LockLatch’s design was first thought of by Anthony Bairos, an avid sailor and founder of Locklatch, while he was sailing off the Brazilian coast. So it’s safe to say, like all boating enthusiasts, we know exactly how important it is to have peace of mind when it comes to ventilation, storage and marina security. No matter the kind of boat you own, we’ve put together this: how to keep your boat safe and secure guide, to protect your pride and joy.
Parked or Dry Docked.
Statistics show that most boat thefts occur when your boat is on its trailer. Making your boat immobile when it’s parked is one of the easiest deterrents you have in protecting your investment. If you have to keep your boat on your boat trailer, clamping the tyres and securely chaining your trailer will ensure the least amount of security risk.
No matter how safe the harbour is, stay vigilant.
Avoid leaving your boat keys around and in sight to prying eyes. It is also recommended that you install an alarm and tracking systems for added security. The alarm is a deterrent and a tracker, if you’re unlucky enough to have a boat stolen, will help you and the authorities track and reclaim it.
Do you have more than one boat?
If your boat has an additional dinghy, it’s safer to store it chained to your primary boat with a secure cable.
Make your RIBs harder to steal!
Because rubber ducks are normally kept on trailers and out of the water, they become easy targets for thieves looking to hook up some loot and tow it away. Ensuring your boat trailer has a wheel lock and disabling the engine of your RIB when it is parked in the water will go a long way to securing your boat.
The Marina you choose, counts!
In the busier cities, where you have more choice, choosing where to harbour your boat can make a big difference to security and peace of mind. A marina that is well lit and offers full-time security will help you protect your boat. Additionally, always check in with harbour staff and employees when you’re back from a trip:
The sooner an employee notices your boat is missing and maybe stolen, the quicker they can report it and the more likely it will be that you will find your stolen boat. It’s not only valuables and the boat itself that you have to worry about.
Siphoning of fuel is a big concern for boat owners! Protect this valuable commodity for opportunist thieves by making sure the fuel cap you have fitted is able to lock for added security.
Keep your boat well ventilated without maximising risk.
One of the biggest security risks when your boat is harboured is petty theft. Leaving windows closed for hours and sometimes days on end means you’re welcomed by a stuffy hot cabin and leaving them open is an invitation to criminals to take what they want. Using security measures such as LockLatch, which fits windows and doors of all shapes and sizes, allows you to keep the fresh air in, and unwanted guests out. This is indeed how and why LockLatch was invented.
LockLatch to Increase Boat Security and ventilation
Beef up your boat security system beyond wireless alarm systems. Both equally important for ventilation and security, don’t leave port without your faithful LockLatch – a perfect boat accessory. This will allow you to keep windows and hatches open, but locked. Which means if you’re docking somewhere where you are unsure of the security, you will be able to leave your boat unattended without having to lock everything up.
Lock up your valuables.
If you’re leaving your boat unattended, parked or in a marina, for extended periods of time it’s suggested that you take all valuables, from fishing gear to electronics, with you. For shorter periods, where removing equipment is not convenient, install secure cupboards to store these valuables. It is also recommended to keep an up-to-date inventory of these items so that if you’re unfortunate enough to have a theft, you know exactly what has been taken in a timely fashion. This makes it much easier for insurance claims and for authorities to track.
Secure your dinghy!
It is reported that one quarter of all boat insurance claims are from stolen dinghies. This is because these smaller, easier to maneuver boats are much easier targets. To help secure your dinghy: keep trailer wheels clamped, keep it stored out of sight when parked at home and make sure you remove all removable items such as life jackets and booms when leaving your boat unattended.
Remember to always have these items handy
Below you will find a useful list with some essential boat safety items, while there are many more types of security and safety equipment available this list will give you an idea of what you absolutely can’t do without.
Your Tool Kit
If your boat doesn’t have a designated tool kit or box, get one! It’s important to always have the basic tools – screwdrivers, duct tape, wrenches, spark plug removers, a knife, a spare prop and prop wrench, and some pliers with you at all times. Quite often we share tools with our home toolboxes, which means there is a chance that we could set sail without them. Which may leave us stranded if something goes wrong, such as hitting a rock or submerged log with your boat on the open water.
Cable ties are a must-have boating accessory. These trusty ties are a sailor’s best friend and can be used to get you out of a multitude of sticky situations or when equipment breaks – such as securing reels to rods if they break off for any reason.
Additional radio and backup power
With any technology that you rely on in emergency situations it pays to have contingencies in place in case your primary fails. This is especially true when it comes to your VHF radio. This important piece of technology can mean the difference between safety and disaster in an emergency. It is important to have an additional radio in a secure location in case the first one is damaged or lost.
Batteries fail and malfunctions happen, which means you should always have an alternative to your GPS and electronic navigational systems. A hand-held compass is definitely one of your must-have boating accessories and you shouldn’t set sail without it.
A Fire Extinguisher
Fire on a boat spells disaster, and having the right – working – fire extinguisher is a must. The most common fires on a boat are either electrical (Type C) or fuel/oil (Type B) fires, which means you should invest in a good quality Co2 extinguisher to ensure boat safety. If you already have one, don’t forget to have it professionally checked and tested at the start of a new boating season.
And lots of them! If you’re unlucky enough to be out on the water and experience engine failure, fast-drying blankets as part of your boat gear arsenal will be your saving grace. Temperatures can drop quite quickly overnight, and being prepared is key! Opt for lighter, synthetic material blankets that are easier to store and get dry quickly if they get wet.
Waterproof Case and Bags
For phones, equipment and documents – waterproof cases and bags that float are super important. You never know when your boat will take on water or worse case capsize, which makes waterproof boxes one of the top boating accessories.
Top life jackets and get a few of them
Boat safety 101 is ensuring you have enough life jackets on board for everyone on the boat, and you need to make sure that they are properly worn at all times. Life jackets come in a wide variety of styles and quality and while it is important to find a high quality set, the truth is that any life jacket is better than no life jacket. If you have inexperienced adults or children on board you should take the time to help them properly put on and secure their life jackets.
In an emergency situation on a boat a torch is about more than just seeing in the dark. It can be a great way to signal anyone searching for you in the water. However, if you want an effective emergency torch it needs to be waterproof so that it still works if the boat capsizes. Many emergency torches come with special features such as flashing light settings to better signal for help. These advanced features are definitely worth spending a bit extra for, as they can make all the difference when it matters most.
SECURE YOUR BOAT WITH LOCKLATCH TODAY
While there are many ways to secure your boat and improve the safety of yourself and your passengers, one device stands out as a cost effective, easy to install and truly versatile solution (which was originally designed for use on boats). LockLatch is able to secure all openings on your boat from hatches to cabin doors, and allows them to be locked in the open position to stimulate airflow when you so desire.
If you’re looking for more security and safety tips, read more on our blog. Have burglary security tips of your own? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or contact us via email at [email protected] or call Steve on +27 82 447 2809.