General Boating

9 Boat Safety Tips to Protect the Sailing or Motor-Driven Boat from Theft

Thefts and burglaries are on the increase in marinas and ports across Europe and North America. While most boat owners will reply on the protection offered by an insurance policy, there are several different steps that can be taken to help secure a vessel.

Boat Marina
A boat by nature is left unattended for extended periods of time; in a marine or home-port, whilst on day trips touring or cruising, or for months throughout the winter lay-up period. These extensive breaks give the would-be thief a tempting target. In a lot of cases, a boat might well be easier prey than a top of the range motor vehicle.

High-end electronics

Thieves often aim for the easiest target and are attracted by high-end electronics and communication systems. They are quite easy to remove and as these items are manufactured in high numbers, it is often easy to sell them on without too much risk. Ask at a particular yacht club or harbor to evaluate the potential risks in the local area. You might also be able to get information from an insurance company as they often hold data on problem areas.

Here are nine tips to safeguard the boat:

  1. Start by checking the insurance documents to establish the degree of coverage for theft of equipment onboard whilst laid up. If enough coverage isn’t in place, contact the insurance company to see what can be done. Read the policy carefully to understand what needs to be done to guarantee coverage is in place. If the insurance requirements aren’t met, the policy could effectively be worthless.
  2. Maintain a record of the serial numbers or identification codes to help identify a specific piece of equipment if unfortunate to suffer a loss. This record keeping applies mostly to the electronic equipment, outboard motor, and hull identification number (HIN).
  3. Along with the recorded serial numbers, it is also best to hold on to receipts for the items of equipment purchased and left on-board. These receipts might well be required by an insurance company if planning to make a theft claim.
  4. Use invisible pens to mark the expensive or portable items of equipment – these pens are great to put a specific mark or name and address on high-cost pieces of equipment. The writing would be invisible to the naked eye, but will show up under a UV light. Maintain a record of what’s marked and where. Marker pens of this nature can be found through police departments, security stores or insurance companies.
  5. A simple precaution to take is to ensure valuable items are kept out-of-sight from anyone outside the vessel. Make sure a boat is kept locked, use a padlock and chain if necessary.
  6. If possible remove the high-value or portable items of equipment from the vessel if left unattended for a period of time – for instance throughout the winter lay-up period. Hire a locker inside the club house or marina.
  7. Take photographs of the boat, parts, and equipment, such as the hull, interiors, rigging, deck, and valuable or easily removable pieces. All this information helps in the event of a loss.
  8. Install a high-quality alarm system, especially for the high-value vessel. Cameras, alarm systems, and lights can be great deterrents to thieves. Use stickers to indicate the presence of a security system. Fake cameras can be used as a cost-effective alternative to the real thing.
  9. If equipment is discovered to have gone missing, a first step should be to contact the police and then to contact the insurance company with all relevant details, including serial numbers and photo’s where applicable.
Boat Maintenance & Organization

6 Quick Tips for Boat Care & Maintenance

A well-maintained fiberglass boat has the potential to offer many years of boating, pleasure, and fun.

Motor Yacht

While a fiberglass boat doesn’t require an extensive amount of maintenance, it can still benefit from a practical repair schedule. Issues with a fiberglass boat include repainting the hull, repairing any cracks, or giving a good clean and polish. Proper maintenance is certain to keep the boat operating issue free for that much longer.

Below are six steps to maintain the aesthetics, performance, and safety of the fiberglass boat:


Get organized by writing out a maintenance schedule to ensure the work on the boat is completed on a consistent basis. A separate calendar for boat cleaning can itemize the best times to check parts for failure or wear, apply fresh paint, give a general clean, or prepare for winter lay-up.

Good wash

Giving the fiberglass boat a good wash is certain to help maintain the attractive appearance and avoid the buildup of salt, stains, and dirt. A periodic washing schedule is essential for not only keeping a clean hull and deck, but also makes it easier to notice other maintenance work. Only use the made for purpose cleaning solutions when washing the fiberglass hull and avoid heavy abrasives.

1 – Fresh water rinse

After using the boat in a saltwater environment give it a complete wash down using clean, fresh-water to help with removing all signs of salt residue. Also, make sure to clean the outboard engine (if applicable). A build up of salt residue can soon start eating away at the finish of the boat.

2 – Superstructure (clean)

Give the entire area of the deck (superstructure) a complete wash with a high-quality marine soap, warm water, and soft sponge. This should include washing and rinsing the windshield, deck boxes, vinyl seats, etc.

3 – Scrub the Deck

Scrub down the hull, deck, fixture and fittings using a pH-balanced and biodegradable that is especially intended for marine applications. A medium stiffness deck brush is likely to give the desired results. Avoid the brush with stiff bristle as this could potentially damage the boat’s finish.

4 – Superstructure (dry)

After the superstructure is fully cleaned make sure to thoroughly dry the surfaces using a dry, soft cloth.

5 – Windows and upholstery

Give the windows a sparkling shine using a home solution of water and vinegar or a more typical commercial cleaning product. Also, give the upholstery a good coating of a commercial vinyl solution to ensure the boat and equipment is well-maintained at all times.

6 – Polish and protect

A high-quality polish can help to protect the surface of the fiberglass hull once it has been given a good wash. A quality wax benefits the fiberglass material by providing a hard shell and a great shine. This protective layer will help to minimize the signs of color fading or discoloring after long-term exposure to the salt water. Use the right equipment when polishing to avoid scratching or digging into the surface of the hull.


Any small cracks identified in the fiberglass material should be repaired as soon as possible. A fiberglass hull is most susceptible to cracks if likely to launch and recover from the beach or sailing in rough waters. A minor crack that isn’t fixed immediately can soon turn into a significant crack in a short time-frame. Any reliable fiberglass repair kit should be able to help with repairing these small cracks.


A yearly inspection or replacement of the pump is essential for the fiberglass boats. A low performing pump can mean the water that trickles in isn’t pumped out. A boat used every year can benefit from having the pump replaced yearly. This is a quite simple job and can be completed with a few basic tools.


If planning to work with fiberglass it helps to utilize the proper personal safety gear to avoid inhaling the potentially toxic fumes. Safety equipment to wear when working with fiberglass (repairing cracks, cleaning the hull, prep work for painting, etc.) includes full body protection suits, goggles, gloves, and respirator. This should make sure the toxic particles in the air aren’t breathed in when working on the boat.