I am amazed that the majority of boats are still manufactured without an alarm
system, whereas virtually every car today (including econoboxes) include them as standard equipment
. It strikes me that for cruising sailors, a decent alarm
system (and other 'passive' deterrents to theft) would be the most effective tool in combating the incidence of boat burglaries (and even robberies) both at home, and most especially abroad.
I am planning on installing a simple alarm system on my boat before heading through the Caribbean
and wonder if anyone is aware of any 12 volt products that are already on the market for that purpose. I would need approximately 6 imputs (for the companionway
door, the 4 deck
hatches that are large enough for human egress and a spare for another use I will describe below). I suspect that the switches used in car doors for activation of the interior
lights would suffice, and a bracket could be made to install the switch so that it is in the closed (off) position when pressed against the lexan
of a locked hatch
. Installing it here would have the advantage off setting off the alarm as soon as the intruders smashed out the lens.
There would need to be an activation/kill switch for the alarm both below decks and above (in a hidden location) so that the alarm could be used both when the boat is occupied and unoccupied. It could be hooked up to a standard automotive alarm (most of the new ones are incredibly loud and annoying) as well as the deck
Another idea I have been mulling over (and written about in another post) is to utilize a 12 volt electric
cattle fence wire on the lifelines
. As has already been pointed out, the intruder would be the ground so long as his feet/body were grounded to something upon contact with the 'hot' wire. The purpose of this is not to cause bodily harm/death to a would-be thief (any more than one intends to kill stray cattle), but it would certainly make boarding the vessel a 'challenge', to say the least. If this were hooked up to the alarm system by means of a switch that activated as soon as the intruder completed the circuit by touching the 'hot' wire, then the alarm and deck floods could also be set off prior to an actual boarding.
Anyway, does anyone have any thoughts on this, or suggestions for suppliers. (And no Taojones, I still haven't tested it on either myself, or my mother-in-law). I would really prefer not having to engage in a physical confrontation with a (potentially armed) intruder except as a last resort. In that connection, experience as a prosecutor has taught me that most thieves are cowards at heart, and the combination of an electric
shock, a loud alarm and bright lighting
would cause the vast majority to flee to a safer/less conspicuous target.