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Old 15-09-2013, 06:36   #31
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

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This painting idea may be one of those unexamined "common knowledge" things that everyone believes without any supporting data.


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I know it worked for handcuffs. Before I started spraypainting mine pink, I would have to hunt for them every time one of my arrestees got transported before I could switch out with the TO (and rarely get them back). Once they were pink the TO's would come looking for me to give them back.
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Old 15-09-2013, 07:58   #32
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

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I recently had another dinghy stolen, in St Martin. It was locked up, on a skid, in a marina behind locked gates with the bung removed, but they still carted it away.

Have you ever had to steal your own dinghy? I mean, lost the keys whislt it was locked up. I did this in spain and in the carib, and in both cases i got help from people who didn;t ask if it was mine - i was determinedly trying to break the cable or the lock.

If you have no tools at all, you can pound your way through 10mm cable (the sort they sell at bike shops, nice and stronger the 6 mm stuff, loop the looped ends together) in about 15 minds with a sharp rock a bit bigger than your foot.

If you can borrow tools, usually a hammer is the chosen weapon, or so i thought at the time, and batter away at the smallish lock for say 10mins, and eventually it will crumble.

Incidentally - nobody says a THING whilst you are concertedly battering away at your lock. Nobody says "is that your dinghy?" even though they have no idea if it is or isn't.

More recently I had to break through a rather bigger 25dollar combination lock, meaty looking thing, had some ooh security rating you know... and having a small 5dollar crowbar to hand...i snapped it open at the very first attempt. Leading me to realise that just about any so-called "locked dinghy" is only protected from very pathetic thieves, apparently often kids who are almost impossible to prosecute.

So here's an idea - launch an attack your own locked dinghy with reasonable tools at I reckon you'll be away in under a minute, maybe less or a lot less.

I am minded of the two guys in the jungle who meet a tiger and turn to run. One says to the other "You don't really think we can run faster than a tiger do you?" and the other says "No, but I only have to be able to run faster than YOU".

So i suppose whatever everyone else has got choose something a *bit* stronger looking than that.

I watched one dinghy dock or a blustery night during which three dinghies would have vanished had i not gone after them - and in all cases the dinghies were cats adrift by others trying to get to their own dinghy, retying the remainder not so securely and hence 5 mins later it drifted off. So your lock is only to deter the very casual thief, or the more common and even more casual drunk/incompetent other hottie, I think.

However, if you leave the dinghy vaguely-easily accessible for several days, as I did, bolt-cutters are not a huge investment for a free dinghy for not-suite so casual thieves. They only need a large screwdriver for most padlocks, and a crowbar ("jemmy") even for the larger ones.

More serious gear is to be found at the motorbike shops, I think, not so easy to attack but it becomes unrealsitic to haul massive chain and giant locks, really. The tiger story always applies if there is another dinghy, it seems.
slightly off topic, but I think still relevant

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Old 15-09-2013, 14:53   #33
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

The idea with theft is just make it a little harder than the other guys boat. If the other boat is easier to steal from, than most criminals will avoid yours and go to the other boat.

Most dinghy thefts we saw did not involve cutting locks, just cutting painters, lowering falls or taking the outboard off the hanging dinghy.

We only saw one lock cut in 33 months of cruising. A surprising number of outboard thefts were a result of the owner leaving the engine unlocked or the leaving the unsecured dinghy in the water overnight.

We normally travel with our outboard on the transom (Locked) and always either removed the engine from the dinghy at night or raised dinghy/engine on the davits, which is about seven feet off the water.

We also use a West Marine Outboard Bar Lock, which can't be cut off, without a torch. Maybe overkill, but it is impressive as hell and a good visual deterrent.

At the dinghy docks we used a 12 foot long cable with a combination lock. On the beach we would try and cable the dinghy to tree or other immovable object.

We got off lucky and never lost our dinghy or outboard through Mexico and Central America.

On a side note: The other thing that tweaked me was when cruisers would buy a "Used" Outboard from local thinking they were getting a good deal... Of course they were, it was stolen from another cruiser.
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:45   #34
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

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or taking the outboard off the hanging dinghy.
Most outboards have a hole in their bracket to put a bolt through the transom. Many have 2-4 of these. These should be used. Not only does it help defer theft - they will make a LOT of noise taking the outboard off a hanging dinghy with it bolted through the transom - they also prevent the dinghy from walking off the transom and taking a swim. Something we have seen a surprising number do.

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Old 21-09-2013, 18:46   #35
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

I did the round, screw-in, inspection deck plate trick on mine. I take the plate with me and run a chain through the hole.
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Old 21-09-2013, 18:56   #36
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

Wooden transom?Thieves cut through it in 5 minutes with a handsaw.
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Old 21-09-2013, 19:13   #37
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

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Wooden transom?Thieves cut through it in 5 minutes with a handsaw.
Then it would take less on a glass & wood one.

You were gone only 5 minutes? How did they make the turn underneath?

The reason for he Q is because my dash was cut up and my chart plotter stolen. The consensus of opinion is that one of those new battery operated circular saws was used. Or a tool like a Fein with an oscillating blade.

But that would make it only 3 min.

Sucks when they get the OB. One was taken from me too. Yamaha 9.9 2-stroke. One of the best motors ever made.
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Old 21-09-2013, 19:21   #38
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

You don't have to cut the bottom.Just cut sides and use engine as lever,wood cracks and motor is off.
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Old 22-09-2013, 10:35   #39
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

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You don't have to cut the bottom.Just cut sides and use engine as lever,wood cracks and motor is off.
Dang!
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:14   #40
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

At the risk of turning this into another dreaded gun thread, power skiffs off seine boats were a hot commodity in the PNW during fishing season years ago. They were only secured by a quick release knot on the bow painter to a braided loop aboard the mother ship and pulled up on the bunt of the seine net. One pull on the securing line and the skiff quietly dropped off the net astern of the seine boat. Started the skiff with only a starter button and was hard wired to the battery.
After losing several power skiffs to marauding natives who took them back to their villages to repaint and rerig them as small gillnetters, Nelson Bros Fisheries took to arming each seine boat with a .30-30 and widely published the fact to the entire west coast fishery from Alaska to Washington State. The number of thefts dropped to almost 0 after a guy from Village Island was shot (he lived) trying to steal a skiff from a seiner one night in Alert Bay. That was long before the day of 'politically correct' solutions. Phil
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:20   #41
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Re: Stealing the dinghy - some thoughts

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many thieves here are not cruisers but they are souls with less income per year than most cruisers exhibit on deck.

if i made $200 a year, i would steal your dingy if you anchored near my house. i would steal whatever was not nailed down, and even then i would bring a hammer.
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