It seems irresistible for some members to turn a security thread into a gun thread. <sigh>
The most common security problem on cruising boats, BY FAR, is theft. Whether the thieves swim aboard or sneak aboard, in the middle of the night when sleeping or in the daylight when ashore, or dinghy
theft, the crime is not usually intended to be confrontational. Therefore the way to avoid most crimes is to simply secure the boat and dinghy
. And keep it secure at night when asleep. This needn't be anything elaborate, but will depend on the boat. In my case, Carina has a bridge deck
so the companionway
has a single
(heavy plywood with hardwood backing) dropboard, fitted with a deadbolt. A twist of the knob unlocks the hatch
, and removing the dropboard or simply climbing over it is fast and easy. I have always locked up at night, and on one occasion it prevented thieves from coming below (and the sound from the attempt woke me up). It is also resistant to force. I have seen so many boats with a hasp and padlock I just want to scream - it only takes a large screwdriver and a couple of seconds to open, and it provides no security when aboard.
I long ago got tired of waking in the middle of the night to close the overhead hatches when a rain squall passed, so there are two reasons to close them. It seems the main argument against locking up is the need for ventilation, which admittedly can be poor on modern boats. So fix the ventilation problem already - you will be glad you did.
I have tried the IR motion sensors in the cockpit
, but gave up on them. They reliably went off at dawn, and unreliably as the boat would swing and the shoreside lights would come into view. Perhaps some of the newer technology Katiusha referred to would work better.
I always hoisted the dinghy and locked it and the outboard
to the bulwarks. And when leaving Puerto de la Cruz, Venezuela
, with my new dinghy and outboard I put the outboard to bed
in a berth below until arriving in Trinidad - an extreme response to an extreme risk.
As for armed assaults, they are relatively few, and by avoiding the known danger
areas the risk is pretty small. (And no, I won't be going back to Venezuela
soon.) I suppose if I thought the risk all that great I wouldn't go cruising, which would be very sad indeed.