|Protecting Trailers from Thieves: A Few Suggestions
Wayne thought he was being prudent bringing his boat home for the winter. His marina wasn't in an especially
good neighborhood and, besides, nobody would watch after his boat the way that he would. You can guess the rest. Despite Wayne's caution, he returned from work late one afternoon to an empty driveway. His boat had been stolen.
It's no wonder that trailer boat thefts appear so frequently in the BoatU.S. claim files. Imagine leaving thousands of dollars stored in large crates marked MONEY on a trailer in your driveway. An exaggeration? Maybe. But to a thief, especially a professional, a boat on a trailer is not much different than a stack of dollar bills. Simply parking a boat
in a driveway in front of your house offers little or no security. But there are a few simple tricks, shown below, that will make a boat on a trailer a much less attractive target for thieves.
- Remove the tires. This not only makes it much harder to pull the trailer, storing the tires indoors (out of the sunlight) prolongs their life and reduces the chances of a flat tire. As an added precaution against theft, be
sure to remove the hub nuts and store them with the tires.
- If practical, chain the trailer to a tree.
- If possible, store the boat in the backyard or in the garage so that it can't be seen by passers-by. If the boat
has to be stored in the driveway, don't leave the trailer hitch facing the street. Even if the hitch is locked or has been removed, professional thieves carry coupler devices that can be quickly attached to the trailer.
- Remove the trailer's license plate and, if possible, the tail lights.
- Invest in a dog, preferably one with a nasty disposition to deter strangers.
- Locks are available for props and some model out drives. Smaller outboards should be taken off and
stored in the garage.
Click on the button to receive your free guide to trailering.