglary started by Jammer...
Or that in general Jammer over-analyzes everything.

Jammer, my friend, you need to spend more time on the boat and less time worrying about it.
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Old 20-03-2019, 15:24   #13
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

Go to the list of OP Started By threads.

Chapter headings for a book

"Solutions to the Biggest Problems of Owning a Boat"

Some clickbait IMO, like the "fire dangers of solar?"
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Old 20-03-2019, 16:48   #14
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Go to the list of OP Started By threads.

Chapter headings for a book

"Solutions to the Biggest Problems of Owning a Boat"

Some clickbait IMO, like the "fire dangers of solar?"

Are they chapters for a book or just cabin fever in Minnesota until winter breaks??
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Old 21-03-2019, 09:19   #15
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Re: Understanding outboard theft vs. dinghy theft

The first time I saw a battery powered angle grinder, my first thought was, locks and chains for security just died. I can cut tungsten carbide with a cutting wheel on an angle grinder.
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