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As a narrowboat owner, the worry of vandals and thieves may be on your mind. Boats are expensive and often many people’s pride and joy. Following these safety tips may help to give you peace of mind…

1: Windows and doors

One thing you should always remember is to lock all windows and doors when leaving a vessel unattended. Using additional bars, padlocks and fastenings will also act as a deterrent to anyone considering breaking in. If your openings are not that strong, upgrading to solid timber may be worthwhile. The main entrances are likely to be the first place a person would try when attempting to get onboard, so be sure to to take the necessary precautions.

2: Boat exterior

Utilising the exterior is a common practice to make use of space and extend the amount of room on board. Many boaters do this, but it’s important to consider what is on show and easily accessible to passers-by. When away from the boat, it may be a good idea to close curtains, so your belongings aren’t in view of those walking past.

A roof box can be great to maximise space and store belongings, although you should be cautious with what you put in the box. Valuables should be stored inside, or if you don’t permanently live onboard then taking personal items home is a good idea for complete peace of mind.

3: Alarm and wireless security systems

With technology constantly improving, there are now many ways to protect your boat electronically from theft. Alarm systems, security lights and CCTV are great ways to ensure your belongings stay safe.

If you often leave your boat unattended or secure it away from your home, then a GPS tracker and a smart boat monitoring system can be a fantastic investment. These will allow you to monitor your boat from your home, or anywhere for that matter – connection permitting. They can also send alerts directly to your phone or to the police if your boat is moved without permission. Engine immobilisers are also very effective at stopping thieves, as they physically prevent the engine from starting. Although some of these systems may be expensive, the benefits may outweigh the cost.

4: Important documents

Leaving important documents and registration sheets on board unattended makes it easier for someone to steal important information, and then potentially sell on the boat under false pretences. Keep these in a safe place, away from wandering eyes, both when onboard and off the boat.

Digital organiser MyBoat is a great solution that allows you to store all of your boating documentation digitally, meaning you don’t need to worry about storing paper files. You can easily log on and find the document you need. Not to mention that GJW Direct customers also receive amazing marine discounts when signed up to MyBoat: find out more.

5: Locking fuel cap

Recently, fuel prices have dramatically increased, so theft in this area is rife. By fitting a lock to your fuel cap, it will help to lower the chances of this happening to you. This will act as a deterrent, making it more difficult to steal, so people are less likely to attempt to.

6: Insurance

One thing all boat owners should have is insurance. GJW Direct offers comprehensive cover to put boaters at ease, including Theft and Contents Cover. This means that should you be unfortunate enough to have unwanted visitors or suffer theft, GJW Direct will pay the reasonable cost of repair or replacement for loss or damage to contents in the vessel. Not to mention that GJW Direct’s Narrowboat Insurance includes many useful features such as 0% Finance and RCR Cover. You can download our Narrowboat Insurance Policy Document for full details of our cover.