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Old 24-07-2019, 18:13   #1
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Do you leave your boat unlocked?

I have almost always locked up the boat when we leave. Last year I anchored late at night in Isla Mujeres and in the morning locked up and went to town to check in. I met a woman on the street later that morning and she asked if I had off white boat, cause it was dragging across the harbor. No **** it was me. Several guy's had tried to get onboard and re anchor but it was locked. They wondered why I had locked up? How do you decide that?
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Old 24-07-2019, 18:17   #2
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

I don't lock my boat when I'm away.


The idea of locking large spaces (rather than a cupboard or chest) is relatively new, historically speaking. I subscribe to the idea that valuables should be locked up rather than places.
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Old 24-07-2019, 18:36   #3
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

I have ALWAYS locked my boats up...just like I ALWAYS lock up my car and house. I don't even think about it.

Habit I suppose, but never had anything stolen.
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Old 24-07-2019, 19:17   #4
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

I was bragging to my brother that I had just bought a used "money van" which was basically an armored car with 1/4 inch steel plate on the interior and bullet proof glass all around and now I was safe from theft. As he quickly pointed out he was sure he could take a 20 pound sledge hammer and get in the van in a minute or less.

I could get through any hatch or companion way "door" with a simple carpenter's hammer; probably with a couple of good kicks. I would rather leave my boat open than risk damage by someone with bad intentions. I have seen posts about boats with steel bars across the companion way and hatches but I would bet a crowbar could easily defeat them. Not to mention portholes/windows would be easy to destroy to gain entrance.

Especially cruisers in the tropics like what I call an open design that often is nothing more than screens and canvass which even a dull knife would quickly deal with. Few boats are designed for security and trying to establish it usually means you will only be inviting serious damage from peeps trying to gain entrance to commit a crime.
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Old 24-07-2019, 19:43   #5
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

Ooops
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Old 24-07-2019, 19:44   #6
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

I don't lock mine, plus I leave the key for the engine in the switch
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Old 24-07-2019, 20:04   #7
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

We havenít looked ours since we left California.
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Old 24-07-2019, 20:14   #8
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

When I was young I had a sports car with a soft top. Leaving it unlocked taught me I'd have less damage to fix, no new top to buy. If someone wants in, they will get in. An alarm and security cameras are the best defense.
I liveaboard and don't lock up at night. I have a dog and some things that will wake me (and the criminal). At my dock I have security cameras that send pics and video off site.
I don't use ignition keys, I don't get the point. So far I've been able to start any diesel with a length of wire or a pair of pliers if necessary. I assume someone stealing a diesel boat has the same know how.



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Old 24-07-2019, 21:01   #9
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

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I don't lock mine, plus I leave the key for the engine in the switch



I should add, the reason I got in so late was the engine would run for about 10 min before it would overheat so I had to sail almost all the way in. If someone had started it and tried to re anchor, it would have probably blown up.
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Old 24-07-2019, 21:16   #10
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

Paint your mobile phone number on the hatch cover.

Locks only keep your friends out....
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Old 24-07-2019, 23:18   #11
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

I do both: lock the companionway but leave the key in the ignition. The engine and windlass are operable, but no one can get downstairs. They don't need to take a lie down to reanchor if I'm dragging. Not worried about boat theft around here in the Med. In other places, I'd rethink. But here, I feel good about it.
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Old 24-07-2019, 23:37   #12
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

Anchored out, we usually don't lock but never really thought too much about it.

In a slip, we lock if we are leaving the marina but not to go up to the showers or similar.

But it's a simple padlock that could easily be bypassed in an emergency.

Locks keep honest people honest. I could easily break into 99% of boats if I didn't mind doing a little damage but realistically if I was just out to pilfer, I would probably watch for an unlocked boat because it would be easier.
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Old 25-07-2019, 02:13   #13
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

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I do both: lock the companionway but leave the key in the ignition. The engine and windlass are operable, but no one can get downstairs. They don't need to take a lie down to reanchor if I'm dragging. Not worried about boat theft around here in the Med. In other places, I'd rethink. But here, I feel good about it.
Same here. Keys stay in the ignition all season long. Windlass toggle switch helm. So, if necessary, someone can hop aboard and reanchor etc.
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Old 25-07-2019, 02:25   #14
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

I don't lock my boat, and leave the keys in the ignition. I'm not overly security conscious as I know that it's easy enough to get into any boat if a person wants to.

We haven't locked our house in the 20 years we've lived there either. I'm not even sure we still have keys.
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Old 25-07-2019, 04:55   #15
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Re: Do you leave your boat unlocked?

The barrel lock in my companion way weather boards fell out a few months ago, and i've not bothered to replace it. The few times i've left the boat in a busy marina, i've spent a minute or two overtly fiddling with and pretending to lock the non existent mechanism, for the benefit of any would be thieves that happen to be watching. Probably a total waste of time, but you never know!

As others have said, if someone wants in, that lock, functional or not, wouldn't stop them anyway, but it does misdirect an opportunists opportunity! More important not to leave bait for the thieves I think, if there isn't something visible to grab before they commit to entering, then you lessen the chances of them trying in the first place.
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