Boat rental theft is a serious problem and one that often goes unreported. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there were 4,240 boat thefts in the United States in 2019. This occurs when renters fail to properly secure their boats.
Many boats are stolen while docked at marinas or left unattended on beaches. Boat renters should be aware of the dangers and take precautions to avoid becoming a victim. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from boat rental theft.
Keep Your Boat in a Secure Location
The first step in preventing boat rental theft is to keep your boat in a secure location. If possible, store your boat in a garage or shed when it’s not in use. If you don’t have access to a garage or shed, try to park your boat in a well-lit area near your home or business.
Several boat security products on the market can also help deter thieves. Boat locks, alarms, and tracking devices are all effective ways to deter thieves and protect your investment. Ensure that your boat is properly registered and that you also have the proper insurance coverage.
Use a Tracking Device
A tracking device for boats can be a helpful tool in recovering a stolen boat. There are several tracking devices available on the market, so do some research to find the one that best meets your needs. These devices are designed to help you track the location of your boat if it’s stolen. It can also be helpful to have a tracking device installed on your boat if it’s ever lost during a storm or collision.
When looking for a tracking device for your boat, it’s essential to consider the features that are most important to you. Some tracking devices are designed specifically for boats, while others are designed for vehicles of all types.
Some of the key features to consider when selecting a tracking device include the following:
- The size of the device
- The range of the device
- The type of communication technology used by the device
- The durability of the device
- The price of the device
Choose a device that is small enough to be hidden on your boat, but has a long enough range to be effective. You’ll also want to consider the type of communication technology used by the device. If you plan on using the device in an area with limited cell phone coverage, choose a device that uses satellite technology.
Finally, select a device that is durable and waterproof. This is especially important if you will use the device in saltwater conditions. Remember that installing a tracking device on your boat can deter thieves, as it makes it easier for the authorities to track and recover your boat if it’s stolen.
Install an Alarm System
An alarm system is another great way to deter thieves from stealing your boat. With various alarm system choices, find the one that will work best for you through comparison research. Some alarm systems will sound an audible alarm when someone attempts to break into your boat, while others will send a text or email alert to you or the authorities.
Installing an alarm system on your boat can be a bit of a challenge, so it’s crucial to consult with a professional before you begin. A professional installer will be able to ensure that your alarm system is properly installed and working correctly. In addition to this, consider adding some visible security cameras to your property. The sight of security cameras can be enough to deter thieves from targeting your boat.
Remove Tempting Items from Your Boat
Boat thieves are often looking for easy targets, so removing tempting items from your boat can help deter them. Items such as fishing gear, life jackets, and navigational equipment should be removed from your boat and stored securely when not in use. This can help reduce the chances that your boat will be targeted by thieves.
In addition to removing tempting items from your boat, it’s also essential to take steps to secure any valuables that you leave on board. Store valuables in a locked compartment or safe when not in use. If possible, remove valuables from your boat entirely when you’re not using them.
It’s also a good idea to invest in some good quality boat covers. A well-constructed cover can deter thieves, as it makes it more difficult for them to access your boat. In addition, a cover can help protect your boat from the elements when it’s not in use.
Lock Your Boat Up Tight
Make sure all doors and windows on your boat are locked when it’s not in use. In addition, consider investing in a strong lock for the trailer hitch to further deter thieves. If you have an outboard motor, be sure to remove it from the boat and store it in a secure location when not in use. Outboard motors are often targeted by thieves, as they can be sold for a high price.
Additionally, consider engraving your boat’s hull identification number (HIN) onto all major components of your boat. This can make it more difficult for thieves to sell your boat or its parts if they’re able to steal it.
By following these simple tips, you can help prevent your boat rental business from becoming a victim of theft. Remember, keeping your boat in a secure location, using a tracking device, installing an alarm system, removing tempting items from your boat, and locking it up tight are all effective ways to deter thieves and keep your business safe.