Discourage Dinghy Thieves!

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2014 • all rights reserved

Make Your Rowing Dinghy Harder to Steal

Nothing can stop a really determined thief from stealing your dinghy, I’ll admit.  But you want to make it as hard as possible.  And I learned a neat trick from Denis Oudard when we were aboard Beagle Knot.

Denis and LaDonna have a Porta-Bote with no motor — Denis rows it everywhere!  But he acknowledges that it can be an attractive target when left on a beach when they’re shopping.  Often there’s nothing even to chain it to!  And some who are intrigued by it may not really be thieves, but kids who want to take it out and play with it.  While their intentions may not be malicious, you really don’t want them taking your “car.”

Denis came up with such a simple solution: he takes the oarlocks with him.

Without the oarlocks — even though the oars are in the boat — it’s going to be hard for anyone to take the boat very far.  Obviously, you want to take other security measures, but this is just a little added precaution.

I heartily recommend pulling any dinghy out of the water at night — whether you put it on deck, hanging from davits or hanging from a halyard, it only takes a few minutes.  We’ve known several people who have had dinghies in the water stolen in the middle of the night, but none who have had them out of the water (not saying it couldn’t happen but again, making it a less attractive target).

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  1. Another option I have seen for hard dingies: Cut a hole in the bottom of the dingy and install an inspection plate, say 4 or 6 inches. Then remove the plate an carry it with you while ashore.

    • Dont use the inspection hatches in an off-shore fast dinghy. The hatch shall not take the pounding. Additionally, the ‘outside’ shall be face up and the ridged supports shall be on the underside of the dinghy ready to be trashed when you drag the dinghy up the beach. It cannot be installed the other way up either otherwise you would not be able to screw-unscrew or remove it without being under the dinghy. I have read about this previously but in reality it does not work. I accept that this might work for a small, light weight, slow, hard bottomed dinghy.

  2. Like the guys idea to put a waterproof hatch in the bottom. Unscrew and take the hatch with you.

  3. Paint it orange

  4. What are oarlocks?

  5. We drilled a one inch hole in the blade of each oar. We run a wire through them and lock them to the dinghy.

  6. Susie Burall says:

    In the UK we call them rowlocks – with a short ‘o’ to rhyme with b…….!

  7. John Philip Cadwallader says:

    Rowlocks, Bollocks, learn to scull and leave 1 oar only in the dinghy.

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