Yacht tender security
Many yacht buyers often wonder and worry about yacht tender security while cruising…as many stories and tales have been circulated on yacht tender theft…which is actually quite common even in the US! Any yachter should consider the fact that a flashy yacht (and her tender) are considered ‘fair game’ to folks who think that the owner can afford the loss. Some cultures may actually approve of the concept that it is okay to take from the rich. Tender engines in particular are ‘fair game’ as they are difficult to regain and provide propulsion for otherwise hard to get (and expensive) commercial fishermen. Here are some proven tips for yacht cruisers who wish to think about yacht security in general:
Tips for keeping your yacht tender from being stolen
As mentioned above, yacht tenders (defined as the small boats which larger yachts either tow or keep onboard) are certainly at risk in many areas of waters anywhere in the world. Yacht tenders are the best way to get around and have fun when docked or at anchor. One ‘pearl of advise’ where ever you cruise, is to find out from other local cruisers what the situation is with yacht security and find someone who can be trusted to look after your boat. Remember that islands are small communities where everyone knows each other and have few opportunities for cash in general – so a few bucks in the right hands can go a long way! Here are some yacht security tips to keep your tender safe:
Yacht tender security tips:
• Don’t put a name on it as it will be easy for the ‘lurkers’ to know that you are not aboard
• Get a metal stamp to imprint the engine block for easy identification. Also place a hidden, permanent stamp somewhere on the tender hull which is not easy to remove or sand off.
• When possible, dock the yacht stern to (against the dock or seawall – for boats with a stern tender lift) in order to make it hard for the tender to be ‘yanked off’. If your yacht uses a davit, lift the tender out of the water a bit (the davit cable is very hard to cut but not impossible) and/or put it onboard when not using it for a few days)
• When in the water, use a cable which is not easily cut to secure it to a heavy stainless steel fitting like a cleat or stern eye. Note that most inexpensive bicycle cables or chains are
quite easy to cut with a pair of bolt cutters.
• Put a hidden engine cut-out switch somewhere not easily found…although the truth is that most stolen tenders get towed away! It would simply frustrate the average thief if it was not easy to drive away. Don’t leave the keys in the ignition or easily found aboard!
• Install a GPS location device which is readily available for yacht tender towing and which may be able to activate remotely in order to locate the tender
• Consider the idea of not having your tender looking its best in order to deter thieves. Most island thieves don’t want the boat…they want the engine! A substitute engine cowling which is rather scratched up and conveys the idea that the engine is beat up might work. If you have a newer engine, also consider smearing some wax or soot on the lower body. Buy a replacement cowling and use it while cruising dubious waters.
• With this in mind, perhaps a brand new state of the art tender ( RIB (rigid hull inflatable) or a towed behind center console) might be substituted for an older tender which is in good condition, but not as flashy and easily replaced if stolen. Tenders are the lifeblood for fun cruising and not easy to replace in remote areas…thus tempering the vacation time.
• If your tender gets stolen…report it right away to the local police (even though they may be in on it) right away! If you have a gps position, don’t try to rescue it yourself! Provide the hidden proof as mentioned above and circulate a reward. Ensure that other cruisers know about the theft as word gets out quickly on the cruiser-net.
For more information and comments, contact Andy Kniffin CPYB at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (954) 292-0629 for assistance with all your yachting needs!