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Boat security

In light of a recent report of a narrowboat being stolen, I was wondering if there are additional engine security devices similar to those fitted to cars, for example, immobilisers that would prevent a boats engine being started without a transponder fob. We are yet to buy our boat but if seems me that this most basic of security features is overlooked. Maybe it will be a case of buying an immobiliser unit intended for use in cars and adapting it to suit.

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | 2.05pm, Thursday 21 July


WW says:

Most diesel engine security systems rely on shutting off the fuel solenoid on the injection pump. This is quite easy to bypass if the engine is accessible which it is on most boats especially cruiser and semi-trad narrowboats. So any engine security system relies on locking the engine covers. Systems seen usually have a sliding catch under the rear steps which engages with a tab on the hinged engine cover.

Rupert Smedley  | 7.20PM, Thursday 21 July

The instances of narrowboats being stolen are relatively few and they are invariably recovered within a short space of time.
Another way to keep tabs on your boat is to fit a GPS transponder system often fitted to yachts; when activated it will send a text message with the boats location to your phone.

Rupert Smedley  | 9.45PM, Thursday 21 July

In view of the two recent incidents of boats being taken from their moorings - one still missing - a immobiliser or GPS tracker seems an increasingly good idea.

Graham Booth  | 2.23PM, Tuesday 2 August


Readers say:

Thank you for your replies. I appreciate that boats being stolen is rare, but if the boat is your home you want to know every precaution has been taken to minimise the risk, and fitting something that would prevent the engine from being started seems an obvious choice, amongst an armoury of other measures. I guess it's a case of presenting a would-be thief with enough problems for them to make off with the boat, that they give up and move onto an easier target.

Raymond Fowler  | 9.59PM, Thursday 21 July

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