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Old 22-03-2015, 13:51   #1
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Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

Hi All,
I'm quite new to this forum but once I had my dream dashed by forum members I'm having to learn to live with a dinghy... Now here's where I am hoping all you folks have enough years and miles in the bag to give some good ideas/thought on the following:

How do you think most dinghy's are stolen? What do you think is a good way of avoiding such thefts? .. now I have my own thoughts but as a relative newbie I'm probably way off the mark.

My impression (and please correct if necessary) is that you drop ashore, tie off said dinghy and someone sees (or is told of) a nice dinghy that with a minimal amount of hotwiring (is it needed?) is ripe for the taking... so it is.. only to be sold for spares or as a whole to unsuspecting people elsewhere..
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Old 22-03-2015, 14:15   #2
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

Where I've cruised the most (Washington, British Columbia, Great Lakes, Maine) dinghy theft is not a problem at all. Quite the opposite is true: People go to great lengths to return found items: paddles, dinghies, spouses, dogs, etc. Only if I leave my boat & dinghy for several weeks would I consider locking it up. But I've no idea where you cruise of it it's an issue. If it's a problem just lock it up.
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Old 22-03-2015, 14:39   #3
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

If leaving my dinghy where I won't be able to see it I sometimes throw a bicycle chain/lock on it. Depending on the "neighborhood". But my biggest weapon in the fight to save my dinghy is to have the rattiest dinghy on the dock. My Yamaha 15 is always the nastiest looking on on the float but it starts first pull. When remote I usually lift the dinghy out of the water instead of leaving it just secured by a line.
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Old 22-03-2015, 15:34   #4
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

I share your concern. Regardless of the neighborhood, all it takes is one dishonest person to steal your dinghy. Not only will you be out a dinghy and outboard motor, you will have no way to get back to the mother ship.

My new dinghy doesn't even have a way to secure the outboard with a cable. That's something I'm going to address before my next cruise.

You can take the key that's supposed to stop the outboard if you fall overboard with you, but anyone looking to steal a dinghy or motor can just bring their own.

About all you can do is secure the motor to the dinghy with a steel cable and padlock and secure the dinghy to something substantial with another steel cable and padlock. I recently occurred to me that it might be advisable to do the same when on the mother ship. It wouldn't take much for someone to row a dinghy up behind your boat some night and cut your tow line and make away with your dinghy and motor.
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Old 22-03-2015, 15:57   #5
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pirate Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

My Security for a dinghy is fairly simple.. SS link chain fed through protective sheathing.. one end is padlocked to an eye bolt in the transom.. it then passes through the OB carry handle and through the fuel tank handle.. then it runs foreward looping through the grab line and down to the D ring at the bow w/line.. about 12ft spare for tying to dock cleats etc and securing with a padlock.
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Old 22-03-2015, 16:33   #6
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

Many have reported having the engine cowl looking as ratty as possible. One skipper reported painting his a horrible green, made it quite noticeable and was always there when he came back. If "available" thieves are going to go looking for the nicest one around.
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Old 22-03-2015, 17:19   #7
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Many have reported having the engine cowl looking as ratty as possible. One skipper reported painting his a horrible green, made it quite noticeable and was always there when he came back. If "available" thieves are going to go looking for the nicest one around.
Maybe I should do that with the whole cat.. keep away the pirates! :-)
Seriously tho its probably a good idea.

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Old 22-03-2015, 18:10   #8
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Many have reported having the engine cowl looking as ratty as possible. One skipper reported painting his a horrible green, made it quite noticeable and was always there when he came back. If "available" thieves are going to go looking for the nicest one around.
Have read of someone dousing thier new outboard cowl in metho and lighting it, putting it out when the cowl looked suitably damaged but before any real damage done.
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Old 22-03-2015, 18:49   #9
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

Flouro paint or engraving in big letters and chaining the outboard to the transom help prevent theft. Dinghys are usually stolen for the motor or by joyriders unless they are something special

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Old 22-03-2015, 18:54   #10
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

One guy I know painted out the "1" on his Yamaha 15 hp so thieves would think it was only a 5 horse. Another guy, however, added a "1" so his was now "115" horsepower. It takes all kinds which is why cruising is so interesting.

Lifting the dinghy at night out of the water with a halyard (make a cradle to balance the thing) when at anchor is usually the best way to deter thieves without resorting to chain.

At the dock we sometimes use a 12 foot cable with a loop on each end and run it through the outboard bracket, the fuel tank, the life vests and then the dock. Finished off with a nice saltwater-resistant padlock it encourages thieves to go elsewhere. Or at least they have so far...

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Old 22-03-2015, 19:01   #11
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

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.
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Old 22-03-2015, 19:03   #12
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

Make sure that your outboard is bolted through the transom, not just with the hand-tight wings nuts. The cut-off switch is easy to get past for criminals, you just put a zip-tie around it to hold it up. Anther good tip is to fit a round plastic deck plate into the bottom of your dinghy (Depending on the dinghy). When you pull your boat up on the sand, just take the opening part of the deck plate with you.
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Old 22-03-2015, 22:28   #13
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

A long flexible wire cable and lock will discourage the amatuer thief. A professional will steel it even if it is chained to you. As others have said, make the dinghy less desirable. Slapping paint on it, locking the oars to a seat or taking them with you, 5hp or less engine, etc. A large outboard is a target for local fisherman looking for an auxillary motor or for a thief to sell.

Having said the above. Think most dinghys go 'walk about' and are not stolen. Something about the small diameter painters untieing themselves. Ours did it twice when we were out. Fortunately winds were onshore so we just looked downwin. It also happened tp other cruisers. Other than Central America, did not hear of a dinghy actually being stolen.
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Old 22-03-2015, 22:42   #14
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

This chain and lock are the things to get... cables don't stop thieves.

Security Maxx - Lockup Chain

Our dinghy was stolen off the back of our boat WHILE WE WERE ON IT AND AWAKE in January of 2014. It was attached by a painter and a secondary cable.

By happenstance, we had just registered our dinghy with florida but had not yet changed the numbers. When it was stolen, a guy tried to register the boat using the wrong numbers and it flagged the police because they guy was a known pawn shop owner who was known to be unsavory.

A Detective was assigned and when he went to interview the guy he had him take him to the place the dinghy was "found" which was apparently in the woods about a mile from water, so the cops took the dinghy and put it into evidence lockup. He was able to track down my info and contact me and we got the dinghy and motor back in perfect condition. My wife drove a u-haul up to the lockup to retrieve it.

We were lucky. Anyhow, as far as dinghy theft we have it pretty covered now.
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Old 22-03-2015, 22:43   #15
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Re: Dinghy Security - Thoughts please

Here's what I use on my outboard to secure it (West Marine #12727624):
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