The following is a long-winded way of protecting the dink when it is aboard, or laying alongside your own boat. Without revealing details of my personal security
systems, I can offer these suggestions: FIRST, recognize that the finest security systems can only go so far. The best you can hope for is to make a thief's attempts time-consuming and noisy. Bad boys will go where the jobs is easy, unless you have something of great value and they are sufficiently motivated.
Home security systems can be often be modified for boats. You are looking for a system that operates with a 12 volt battery
backup. That means the system is using shorepower to recharge a separate battery
to run it should the bad boys pull the shorepower plug
. Deny this opportunity by directly connecting to the house bank. They would have to gain entry to the inside of the boat, which will make a lot of noise
, and may take them a lot of time under adverse conditions of 140dB sirens going off INSIDE AND OUTSIDE the boat. Needless to say, you will need a discrete and immediately accessible alarm
shutoff should you accidentally trip the system yourself.
You will want an alarm
system that has several zones that can be independently controlled. These can be configured as Home and Away options, meaning that if you are aboard and want to wander about the boat, but guard certain areas or objects, you can simply set the program to do so. In the Away mode, everything is armed and ready to go off.
One zone can be for objects that are readily portable, such as a bike, fuel tanks
, outboard motors (and the entire dinghy). You simply have a 2-wire cord running to a magnetic switch, called a normally closed (N.C.) and then you glue a small magnet to the object you wish to protect. When the switch is placed in contact with the magnet, the alarm circuit is closed and when the system is energized it becomes tripped by someone removing the item of interest, setting off the alarms. Simply cutting the wire sets off the alarm, as well. These can be installed to a multiple number of items, drawers, doors, hatches, etc. If you are home and someone comes in the middle of the night to steal your dinghy, it will set off the alarms. Alarm circuits have N.C. instant zones, and normally open (N.O.) instant zones for areas you want the alarm to immediately be triggered. There are also N.O. and N.C. delayed zones, which allow you to enter or break the circuit while a programmable timer ticks down so you can use a key, a hidden button, or a keypad to disarm the system.
You can operate simple relays that will turn on deck
lights, strobes, or arm the photon torpedoes. And all of this without spending a fortune. You will have to find a suitable system, and you will need to run wire. Wireless systems are not secure enough on a boat, especially if it's a dark and stormy night with nearby lightning
bolts. Wired systems can also use pressure mats, infrared beams (though your kitty can trigger this one), and other appropriate units to wire into the correct zones. You can also have fire and bilge
alarms wired into this system without major effort other than pulling some wire and hooking up switches.
That's it. End of long-winded suggestion.