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Old 28-07-2021, 08:42   #1
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Take your keys with you!

On the Seneca-Cayuga Canal in Upstate New York, a fellow tied up is 50-something foot cruiser in the town of Seneca Falls and stepped ashore to get lunch. He looked up and saw his boat taking off. A homeless drifter from Nebraska had climbed aboard, started it up, and gunned it, snapping the docking lines in the process. People who saw the theft followed in hot pursuit as the new skipper headed west toward the town of Waterloo, five miles away. There he was stopped by a closed lock. He tried to turn around but couldn't in the narrow lock. When he was busted by local police, he explained that he wanted to go to Canada. (Canada was the other way, through half a dozen more locks). Man accused of stealing SF yacht | News | fltimes.com
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Old 28-07-2021, 08:48   #2
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Re: Take your keys with you!

In the vast majority of places, I lock the boat whenever we leave. And the engine keys are locked in, not left in the ignitions. The only time the keys stay in the ignitions is when at anchor.
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Old 28-07-2021, 08:59   #3
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Re: Take your keys with you!

Given you’d break into the average yacht with a butter knife , I rarely bother locking anything
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Old 28-07-2021, 09:05   #4
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Re: Take your keys with you!

I like the last lines on the referenced article "the homeless man was released on his own recognizance without bail". What's the odds of his showing up for his court date? Something like zero in one million?
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Old 28-07-2021, 09:19   #5
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Re: Take your keys with you!

Good reason to carry insurance on your boat. The owner doesn't have a snowball's chance of recovering the damages otherwise.

Won't comment on the bail reform, that's a five gallon bucket of pig manure left out in the hot summer sun for a few weeks. There's nothing stopping this guy from doing the same again, or just making himself scarce in the meanwhile...
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Old 28-07-2021, 09:24   #6
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Re: Take your keys with you!

Honestly, someone like that probably shouldn't be released before trial, bail or no bail. That's pretty much the kind of person that defines a flaky flight risk.
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Old 28-07-2021, 11:35   #7
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Re: Take your keys with you!

The risk of flight might be to himself. Hope he doesn't try an airplane next!
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Old 28-07-2021, 12:22   #8
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Re: Take your keys with you!

Fun story. Just forwarded the article to my parents, in Geneva, NY, who have done a lot of boating in the canal. I almost did not read this post, because it is on the OpenCPN forum. I assumed it was about software license keys!
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Old 28-07-2021, 13:59   #9
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Re: Take your keys with you!

They probably saw it in "The Finger Lakes Times." If you know the area up here, you'll know that even if they had locked the hapless fellow through, his trip would have had to end at Watkins Glen.
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Old 28-07-2021, 14:10   #10
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Re: Take your keys with you!

None of my boats: Beneteau First 25, 31, 35.1 or 41.1 have had engine keys — on the Yanmar diesel it’s press Power, press Start, shift into gear and go!

Might start practicing with the shut off physically on the engine after reading this story…

Thanks for sharing Lazy Jack 32!!
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Old 28-07-2021, 15:09   #11
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Re: Take your keys with you!

Shut your starting batteries and lock the cabin.

Will a determined thief get in? Of course. But there is a good chance a less determined one may move on to an easier target. Make yourself a hard target, within reason.

I lock my house, car, and airplane—boat is no difference.
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Old 28-07-2021, 15:48   #12
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Re: Take your keys with you!

The yachtsman was presumably passing through from another state. The drifter definitely was. But assuming the drifter does jail time, local taxpayers will be billed $82,000 per year [https://www.vera.org/the-cost-of-inc...ew-york-state] for 5 to 15 years [https://www.newyorktheftandlarcenyla...idelines.html].
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Old 28-07-2021, 15:53   #13
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Re: Take your keys with you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy Jack 32 View Post
...snapping the docking lines in the process....

What did he tie up with - kite string?
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Old 28-07-2021, 16:01   #14
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Re: Take your keys with you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy Jack 32 View Post
The yachtsman was presumably passing through from another state. The drifter definitely was. But assuming the drifter does jail time, local taxpayers will be billed $82,000 per year [https://www.vera.org/the-cost-of-inc...ew-york-state] for 5 to 15 years [https://www.newyorktheftandlarcenyla...idelines.html].
Happy to pay it. **** that guy.
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Old 28-07-2021, 16:08   #15
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Re: Take your keys with you!

Similar thing happened here in Kona a few years back except 40' something sailboat was in its slip. Homeless junky broke into boat, found the keys, and took it to sea with a little help from some fisherman who thought the guy was a new owner. Eventually ran it up on the lava shore next to the harbor. Boat was totaled, hull fixed enough so that it didn't sink immediately, towed to sea and sunk.
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