Boat theft on rise over summer

The Insurance Council of New Zealand are warning boaties that the number of trailered boats stolen from yards and driveways is on the rise as summer kicks off.

Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton said “New Zealand Police are seeing on average 24 boats per month being stolen throughout New Zealand. Unfortunately, the recovery rate is only around 20%.  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” he said.

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

The Insurance Council and New Zealand Maritime Police recommend:

  • Store trailered boats 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 from the boat and all gear if the boat is stored out in the open
  • Record serial numbers and any identifying features of your boat including motors and trailers.  Unique identifying features that will not be obvious to thieves should be recorded.
  • Keep digital photographs and cell phone images.