How to protect your boat from theft and burglary?

19 Mar 2024 | Security

Every year, thousands of boat thefts and burglaries are reported worldwide. Beyond the boat itself, the valuable equipment onboard becomes a prime target for thieves. It is disheartening to invest time and money equipping your boat, only to see it stripped or vandalized. To counter this threat, a range of anti-theft measures exist: marine padlocks, alarms, engine locks, security locks, or anti-theft caps. This article aims to explore and recommend the most effective security devices and accessories to help you optimize the protection of your boat against theft.

1- How do thefts aboard pleasure boats occur?

Thefts aboard pleasure boats generally occur at night when darkness provides ideal cover for thieves. Electronic equipment such as navigation systems, radios, and others are favored targets, but outboard motors are also valued for their resale value.

These thefts transpire both along coastlines and inland, striking at ports and anchorages alike. Various techniques are used; thieves can arrive by sea, using a dinghy. They cut the mooring lines of boats to loot them once they are isolated.Others come prepared with vehicles and trailers, enabling them to haul off boats to secluded spots for engine theft. Additionally, thefts from warehouses or winter storage facilities aren’t uncommon, with boats on trailers being particularly vulnerable to theft with just a car needed for getaway.

Some marinas are equipped with surveillance cameras, but low public lighting can thwart any chance of obtaining clues about the thieves. A real-time alert system proves more effective and allows authorities to be quickly alerted.

2- Connectivity serving security

When talking about security devices, one often thinks of padlocks, locks, or even audible alarms. Pairing audible alarms with smart accessories offers a proactive approach to safeguarding your boat.

Devices such as anti-theft sensors for outboard motors and tenders, along with intrusion sensors and motion detectors, can be seamlessly integrated with your smartphone, ensuring immediate alerts in case of any suspicious activity.

– Outboard motor anti-theft

Outboard motors, whether thermal or electric, are prime targets for theft due to their value. Depending on their power, these engines can fetch a lot of money when resold far from where the theft occurred. Installing a Bluetooth anti-theft sensor directly on the engine enables real-time monitoring. Upon detecting a disconnection, instant alerts are sent to your smartphone, promptly notifying you of any potential theft attempt.

Discover the Seanapps anti-theft system for outboard motors

– Tender anti-theft

In regions like the Caribbean, dinghy thefts while anchored are unfortunately common. To counter this threat, a dedicated sensor can be installed on the dinghy, operating similarly to the outboard motor anti-theft system. Loss of Bluetooth connection triggers an immediate notification on your mobile device, alerting you to any unauthorized movement.

Discover the Seanapps anti-theft system for tenders

– Intrusion Sensors and Motion Detectors:

If valuable equipment is stored aboard your boat, it significantly increases the risk of a break-in by potential thieves. Door, hatch, or locker opening sensors will signal any unauthorized access. Any attempt at forced entry prompts an instant alert to your smartphone.

Additionally, motion detectors equipped with infrared technology offer an added layer of security, promptly notifying you of any suspicious presence on board. These timestamped alerts provide crucial data for law enforcement if a theft occurs.

Discover the Seanapps motion sensor

The most practical solution for the installation of your remote boat monitoring system could be Seanapps with a ready-to-install package!

3- Securing the boat, not just the equipment

Beyond merely safeguarding equipment, securing the boat itself is imperative. Despite the presence of patrols and surveillance devices, theft of pleasure boats remains a common practice in major marinas worldwide. These stolen boats often fall prey to trafficking or disassembly for spare parts.

Innovative solutions such as real-time position tracking (GPS) from Seanapps come into play. This technology detects any unauthorized movement of the boat, promptly notifying you should it stray from its predefined mooring area.

 Screenshot of Seanapps’ Position Tracking Feature

« Over the last few weeks the number of boat thefts increased significantly, mostly 28 to 32-foot boats with powerful engines.Seanapps gives our customers peace of mind by providing a real-time GPS tracking of the boat.
The geofence alerts pops up on the owner’s phone as soon as the boat has left the marina. So we can react very quickly. Besides, thanks to the built-in worldwide coverage, the boat is geolocated even if it has moved away form the island. »

Samuel Hardy

Operations manager, Yacht Management

To conclude

Investing in connected security products may seem expensive, but it can prove to be a very useful investment for protecting your boat. On a lighter note, consider the dinghy anti-theft device as an additional layer of security. In case of mooring failure, its instant alerts upon Bluetooth disconnection enable swift intervention, averting potential dinghy disappearance and ensuring a safe return to shore.

Discover Seanapps anti-theft sensors

Outboard motor
anti-theft sensor


Boat Door Sensor €79

Motion sensor €149


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *