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Marine Security Advice - Project Storm

Having spent a lot of money buying and maintaining a boat or other form of marine craft, the last thing you want is to be a victim of crime.

Thieves are attracted to all kinds of things at marinas and sailing clubs –outboard motors, life rafts, electronic/GPS equipment – in fact, they’ll steal anything that takes their fancy – radios, mobile phones, laptops, fishing tackle, personal items and even the boat itself.

That’s why it is so important to make sure that your craft is secured along with the equipment onboard. Follow the advice outlined in this leaflet and you will go a long way towards keeping it secure from thieves.

Don’t consider each of the measures in isolation, as we recommend using a combination of physical and technical security together to keep your possessions safe.

When thinking of Marine Security always think STORM

  • Security – physical security measures
  • Track – property marking & tracking systems
  • Observe – keep an eye on your marina / sailing club
  • Report suspicious activity
  • Monitor at all times – CCTV and alarms

Read on for further advice...


Security (physical security measures)

Make sure your cockpit lockers are properly locked and keep unused ropes, fenders and other items out of sight. Check that your main hatch and fore-hatch are locked with a Secured by Design (SBD) approved padlock. Think about having a small SBD approved safe or security cabinet onboard to store small valuable items. If your boat is stored on a trailer, take extra steps to make sure that it’s secure. At the very least you should have a SBD approved wheel clamp, hitch lock and ground anchor system.

Track (property marking & tracking systems)

Security marking your outboard and electronic equipment using a Secured by Design recognised forensic asset marking or etching kit is a highly effective, visible deterrent to thieves and an established method of reducing theft. Keep a record of serial numbers on valuables like your radio, navigation equipment or outboard motor, chassis and model numbers for trailers and take note of any custom marks on the trailer or boat. Keep a copy of the list at home and on your boat. Take colour photographs from several angles and additionally take a video with a smartphone.

Fit a Tracking system – consider using a tracking system on your boat or yacht and especially your outboard engine to increase the chances of recovery. They activate once the vessel or outboard is stolen and alert the tracking company who use GPS systems and other communication technologies to locate the stolen property in the UK and importantly overseas. SBD have several members which specialise in this area and can advise on the best system for you.

Observe (keep an eye on your marina / sailing club)

Most marinas have on-site CCTV and restrict access to the site, however, you still need to look out for each other and be a good neighbour. Get to know other boat owners in your marina and work together to keep the marina secure.
Keep an eye on other boats, as well as your own. Always keep the marina gate closed. Don’t give your marina access card or key to other people. Never tell anyone else the access code to the marina. Don’t let strangers into the marina, however genuine they may seem.

Report suspicious activity

Report any strangers at the marina to the harbour master or yard master. Be vigilant at all times in and around the water and report anything suspicious to the Police. Use the 101 facility for passing information or 999 in an emergency.

Monitor at all times (CCTV and alarms)

It’s a good idea to fit an alarm and use a visible sticker to say that one is installed. If you don’t have mains power, consider using a battery-operated GSM mobile alert system and camera which can alert you to anything suspicious or if the main hatch has been opened.
If you have pontoon facilities and Wi-Fi technology there are systems which can be linked to your phone and tablet to alert you to any activation, allowing you to view your boat or yacht in real time.
For further information about alarms visit our SBD Alarm Advice page.

CCTV can be a deterrent and help protect your boat or yacht. Click the button below to find out more:

Police Preferred Specification Products for Vehicle Security