Protect your boat from thieves this season

OceanPoint Insurance is committed to giving southern New Englanders peace of mind, and reminding boat owners this fall of proactive measures they can take to protect their boats from theft.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, most watercraft vessels that are stolen are never returned.

Here are six ways to protect your boat this season:

1. Lock it up. . .tight.

Thieves are easily deterred when your vessel proves to be not worth the effort. If you have a trailer, start by locking it up and using a parking boot similar to the ones used on cars. You can take this a step further by locking any latches, and locking any windows.

2. Equip it with an alarm system.

Intruders who are greeted by a blaring sound are usually persuaded to move on to another vessel, in part, because of the unwanted attention from onlookers. Today, security systems are sophisticated enough to take full advantage of technology available in your phone. Another solution that’s easier on the wallet might be to leave a water proof radio running in the background which could be enough to dissuade thieves from jumping aboard in the first place.

3. Move the trailer in an inconvenient position.

Boat owners have every right to park the trailer in a way that is convenient for them, but that also means it’s convenient for thieves. When parking the boat, the boat’s hitch should be pointing towards the driveway. It’s important that unscrupulous individuals don’t see a hitch when they are strolling along the sidewalk, otherwise you could be inviting them to latch on their pickup trucks for an easy steal.

4. Record, record and record some more.

Law enforcement officers will have a hard time helping you if you can’t provide a detailed account of all of your belongings. You should make a log of all the valuable items within the vessel, so law enforcement officials can narrow down the list of thieves who might be looking to fence your belongings for bargain low prices at nearby pawn stores.

5. Personalize your boat in a hidden way.

Since 1972, the federal government has required that all boats manufactured or imported in the United States come with a Hull Identification Number (HIN). All states have additional requirements that may be different from one city to the next, but a precautionary measure would be to engrave the HIN in places someone wouldn’t think to look. This will come in handy if your boat has gone over a radical makeover like a new paint job.

6. Out of sight, out of mind.

Keeping your watercraft in a poorly lit area could be a contributing factor to why your boat is missing the next morning. There is debate about whether lighting could deter criminals from committing crimes, but studies have shown that without street lighting, crimes including thefts in some neighborhoods tend to go up. You can avoid the headache altogether by keeping your vessel in a secure area that is out of sight like a marina or a garage, but it’s advised that other precautionary measures are also taken into account.

For more tips on protecting your investments, speak with an OceanPoint Insurance agent by calling 401-847-5200 or visiting one of our locations.