Skip to main content

Hardening Targets Page 2

We were savoring a meal of fresh mahi-mahi with new friends and soaking up the quirky backpacker atmosphere of the Caribbean beach town we planned to explore the following morning. Winterlude, our Passport 37, was anchored less than 100 yards away, just out of view. After lingering over one last rum punch, we dinghied back out to our boat in time to catch the last rays of the setting sun
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Communicate with nearby boats. If you’re going ashore, go to your nearest neighbors and tell them in person when you’ll be returning. This can be very important if you plan to be off the boat for a few hours or more.

Lock your dinghy. If you leave your dinghy at a dock, bring the ignition cord with you. Bring a handheld with you in the dinghy. Also bring a small flashlight; you may be gone longer than you had anticipated. Lock your gas can in the dinghy, and don’t run the cable or chain through anything that can be easily cut or smashed.

Our boat doesn’t have davits, so at night we hang our dinghy on the main halyard on a three-point bridle. Once the dinghy is hoisted clear of the water, we lock it to the boat. Some cruisers take their outboard off every night and lock it onto the rail; we leave ours on the dinghy, secured with a Master Bar lock. We hoist the dinghy high enough that anyone coming alongside in a small boat cannot reach it.

Don’t describe your boat. When you’re ashore, don’t give strangers (or anyone else) specific details about your vessel. You never know who might be standing next to you and listening.

Dress conservatively. This is a good rule anywhere; leave the fancy clothes, flashy jewelry, and large amounts of cash safely on the boat.

Use one credit card. We use one card exclusively when we’re cruising. If the card is lost or stolen, the notification process is relatively simple and isn’t related to any other aspect of our finances. We always take the card with us when we go ashore; we believe it’s safer than leaving it on the boat.

Internet cafs. When you go online at an Internet caf, always finish up your session by accessing the history or preference component on the computer’s browser; the location will vary depending on the browser, but it’s generally listed somewhere on top. Delete all the URLs you have used. Finally, close the browser.

Lock the companionway at night. The lock on the inside of our companionway is relatively light (our choice), so we also place a wooden dowel in the companionway hatch track. It’s similar to putting a stick in a track to make sure a sliding glass door stays in place.

Bars for hatches. We thought long and hard before we put bars on our hatches. We were reluctant to do so at first because of the danger it posed in case of fire. After our break-in, however, we had stainless-steel bars fabricated for all the hatches and designed them so we could remove them quickly from inside the boat in case of a fire.

All these precautions are easy to implement, and most are just plain common sense. Implementing them in an organized way will make it much harder for an opportunist to come by and steal important and/or valuable gear from your boat.

Related

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

Video: Celestial Navigation Pt3

. In episode three of the Practical Celestial Navigation course, Andy Howe examines the theory behind celestial navigation, the celestial triangle and the celestial sphere, and why it is important to have a basic understanding of each. Topics introduced include zenith position, ...read more

01-LEAD-6.-After-2-years-ashore,-Nada-headsto-the-water-(3)

Sailing in the Time of Covid

In mid-August 2019, my wife, Terrie, and I laid up our Malö 46, Nada, in Falmouth, England, and flew home to Maine. We booked flights back to the UK for May 2020, anticipating a summer of cruising the Atlantic coasts of France and Spain. Then Covid struck. Remember that first ...read more

Ulysse Nardin promo photo

The Ocean Race Names Official Timekeeper

With just under one year before the start of The 2022-23 Ocean Race, Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin has been named the official timekeeper of the race. The Ocean Race, formerly known as the Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race, announced ...read more

Arthur Daniel_RORC Maserati - RORC Transatlantic 2022 - Jan 15th -Social Media-4

Fast Finishes for the RORC Leaders

Over the weekend, the first finishers of the 2022 RORC Transat made landfall in Grenada, led by Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati, which was awarded line honors with a corrected time of six days, 18 hours and 51 minutes. Maserati finished ahead of Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 ...read more

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster-EP-2048

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more