Every year, between 1000 and 1300 outboard motors are reported stolen in Germany. This is shown by statistics from the Competence Center "Boat Crime" at the Constance Water Police. Often it is not made very difficult for the thieves. Here are a few tips on how to better protect property from theft.
Engraving and registration of outboard engines The yacht insurance specialist Pantaenius has organized an engraving campaign together with the Flensburg water police. This involves marking and registering outboard motors and other boating accessories with an engraved number. If the accessories are stolen and found, all parts can be clearly assigned. It turned out that this action had a preventive character, because the engraving action got around in thief circles and these leave more often the fingers of marked articles. Nevertheless, owners should not rely solely on the deterrent effect of the engraving.
Secure small outboard motors with good locks To ensure insurance coverage, securing small outboard motors (up to 45 hp) that are attached to the transom with toggle bolts with a U-lock is sufficient. However, the plastic or aluminum wings on the bolts or even the U-lock can be relatively easily cracked with a bolt cutter or ice spray.
To make theft much more difficult, the motor should be secured with a cap lock. This is made of high-strength stainless steel and encloses the entire wing nut. Alternatively, a rail lock that goes over both toggle screws is also suitable. Picking such locks requires crude burglary tools and time. However, thieves usually give up after about 20 minutes if they don't reach their target.
Securing a large outboard motor against theft Large outboard motors that are permanently bolted to the vessel inherently offer better theft protection. The through bolts usually lead to the interior of the vessel, so the thief must first break into the boat to open the bolts. To open the lock nuts, the thief would also need a partner. Additional protection is provided by locking bolts that can only be opened with individual tools. This is usually enough to deter a thief.
Electronic theft protection for outboard motors In addition to mechanical solutions, there are also electronic solutions against theft. For example, an acoustic alarm system can be installed or a GPS-based tracking system. However, the latter hardly offers protection against the theft itself, it is only helpful in tracking down the stolen item. For this reason, good mechanical protection systems should never be dispensed with in order to prevent theft as far as possible.