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Sketchbook: Securing the Tender

Rowing a hard tender rather than motoring an inflatable means we don’t need to carry stealable items like a pump, repair kit, tools, motor and fuel tank.

A.Rowing a hard tender rather than motoring an inflatable means we don’t need to carry stealable items like a pump, repair kit, tools, motor and fuel tank. A name in large letters and an odd color scheme helps to deter thieves, but avoid T/T (tender to) in the name, as it shows the mother ship is unoccupied.

B.An inflatable with an ugly cover over the tubes and the outboard keeps the tropical sun off and makes it look less desirable.

C.Gear can be locked together with a thin wire strop.

D.Unsecured rowlocks get “borrowed”—captive ones don’t!

E.Closed oarlocks with “buttons” can be locked to the boat.

F.You can also make a bracket to fix them to the thwart.

G.A slide-in lockable box will trap the oars and protect all the items it contains.

H.An inflatable is very vulnerable, so this locked box is bolted to the transom.

I.Outboard locks help, and a metal-topped transom is harder to saw through, deterring outboard thieves.

J.This secure long box lets the oars slide in and creates a forward rowing position.


K.A bag conceals gear and equipment from prying eyes. This one is encased in a steel mesh wire cage that backpackers use.

L.A simple fabric seat holdall will at least keep bits and pieces out of sight.

M.If nothing else, hide some of your gear under the dinghy and make a show of strength by securing it. or, in the Caribbean, pay a small fee to the local boat boys to keep an eye on her.

Dick Everitt has sailed thousands of miles in various parts of the world. He has been an illustrator, journalist and engineer for more than 40 years

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