The Fall season is quickly approaching and if you’re about to store your boat for the off-season, be sure it’s in a secure location. Many theft cases happen when the boat is ashore. Marine theft is a problem nationwide. From January to May, nearly 2,000 boats were stolen, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). In 2010, there were more than 6,660 boat theft cases. Less than half of those stolen were recovered.
Whenever you’re storing your boat, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommends obtaining a contract from the storage facility that includes an employee’s signature. Other proactive steps to follow:
- Mark it: Mark your boat and equipment with the vessel’s Hull Identification Number (HIN). A 12-character serial number helps law enforcement agencies to recover stolen boats and equipment quickly. All motorboats, with very few exceptions, must display the registration number on the forward part of the boat.
- Keep records: Place registration and title papers in a safe location other than your boat.
- Take video or photographs: Take photos or videotape your boat, equipment and HIN.
- Secure the ship: Disable the boat and remove expensive equipment when not in use. When parking a boat on its trailer, use a trailer hitch lock.