Boat thieves are getting busy

This Bluefin 6.2m alloy runabout with a blue hull and grey plastic upholstery was stolen from Auckland on December 8. It was powered by 2012 Evinrude 115hp coloured white. Silverdale Marine was written on top of the engine at the back.

Increasing numbers of trailer boats are being stolen from yards and driveways as summer kicks off, warns the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

“New Zealand Police are seeing on average 24 boats per month being stolen throughout New Zealand,” says Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton.

“Unfortunately, the recovery rate is only around 20 per cent. This is partly due to the non-recording of both serial numbers and identifying features of boats, trailers and outboard motors by their owners.

“Thieves will often disguise a stolen boat by repainting and renaming it and swapping trailers and motors, so hidden unique identifiers are important, for example a splash of paint under the seats.”

A significant number of trailered boats are stolen from residential front yards and driveways.

The Insurance Council and New Zealand Maritime Police are recommending boats on trailers are stored out of view from the road and driveway.

Chain and lock boat trailers to an immoveable object such as house foundations or a concrete-set steel ring.

Use boat trailer wheel clamps. Use purpose-security locks for the outboard motor. Outboard motors, particularly the newer models are frequently stolen regardless of how heavy they are.

Remove auxiliary motors and all gear from the boat if it is stored out in the open.

Record serial numbers and any identifying features including motors and trailers. Unique identifying features that will not be obvious to thieves should be recorded. Keep digital photographs and cell phone images.



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Early morning lift-off for Humpty Dumpty at Memorial Park. Photo: Lynly Whitaker.

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