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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through April 01, 2004 » Boat Security « Previous Next »
By Ryan (mr_mutt) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 10:13 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm trying to make my boat as secure as possible in the storage facility that I have to keep it at. Does anyone have experience with boat covers/alarms combinations that are very secure? Otherwise, how have people made your equipment "quick release" so they could take it in and out. The last thing I (or anyone) want is to have my stereo gear ripped.
By NAW (ripr) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 10:57 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm interested in this also. I saw a thread on or message boards addressing this topic. But I can't find it now.
By Mike oakman (milehighrider) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 2:59 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
this winter i delt with the problem you are talking about. all the sterio equip. stolen seats slashed covers, etc. my advise would be to take it all off, i know that it take a lot of time but the other option sucks (having to replace it) also look for a storage facility that has a guard full time or camera's. just a thought!
By David P (dmpappy) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 3:28 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
My storage facility has cameras. Amps and subs got ripped this summer. Any thoughts on Alarms? Motion sensor? Would it drain the batts during the week?
By Ryan (mr_mutt) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 12:01 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
My storage place is like $80/mo for a parking space and $240/mo. for a garage to fit the boat, so...

I don't think an alarm would drain that much power from the battery, very low standby draw. But that's again only good if someone will actually respond to it. I wish someone made a two ply custom cover with cable mesh in the middle. That would be pretty cool....

By Richard B. (cws_kahuna) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 7:19 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I had the same experience this winter as Mike and David getting my stereo equipment stolen. I would suggest to take out as much of the stuff you can. Some type of alarm system sur would be cool though.
By matt (supraman) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 1:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

These systems are made specifically for boats have been advertised in a lot of the yacht mags lately. A lot of this stuff is pretty sweet. Specifically the "tripped" cover snaps and the pressure sensitve mats underneath carpeting. The cell phone auto-dialer is cool but you have to buy a phone to leave on your boat. As an alternative, the 1.2GHz transmitter can reach five miles, depending on how close you are to your stored boat.

By Rich's Rule (gunz) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 1:43 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
It really sucks that we have to make provisions for this sort of thing.A guy I know had his boat sitting in his driveway with the cover on.Someone got under it,and unscrewed each screw and took all his stereo system.Bad Deal!

I once had a car alarm that only sounded on a pager.This would be handy if you were close by,and had a baseball bat.

By Rick Curtis (rickcurtis) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 9:13 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Marine Marketing (the same company that manufacturers VoiceAlarm)has developed a product that will fulfill your boat security needs. The VoiceAlarm system ( was designed for larger vessels and we saw a need for an inexpensive, false alarm free, quality boat alarm for trailerable boats that would prevent a thief from even getting onto the boat. The result was Canvas Snap Boat Alarm. Please take a look at This product will be released soon and we would appreciate your opinions and suggestions.
By NAW (ripr) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 9:35 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
That's what I was thinking, Rick! With snap down Toneau covers on Ski boats becoming more popular, it seems like a great idea.
However, the sensors need to replace the male snaps, right?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most male snaps on ski boats installed at the factory and in the fiberglass on the deck of the boat?
How could your average joe do it themselves?

By Rick Curtis (rickcurtis) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 6:50 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
It's really easy to install the sensors. The manufacturer, or dealer, installs the snaps typically in locations where the reverse side of the fiberglass where the snap is installed is accessible. Just remove a factory male snap by unscrewing it, drill the screw hole out to 3/8", insert the sensor/processor so that you can put the retaining nut on the back and access the wires. Take a look at your boat and your will see what I mean. You can also look at the instructions at Please let me know if you have any other questions.

We are working on a low-cost, no monthly payment, GPS Locating and Notification System that should be ready in about 2 weeks. This device is very slick. Hook up only 4 wires and you can locate your boat from any telephone or internet connected computer in the world on a map or via Longitude & Latitude. If your alarm goes off, or if your boat is moved from a geographic cirle that you select you will be notified at up to three different phone numbers, fax, or email addresses.

Between our VoiceAlarm product for larger vessels and Canvas Snap Alarm for trailerable boats we are trying very hard to have a product that will meet the security requirements of every boat owner. Your input is appreciated.

By Brent Huling (captainfreedom) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 7:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Not to downplay the product, but most people that get their boats broken into have their covers knifed up. I have a sunbrella cover and that is the only way a thief is going to figure out how to get in...just like they would on a convertible. I don't have any snaps (a lot of boat covers don't), so any solutions for this?
By Jay Reese (jayreese) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 8:50 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Rick that system would work great on boats that have the console cover like my Calabria Pro-V. maybe you can design covers for boats that dont have console covers. It couldnt be that hard most consoles are the same size roughly and mine only needs four snaps to hold it in place. just a thought.....
By Rick Curtis (rickcurtis) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 9:21 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Covers that do not have snaps (elastic and cord retained covers) are easy to equip with the Canvas Snap Alarm. West Marine and Boat U.S. sell an inexpensive kit that includes male and female snaps and a tool to install them. Just install a couple of male snaps on the boat in the locations you think would be most likely for intrusion, and then install corresponding female snaps on your canvas. This would even help to retain your canvas.

According to the marine insurance industry the incident of cutting canvas is rare and typically associated with vandalism (vandalism being the cutting of the canvas) and not associated with theft of the boat, or from the boat. Most thefts occur by removing or opening the canvas. It's just as easy to pop the snap as it is to cut the canvas.

By Brent Huling (captainfreedom) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 11:33 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
This doesn't make sense. A lot of people on here that have had their boats broken into say their covers were slashed. So you have to add snaps to a cord retained cover or take the cord completely out and replace with snaps?

Either way (which neither are a good selection), a thief is going to slash the cover before they are going to figure out how to take 4 straps and a cord off in the dark and roll up the cover.

I don't get this insurance report. Look at convertible cars. How are they broken into? By slashing the roof. I think the same applies to a tight cover on a boat.

Again, not trying to downplay your product, just looking for a logical solution. Adding snaps to a custom cover that fits perfectly is not a good solution...especially when a thief most likely would not even take the snaps off. Snaps are a pain.

By Rick Curtis (rickcurtis) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 7:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm just going on what the insurer's have told us based on their claims. Look at it logically; elastic banded or draw cord covers are easy to lift and there is no noise in doing so. A thief is going to take that route over attempting to cut a hole big enough for him to climb through. Obviously thieves aren't the smartest bunch of human beings so I admit that establishing a "norm" for their actions would be difficult other than the accumulated data of marine insurers.

I don't know where you all live, but if you have insurance on trailerable boats you are lucky. In Dade County (Miami) Florida, there is a moratorium by insurers of writing insurance policies for trailerable boats. I am told there are as many as 40 thefts of the trailer and boat weekly. Recently the president of World Marine Underwriters told me that, in Miami, the worst thing you can do is to leave your boat and trailer hooked up to your car or truck because the thieves then steal all three.

By Glen (mx21) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 9:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
My buddy's boat stereo was stolen when he left it overnight in an apartment parking lot even though it was well lit and checked on peiodically. Everything was pretty well secured so the thief unscrewed everything instead of struggling with "ripping" it out. Someone in a boat with a slashed cover is pretty obvious while someone can climb under a cover and take stuff out without being noticed.
By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 3:26 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
My sub was also stolen the first night i had my boat at my house in a "nice" neighborhood.. the guy crawled under the cover and just undid the 2 wires and walked off with it.. luckily no other damage or anything else..just 150 buck for new one.. i noticed the next morning that the cover was undone on one side... when i looked in it was obvious .. so I am going to get a "Radar" alarm. like in a convertible.. so i can use it when docked.. it will chirp when someone gets close to the inside area.. and will go off if entered.. this along with having the observer seat and rear deck hatches wired with spring loaded switches in case they are opened. Good insurance to prevent wakeboards/vests/equip stolen and cheaper than replacing any one of the 3.. any comments>???
anyone have this set up and like/dislike anything about it.?

By Tom Adrian (tommyadrian5) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 6:47 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Good topic, part of my upcoming stereo purchase will involve an alarm. I'm figuring on just getting an el cheapo ebay motion activated car alarm and mounting it in my passenger seat compartment, with the motion detector drilled into the other side of the fiberglass lower section of the passenger seat. I'll turn the sensitivity way down so someone needs to be within 3 or 4 feet of the motion detector, but i think it will do the trick.

My boat (MC sportstar) has a lock on the passenger seat, so that you can't get into the passenger storage area when it is locked. Is this on all boats or just some, seems like a pretty cheap way to make it harder for someone to get at your amps.

By BR (blr) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 2:34 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
one thing to consider. i am not sure if they have cured the problem yet or not, but i had a "perimeter" alarm on my jeep a few years back. the issue i had was based on the temperature outside, the parameter would change. if it was warm out the parimeter was larger so people getting into cars 2 spots away, would trigger my alarm, when cold, i could almost get all of the way into my drivers seat before it would trigger the alarm
By Rick Curtis (rickcurtis) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 8:11 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The nature of car alarms, or any alarm system that attempts to detect motion, is that false alarms are commonplace. False alarms are absolute death to the effectiveness of an alarm system. Think of when the last time was that you even looked in the direction of a car alarm sounding in a mall parking lot. Nobody pays any attention to sounding car alarms because of the false alarms they constantly provide.

Motion detection equipment (even the highest quality) is not designed for an open, or semi-open, environment such as in a boat. They are subject to giving false alarms from temperature change, excessive heat or cold especially if the heat or cold source is isolated like when the sun heats up your dashboard more than it heats up the vertical surfaces in a car or boat. False alarms also occur from blowing paper, blowing leaves, rain, moving canvas, and the list goes on. Expensive motion sensors, no matter what they are called by the manufacturer, rely on two technologies; microwave (radar) and infrared. The best units also have a processor that tries to sort out the information that both technologies are sensing. The microwave part watches for movement and the infrared senses heat (temperature) changes. These devices have a hard time working correctly in a car and even worse time being reliable in a boat.

On a boat even one false alarm lets your neighbors and everyone else know that hearing your alarm siren doesn't mean there is really a break-in occuring. Two false alarms and no one will ever pay attention to your sounding alarm. If you are really concerned about boat theft, or theft from your boat, it is usualy worth the few extra dollars to purchase a system designed for a boat that won't be prone to false alarms.

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