Here we are, out on the water and enjoying every minute of it. We spot a Tiki Bar at a marina and decide to dock, get something to eat and have a cold non-alcoholic drink. Just like drinking and driving, alcohol and boating do not mix. It is also against the law.
Thieves are always looking for an easy target and opportunity. Prevention is the key to safety, rather it be boating safety or personal safety. Do not make yourself an easy target. Here are a few tips you can follow to help prevent your boating adventure from being a disaster.
Never leave anything in plain site, however significant or insignificant. The thief steals first and thinks about value later.
If you have to leave anything on deck or in the cockpit, fasten it down. Thieves do not want a challenge. They want to grab what they can and take off. Never leave the key in the ignition. Even if you will be away from your boat for a short while, always lock your boat up. Use strong padlocks or rim locks on all entry points and cockpit lockers. Put an alarm on your boat and make sure that you put a sign in clear sight stating your boat has an alarm.
Keep a toolbox on board just in case there is something that needs tightening. Before you go ashore, check your boat and make sure everything is locked up and secured. If you keep money on the boat, store it away from other valuables. Keep the curtains closed so that no one can look inside and scope out your boat. Keep unused ropes and fenders out of sight and locked up. Make sure that your life raft and motor (outboard) are secure. These items are very valuable to boat thieves.
If you go to shore on a dinghy, remove your oars or paddles, rowlocks or pump, and secure the dinghy with a chain and padlock.
If you are a victim of a boat theft or suspect that your boat has been vandalized, call the police and inform the harbour master or manager of the boatyard. Do not attempt to go back on the water until you make sure that your boat is seaworthy. Check to see if other boats in the area have been vandalized as well. Get to know other boat owners in the marina and work together. Keep an eye on other boats, as well as your own.
Report anything unusual or any strangers hanging around the marina. Do not let anyone in the marina that you do not know. Always keep the gate to the marina closed.
Following these simple safety tips can make for a happy and safe boat outing. Most importantly, personal safety is key when out on the water.
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