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Old 22-03-2013, 13:32   #1
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Anyone using a boat alarm

Hi All,
We are thinking of cruising south from Rio Dulce this Spring heading to the Bay Islands and onward to Panama. I know this area has some security issues and we are thinking of installing a boat alarm. Something that flashes and sounds an alarm if its tripped. Hopefully this would let the visitor know that our welcome mat was NOT out.

Just looking for any information that forum members might have.

Thanks in advance
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Old 22-03-2013, 13:49   #2
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I take one along every time we go sailing but rarely use it.. First time I tried the waves would set it off. It's convenient to strap almost anywhere, small enough, super loud, has a remote. Only time I set it up now is remote areas where I have "that feeling", so still, rarely. This is the one is have:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-Tek...2#.UUy0jxB5mSM

Edit; just checked the link, I see this is discontinued.
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Old 22-03-2013, 14:04   #3
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Re: Anyone using a boat alarm

I think the Bay Islands, Panama, and the San Blas are overall pretty safe--certainly more so than the Rio Dulce. Just stay well offshore when going from the Bay Islands around the corner to Providencia. Remember, you hear about every incident over and over so it can sound like a lot, but in reality there are very few. Plus, a number of the ones I know of were when people went to areas that are known to be bad. But, in answer to your question, no I don't have an alarm. More useful would be a way to lock yourself up and still let air through. I've met a number of people with bars over their hatches and a way to bar the companionway.

If you're anchored in a deserted anchorage with nobody around a determined thief won't care if an alarm is blaring.
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Old 23-03-2013, 06:42   #4
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I live on the Rio Dulce and have lived/cruised the region since 2005.

The Rio is pleasant and tranquil most of the time and this can lull you into being careless...then we have a wave of problems every few years. Stick to the more popular and less isolated anchorages to mimize odds of a problem. Rarely are there issues in the marinas.

Places to avoid:

Punta Sal, Honduras...there have been a number of problems in this area in recent years...including boats being borded and robbed a few miles off the coast...stay well off this area. Just to be safe I suggest avoiding mainland Honduras all together...lots of problems in recent years. Stick to the Bay Islands where problems are much less frequent.

Nicaraguan East Coast (mainland). Very isolated area where there have been problems. Dont clear in/out at Bluefields...everyone I know whose done so has had trouble. Otherwise we really like Nicaragua and it is statistically one of the safest countries in the region.

I do have a motion sensor w remote alarm on my boat.

Security issues aside, this corner of the world is amazing. Ive been here for 7 years now and still have lots to see and do (currently on a road trip from Guatemala back to Bocas del Toro Panama where my boat is docked).

I love it here and will be happy to discuss the region w you in detail...either on another thread or PM me.
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Old 23-03-2013, 08:10   #5
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Re: Anyone using a boat alarm

We spent most of a year in Central Am and Panama in 2011-2012. We are headed back that way in the fall and have now installed an alarm. One reason was the inviting swim step. If you install an alarm system, make sure it was one that will not have false alarms. I suspect any of the motion detection systems will suffer from false alarms. Deck sensor systems are more reliable.
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Old 24-03-2013, 10:20   #6
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Re: Anyone using a boat alarm

Thanks for the replies. BelizeSailor, we've heard from you before and its always good information. We'll be heading back to the Rio Dulce in mid-April and after some boat work we'll be heading to Roatan and probably further South.
We've decided on a motion detector - hopefully maybe not to many false alarms.

My next question is anyone stopped in Cayo Vivorillo.
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Old 25-03-2013, 18:38   #7
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You're welcome.

No false alarms w my motion detector. It is mounted in the cockpit which usually has the sunscreen flaps down so nothing normally moving in range. Remote alarm I take to the cabin w me.

I've sailed by the Vivarillos but not stopped in...we had a good window, which is rare going east, so we just kept going.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:07   #8
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Re: Anyone using a boat alarm

Also be aware Utila was having petty thievery problems as of 2011. Ditto on avoiding Punta Sal; was relieved of a dinghy there in 2002. Roatan and Guanaja are lovely, though some of Roatan's east end anchorages suffer form very insistent boat beggars and late-night high-speed drug smuggling traffic. The Vivorillos are gorgeous, and often deserted. It might be nice to cruise there with other boats, just for company, unless you like the solitude. If it's coming on for Hurricane Season, you might share the Vivorillos with the Honduran shrimpers, who are some of the friendliest, most generous people we met in the Caribbean.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:11   #9
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Re: Anyone using a boat alarm

Alarm systems allow a variety of switches (detectors) which are either normally open (N.O.) or normally closed (N.C.). The simplest are magnetic switches or contact switches. Magnetics can be rigged so that someone who opens a door or locker or other opening, sets off the alarm system. A simple pressure mat, underneath a towel or doormat, is a great device. Alarm systems can be set with instant alarms, or with a timed delay, allowing you to disable the alarm after entering the boat. You can set them up to guard different zones in the boat, or the whole boat if you are away. You can set them up with a switch beside your bunk to turn on security lights, or set off scary alarms and strobes. They use very little juice, and don't leave turds on the foredeck. They give you options.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:12   #10
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Re: Anyone using a boat alarm

Happened to see this website with some interesting looking security bars for companionways and hatches. A bit pricey, but interesting. Vivorillos are gorgeous, though they can be lumpy if it is blowing--not much protection from the low-lying reefs. We saw one guy there from Honduras tending some generators keeping fish freezers going on one of the keys. He was pretty happy to see someone.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:18   #11
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Re: Anyone using a boat alarm

Connie and I have cruised almost all of the area talked about above, Up till now we have had no trouble. On our new to us boat there is a very loud mast mounted speaker, the radio-loudspeaker control is of course below decks. If anyone comes aboard our boat first they would have to try to break into the Pilot house, (no small job) We would then power up the unit and set it off on to the police squaler !! very loud and pierceing ! This alone will mostly cause them to leave, if not then we could use the mike to let them know we are armed and will shoot !( of course we don't have fire arms HEE HEE ) we can only hope this will help, again with out LARGE tools they would have a big problem trying to get below decks on our boat !! but we like the idea of the noise, and we hope if we ever need to use it, it will help run them off ! just our 2 cents ( as cheap cruisers this is already aboard and do the same thing as a alarm, and saves us a bunch)
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:38   #12
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Re: Anyone using a boat alarm

I have heard the suggestion that a loud recording of a German shepherd barking can be useful.
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