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).