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Old 04-10-2010, 07:38   #16
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My thinking on this subject has evolved (devolved?) over the last several years. In past I was also of the view that locks only deter the honest and in fact, the better the locking system, the more the damage that will be caused upon a forced entry. Indeed, about 25 years ago I had my boat broken into just prior to departing on a 2 week sailing vacation: since the thieves could not break the lock, they smashed in the teak companionway doors - something I was unable to repair prior to my departure.

Unfortunately, armed boardings of occupied cruising boats are on the rise in many areas of the Caribbean. The risk, therefore, is not merely of theft and collateral damage caused upon entry - there is also a risk to life and limb. I am now of the view that it is important for cruisers to minimize that risk. Yes, the odds are that you will never be boarded: in that case, all you have done is spent some money for peace of mind.

My suggestion:

1. Install a motion detector by the companionway door that is connected to not only a LOUD siren, but also a switch that activates the spreader lights. Quite cheap and a pretty good deterrent to thieves, especially in crowded anchorages.

2. Install security bars on all hatches/doors that are large enough to permit entry. The cost of this will be a bit higher, although for hatches, one can custom make some S/S (or even aluminum) bars or slats that are fixed by machine screws to the inside of the hatch frame. One or two per hatch should suffice as the idea is only to create a block for the entry of a person. Since they are attached to the inside of the frame, one can still leave the hatches open for ventilation.

Could thieves manage to unfasten or cut the bars? Probably, but it would take some time and, with spreader lights and the siren sounding, I believe that they are more apt to move on to an easier target.

Brad
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:02   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
My thinking on this subject has evolved (devolved?) over the last several years. In past I was also of the view that locks only deter the honest and in fact, the better the locking system, the more the damage that will be caused upon a forced entry. Indeed, about 25 years ago I had my boat broken into just prior to departing on a 2 week sailing vacation: since the thieves could not break the lock, they smashed in the teak companionway doors - something I was unable to repair prior to my departure.

Unfortunately, armed boardings of occupied cruising boats are on the rise in many areas of the Caribbean. The risk, therefore, is not merely of theft and collateral damage caused upon entry - there is also a risk to life and limb. I am now of the view that it is important for cruisers to minimize that risk. Yes, the odds are that you will never be boarded: in that case, all you have done is spent some money for peace of mind.

My suggestion:

1. Install a motion detector by the companionway door that is connected to not only a LOUD siren, but also a switch that activates the spreader lights. Quite cheap and a pretty good deterrent to thieves, especially in crowded anchorages.

2. Install security bars on all hatches/doors that are large enough to permit entry. The cost of this will be a bit higher, although for hatches, one can custom make some S/S (or even aluminum) bars or slats that are fixed by machine screws to the inside of the hatch frame. One or two per hatch should suffice as the idea is only to create a block for the entry of a person. Since they are attached to the inside of the frame, one can still leave the hatches open for ventilation.

Could thieves manage to unfasten or cut the bars? Probably, but it would take some time and, with spreader lights and the siren sounding, I believe that they are more apt to move on to an easier target.

Brad
Told ya so. Just like how they whould kick in ya front door or throw a brick through your window Problem I see with that alarm is if it starts going off random you are going to be as popular as those twits who have those niosy wind generators Kids might think it is good funb to set it off and egg your boat like a posh car Better watch too those bars can easily open from inside or you end up drowning crew

with all that gadgetery and bars pro theieves and pirates might even target you boat knowing there is someting on board worth taking like hard cash drugs or hot woman to play with or ransom Not much way stoping these types why i am happy living simple with nothing to loose
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:20   #18
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I used to use a combination lock but they don't hold up well in a salt environment (but seem to just fine for school lockers). I'm now using a medium sized brass lock with key. A spray of graphite or other lube every few months keeps things working fine.

I keep my engine key on one of those floatie things on a hook near the power panel. I know it's location and the floatie has saved me from murky water diving on more than one occasion. Ditto on the companionway lock.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:45   #19
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