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View Poll Results: wheel on and key in the ignition in case boat needs aid while away?
Yes 11 25.58%
No 14 32.56%
yes but depends on location (mostly yes) 18 41.86%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 17-04-2012, 15:45   #1
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Wheel On & Key in Ignition

Read something on another thread (Bash) that I had wondered about before.

When you are at anchor/mooring and want to go into town for the day: do you leave the wheel mounted and the key in the ignition on your boat in case the boat drags/gos adrift so your fellow cruisers can go to its' aid?
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Old 17-04-2012, 18:56   #2
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

Interesting idea, I wonder which boat thief started the idea going around?
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Old 17-04-2012, 19:03   #3
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Interesting idea, I wonder which boat thief started the idea going around?
Humph! If I'm in town, I'm more worried about my dink, whether it's on a beach or tied to a dinghy dock, than I am about the mother ship.

I usually lock the companionway hatch when I leave the boat, but the wheel is on and the Yanmar key is in the ignition.

Reality time: my Yanmar key will start your Yanmar. I'm guessing the boat thieves already know this.
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Old 17-04-2012, 19:29   #4
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

Basically no. If conditions dictate this is the thing to do, then yes.

b.
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Old 17-04-2012, 19:40   #5
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Basically no. If conditions dictate this is the thing to do, then yes.

b.
I think if conditions "dictate this is the thing to do" then I would not leave the boat? If it was so rough and I thought it might drag then I'd hang around.
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Old 17-04-2012, 19:42   #6
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

I ALWAYS do this. I find it much more likely that a good samaritan may save your boat in a bad situation than that a thief will steal it. I doubt the average thief could even start and operate my vessel, but I'm pretty sure most of my fellow cruisers could in a pinch, as could some officials ie coastguard. I have personally saved boats with dragging anchors that fortuitously had keys in the ignition before myself. One was in the surf at the time of boarding. I know people who have saved boats from marina fires this way as well. I can imagine many scenarios where it might be helpful for someone to have the keys in the ignition and an easy way to board, but I can only think of one scenario where it would hurt, and I don't find that likely. I'm sure for other people living in more crime ridden areas this would be a bad move, but for me I feel it's the right move. I live on a secure dock with neighbors who know me and my boat, and cruise in a cruising ground where there just isn't much threat of theft. Much more worried about a boat fire or failed hose/fitting while I'm absent than any potential theft.
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Old 17-04-2012, 19:53   #7
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

First I would have to get a wheel and next I would have to get an ignition switch.

Brad
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Old 17-04-2012, 20:02   #8
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

"Reality time: my Yanmar key will start your Yanmar. I'm guessing the boat thieves already know this"
Is your Yanmar key about six inches long, black and yellow, says "STANLEY" on the handle? Or, clear with red stripe and says "CRAFTSMAN" ? <G>

Wheel on, nice. Key in, nice. But...if you've secured the boat to go in port, isn't your main power set OFF as well? Or am I the only one who is happier when all the power is off, except when needed?
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Old 18-04-2012, 04:20   #9
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

I prefer the boat be locked up and not easily stolen. I wonder what the insurance company would say to a claim of a stolen boat that was left readily accessible?
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Old 18-04-2012, 04:36   #10
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

I don't think I've ever read of a boat being stolen off it's anchor (other than small boats). I doubt leaving the key in the ignition on a bigger (non dinghy type) boat makes a difference to someone who boards your boat in order to steal it. They probably would just below and find the key (how many leave it in the nav desk) or just jump the started with a screwdriver.
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Old 18-04-2012, 05:49   #11
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

http://www.boatman.com/images/BDomaille_stolen.pdf
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Old 18-04-2012, 06:17   #12
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Re: Wheel on & key in ignition

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Originally Posted by F15EWSO View Post
I think if conditions "dictate this is the thing to do" then I would not leave the boat? If it was so rough and I thought it might drag then I'd hang around.
+1

Except when hanging around is not an option.

b.
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Old 18-04-2012, 06:32   #13
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Re: Wheel On & Key in Ignition

Interesting question which reveals fairly succiently, I would gather, how one's experience of humanity colours one's actions.

Were I to leave the boat, I would generally shut all thru-hulls, including the seawater intake, so as to give the boat a second line of defence beyond the bilge pump should a hose clamp or hose fail. I have seen three boats sink (partially) at dock because of this, and while it's arguably due to the foolishness of having only a single, perhaps non-SS, clamp below the waterline, and not two SS ones, I still like to "close up".

So I might have to rethink this in light of the proposition. Or just get the best anchor gear I can.
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Old 18-04-2012, 06:42   #14
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Re: Wheel On & Key in Ignition

No, because our key switch is right inside the companionway so I would have to leave the boat open.
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Old 18-04-2012, 12:36   #15
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Re: Wheel On & Key in Ignition

There is a story floating around of a German (?) boat owner who sued another cruiser for getting on his boat to let out more chain because the boat was dragging. The boat owner got quite a bit of money in compensation. So when you want to be helpful, just remember that some people might not view it that way (and may have the money to sue as well).
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