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Old 17-05-2009, 06:17   #1
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Stealing a Boat

...no no I don't want to steal one...

But with all the talk of pirates and such I couldn't help but wonder how many boats are stolen each year and of those how many of the thieves actually get away with it?

I know there are a couple of websites with stolen boat listings, but I would imagine many more are stolen and written off with insurance than listed there.

So a few questions:

1. Does most insurance cover yacht theft?

2. What's really to keep someone from stealing your boat?

3. And, if they do steal it, how do you prove it's not theirs?

Are there actual requirements for rock-solid documentation? Couldn't they just repaint her and change out the number plates, etc?

Certainly if you had a very unique yacht it would be easier to find your boat and then prove it was yours, but for all the guys with the big "branded" yachts, they all for the most part look identical, so what happens?
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Old 17-05-2009, 08:37   #2
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If a steel boat, then weld in an appropriate registration number.

If GRP can imbed a microchip (or more) in the glass in some strategic location. Will scan thru minimal thickness of glass .
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Old 17-05-2009, 22:58   #3
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Production fiberglass vessels have a hull identification number on their transom, back in the day you used to be required to permanently engrave your documentation number in the vessel. First step in the U.S. would be to get your vessel properly documented, either with the state you are in or go federal and get your vessel documented there; after that find an obscure place aboard the vessel where you can brand or carve your particular numbers, like in an athwart ship's beam under the cabin sole, or in the chain locker, or in the engine compartment. Take down the serial numbers of every piece of hardware on the vessel, like the engine, transmission, etc... Most thieves are lazy and will not go to a very great effort to conceal their misdeeds unless they are pros.
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Old 18-05-2009, 00:08   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew.ward View Post

So a few questions:

1. Does most insurance cover yacht theft?

2. What's really to keep someone from stealing your boat?

3. And, if they do steal it, how do you prove it's not theirs?

Are there actual requirements for rock-solid documentation? Couldn't they just repaint her and change out the number plates, etc?
It's hard to make a getaway at 10 knots...

Most boats also require pit stops for restocking. You can pretty much draw a time v. distance circle and find a boat. Even boats of like make have their unique qualities so spotting your own boat shouldn't be difficult.

I think it's the boat that looks obviously untended that is at greater risk.
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Old 24-05-2009, 07:21   #5
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We get a lot more claims for hit submerged object, lightning, and dismastings. But I did take a claim for a very nice Beneteau that was stolen from the yard. Another boater recognized it and reported it.

There was a boat stolen here in the Caribbean a month ago from one of the charter companies, and when the theives got to the next island, the authorities were waiting for them. Their fake documentation papers didn't quite look right, and the boat fit the description- so they went to jail. How long they stay there is the real question- according to the news report, they have done this at least one other time.
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Old 24-05-2009, 10:00   #6
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hidden numbers

If it is a recent manufactured boat (10years? not sure) The USCG recreational rules say there is supposed to be a vin number in a hidden location also. The manufacturer knows where it is.
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Old 24-05-2009, 16:12   #7
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Why not put a GPS tracker on it?
Heavy Equipment Tracking with GPS
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Old 24-05-2009, 17:21   #8
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an easy fix...

...is to put a fuel shutoff valve somewhere inline between the fuel tank and the filter. The thief who can't get your engine started isn't going to think to trace the fuel line back to the tank.
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Old 24-05-2009, 18:31   #9
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If anyone stole Exit Only, they would have made the mistake of their lives. They would need to go up the far reaches of the Amazon River and hide, because I would follow them to the ends of the earth to rescue her.

I would hope that they did a complete refit including replacement of the headliner before I got her back.

Our catamaran has so many identifying marks and modifications that I could write out a full page of identifying features for the authorities to confirm the identity of our cat. They would have to rip out the interior and do a massive redo on the exterior to get rid of all the identifying features that make Exit Only into our catamaran.
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Old 24-05-2009, 19:02   #10
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Thanks for the suggestion. The next time i remove any headliners, i will make sure to add some clues to the real owner, and the registration number.
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Old 24-05-2009, 22:07   #11
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...is to put a fuel shutoff valve somewhere inline between the fuel tank and the filter. The thief who can't get your engine started isn't going to think to trace the fuel line back to the tank.
I have hydraulic steering and open the bypass valve then pull the knob so it can't be closed. And the tiller can't be attached w/o the proper fasteners. Try steeling a boat you can't steer.
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Old 25-05-2009, 14:48   #12
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I have to say that with all the cumulative experience on this board that this topic is getting on in age and no one has popped up with stories about their own or an acquaintance's boat being stolen. Maybe the world (at least among sailors) isn't as crazy after all.
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Old 25-05-2009, 16:38   #13
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I love some of the to do's. I like being able to make the job so difficult that it isn't worth the trouble. Hopefully, when they realize that they can't steal the boat, they won't be stupid and just trash it for the fun sake of it!! That would really piss me off!!!!
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Old 26-05-2009, 05:22   #14
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Some cruisers leave their key in the ignition when going ashore, in case something happens (dragging, etc.), so another cruiser could climb onboard and secure the boat.
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Old 26-05-2009, 05:32   #15
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Some cruisers leave their key in the ignition when going ashore, in case something happens (dragging, etc.), so another cruiser could climb onboard and secure the boat.
Key? What's that?
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