Yacht tender security
A yacht tender is the smaller boat which often travels with ‘mama boat’. They are often the lifeblood for cruising and not easy to replace in remote areas. Many yacht buyers worry about their tender security, as many stories and tales have been circulated on yacht tender theft. This is actually quite common even in the US! Any yacht owner should consider the fact that a flashy yacht (and tender) are considered ‘fair game’ to folks who think that the owner can afford the loss. Some cultures 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 buy; and provide propulsion for local transportation and fishermen. Here are some proven tips for yacht cruisers who wish to think about keeping the tender safe.
Tips for keeping your yacht tender from being stolen
As mentioned above, (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. Thus it is important to think about your yacht tender security. One ‘pearl of advise’ where ever you cruise, is to find out from other local cruisers what the security situation is. Try to find someone trustworthy to look after your boat. Remember that islands are small communities where everyone knows each other and have few opportunities for income. 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. T/T ‘Not Home’ is the broadcast.
- Get a metal stamp to imprint on 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) 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).
- Or put the tender onboard when not using it.
- When in the water, use a cable which is not easy to cut and secure 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. However, many stolen tenders get towed away! Do not make your tender easy to steal! Don’t leave the keys in the ignition or easily found aboard!
- Install a GPS location device such as a SPOT device. These are readily available at most marine stores. Also use this device for yacht tender towing!
Make your tender useful but not pretty
- 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 beat up looking engine conveys the idea that better ones are around. 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. Flashy yacht tenders are easily noticed!
- Consider cruising with a used and older, but reliable tender, rather than a new, flashy tender. Once again, the goal is to be overlooked by thieves.
- If your tender gets stolen…report it right away to the local police right away! Don’t try to rescue it yourself even with a GPS position. Provide the hidden proof and circulate a reward. Ensure that other cruisers know about the theft. Word gets out quickly on the Coconut Telegraph especially when it comes to yacht tender security!
For more information and comments, contact Andy Kniffin CPYB at email@example.com or call (954) 292-0629