Boats and trailers parked in the yard or driveway can be sitting ducks for thieves, especially when you position the vessel for a quick, convenient getaway of your own.
Think about it: While you’re away from home, what’s to keep a thief from backing up, hooking your trailer to his own hitch, and driving off?
The key to hampering a thief is to slow him down. That’s why it’s a good idea to store your boat in a locked garage, fenced yard, or rented storage area.
If you don’t have access to secured storage, try the next-best thing:
- Anchor the trailer to a f ixed object with heavy chain or cable and a padlock.
- Position the trailer where it can’t easily be seen, such as in the backyard or behind the garage.
- Turn the hitch toward the garage or house if you can so the trailer must be turned around before it can be towed.
- Block access to the trailer with your car or some other large object.
Personal belongings and equipment onboard your boat also are attractive to thieves. Always padlock outboard motors to the boat and unload fishing tackle, water skis, and all other possessions after each outing.
Since many thefts occur at night, you may want to hook up a yard light above your boat. If you’re gone overnight, connect an automatic timer that shuts off the light in the morning. Lights that go on and off at normal times are one of the best ways to give your house a lived-in look – and to keep you from being sunk by a boat thief.