You wouldn’t think that a luxury yacht could be stolen, would you? It can happen, though. As a yacht owner, you need to protect the yacht itself in addition to everything valuable aboard. Thieves might not be able to think of how they’d hide a 60-foot-or-larger ocean vessel, but those same crooks would certainty know what to do with the jet skis, personal electronics and other costly items they might find.
The heist of the Change in Latitude yacht from its berth in Dania Beach, Florida, back in 2015 stands as proof that a yacht can, in fact, get stolen. Ultimately, the $700,000 Ocean Alexander Pilothouse yacht was recovered. Yet clearly, you wouldn’t want anyone to as much as “borrow” your yacht or any attendant possessions, particularly given any damage that might be done. Here are five tips for protecting your yacht.
1. Dock your yacht securely
The majority of luxury yachts are moored at marinas. Just any marina, though, won’t do. Make sure that the marina is well lit and has 24/7 security staff.
Also, marina staff should be flexible enough to let you get them up to speed on how you use your yacht. This will make easy for them to detect any activities that are out of the ordinary. One useful approach to assuring safe dockage is to sign on with a yacht management company, which can also handle insurance needs, crew management and much more.
2. Safeguard the engine and personal watercraft
Engines and personal watercraft can themselves be tempting targets for theft. Buy locks especially designed for engines. If you have a tender, jet ski and/or other personal watercraft, get them hauled out of the ocean and on to the deck if at all possible whenever your yacht will be unattended. These smaller craft are much more likely to be purloined than their larger counterparts, statistics show.
If you must leave your small craft in the water for any reason, lock them to the yacht. It’s also a good idea to get your tender or other personal watercraft painted in an unusual and striking color or pattern. That way, it will be less attractive to crooks because it will be so easily identifiable.
3. Protect your smaller valuables
It’s best to take smaller valuables such as computer tablets, digital cameras and other personal electronics items with you when you leave the ship. If you do keep them aboard, stash them in locked cabinets, drawers or lockers within the cabin, and be sure to lock the cabin.
Put up blinds or curtains as cabin window coverings. Yacht solar shades are a great way to establish privacy while maintaining your view and keeping the heat out while you’re aboard the ship. You can see through the shading mesh from inside, but no one on the outside can see in. Some solar blinds are made of mesh and fasteners especially designed to deal with marine conditions like salt water and strong winds.
4. Be extra careful of your keys
Keep the keys to your engine and your vessel separate, so that if you ever lose a key ring, a would-be thief won’t have access to all the keys.
Be sure to take your ignition key with you any time you turn off the motor. After docking the vehicle, make sure you haven’t left any keys on the boat. Keep copies of both sets of keys in a secure location onshore. As common sense would dictate, replace the locks ASAP if keys ever do go astray.
5. Install an on-board security system
Install an on-board security system complete with alarms, motion detectors and lights. A security camera system is a must, too. Outdoor security camera systems are essential for keep a watchful eye on your property, whether that’s your luxury yacht or your home. After all, the thieves who stole the Change in Latitude got nabbed because of surveillance video which proved their misdeed. Look for a system that offers IP66 weatherproof ratings for wet weather and other outdoor conditions.