Avoiding Boat Theft: What To Do And What Not To Do

Avoiding Boat Theft: What To Do And What Not To Do
Boat theft is a far more common crime than most boat owners probably realize, with around 1% of all personal watercraft eventually getting stolen. That may sound small, but it’s a far greater risk than with most other of your other valuable possessions, and it’s one of many reasons to invest in boat insurance.
Flagler County, FL, residents surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and such inland waters as Lake George, Crescent Lake, and the St. John’s River on the other side are likely to use their boats frequently, increasing the chances of a theft if they don’t take proper precautions.

What To DO To Avoid Boat Theft
Here are some recommended protocols to help minimize the chances of your boat or other watercraft being stolen:

  • Do lock up your outboard motor and props, not just the boat and trailer. And invest in sturdy, hard-steel locks that won’t be easily manhandled.
  • Do store your boat and boating equipment at home or at your vacation home rather than at a public dock or other location you may have leased.
  • Do keep security lights on if your boat is stored in your driveway or anyway besides a garage or sealed off location where the lights wouldn’t be seen anyway.
  • Do invest in a fuel cutoff or electrical cutoff device to discourage anyone from taking off in your boat when you are away for a few minutes.
  • Do install a boat alarm system (they can be had fairly cheaply), remember to turn it on, and put a anti-theft alarm warning sticker in a conspicuous spot on your boat.

What NOT To Do To Avoid Boat Theft
Here are some things to avoid doing so as not to make your boat an easy target for would-be thieves:

  • If you store your boat on-trailer, don’t park that trailer near a public road and in plain sight. If you can’t avoid parking it in your driveway, don’t have the hitch facing the road.
  • Don’t just take out the trailer’s coupler and lock the hitch and think all is well. Many thieves will have coupler devices. You need to chain the trailer to a tree/post or even remove a tire, the license plates, or the signal lights.
  • Don’t store boat keys in the cockpit locker. That’s exactly where boat thieves always look for them.
  • If selling your boat, advertise in some other way than with a FOR SALE sign on the boat itself. That gives would-be boat thieves a seemingly legitimate reason to stop and inspect the boat, to see if they can get away with stealing it.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Finally, if despite all your best efforts your boat does get stolen (or accidentally damaged), you don’t want it to be a total loss. So you invest in boat insurance, but what will boat insurance cover? Typically, it includes damage coverage for your boat, motor, and trailer, along with personal liability and personal injury coverage. Jet ski insurance will also often include: dock damage coverage, towing assistance, damage to other watercraft, and damage caused by a negligent friend to whom you lent the ski.

To learn more about boat insurance and boat safety and security, especially as it applies in the state of Florida, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency.