How To Protect Your Boat From Theft

Make sure that your boat is where you left it! Here a few precautions from Admiral Marine that you can take to protect your boat from theft.


25% of all yacht insurance claims received by Admiral Boat Insurance are as a result of theft. Theft from and of dinghies is all too common. As with RIB’s ensure your dinghy is stored out of sight, off road, or in a secure dinghy park.

  • Store the dinghy only on a trolley, if left in a dinghy park. This makes it harder to tow away
  • If the dinghy is stored on a trailer at home, ensure a wheel lock is used
  • Remove all removable items from the dinghy each time you pack it away in the dinghy park. Sails, boom, and especially lifejackets, harnesses and bungs frequently disappear


Larger sailing boats and motorboats are generally kept on the water for the season, and the risk of theft is ever-present.

  • Know your boat and equipment; list serial numbers including hull and engine number
  • Keep a copy of this list at home and always remove your registration and other important documents, such as bill of sale, from the boat when you are not on board
  • Never leave valuable equipment, particularly electronic items, on view and unsecured. Mark them with some form of personal identification such as your postcode
  • Secure your boat properly and never leave a spare set of keys in the gas locker, for example
  • Consider marking your boat with an individual number, such as the registration number, in various locations, for example, etching it on the cabin windows
  • Keep a good photograph of the boat to show to your boat insurance company and the authorities, should the need ever arise
  • It is worth investing in some of the many security products such as alarms, locks, and electronic tags which are now available, to give further peace of mind


RIB’s and their engines are particularly susceptible to theft, partly because they can be more easily used by anyone, than a dinghy or boat, which needs a certain amount of expertise! Most RIBs are kept out of the water on a trailer and this makes them easy to be hooked up behind the thief’s car and towed away. All possible measures to stop this happening should be taken including:

  • Store your RIB and trailer in a safe place, off the road
  • Ensure the trailer has a wheel clamp on it
  • Try to put an obstacle between the entrance to your driveway and the RIB so it cannot be towed away
  • If the RIB is on a mooring or berth, use a sturdy chain to secure it to the berth and choose a well lit or monitored marina for your berth if possible
  • Both at sea and on land ensure that the engine is secured
  • Disable the engine by removing keys, plugs, and cables, especially if the boat is to be left for extended periods
  • Secure the engine to the boat with a locking bolt which are available from good engine stockists and chandleries
  • Remove all valuables including instruments, lifejackets etc., from the boat including from lockers, which can easily be broken into

If you are looking for a yacht insurance quote please visit our get a quote page to complete our online boat insurance quote form and our specialist team will get back to you with your bespoke insurance quotation. Alternatively, you can can contact our team who will be happy to help answer any specific questions that you may have.