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Old 04-22-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
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Securing a dinghy at a public wharf

Does the collective wisdom have any ideas on how best to secure an RIB dinghy, with outboard motor bolted on, when left at a public wharf. My thoughts are that stainless wire is better than chain; that the restraint needs to be portable enough to be carried conveniently in the dinghy; and probably should also secure the outboard and, also, should not impede/inconvenience other users of the wharf. My only thoughts, so far, have revolved around a S/S wire secured to the motor (probably, via something like a wire bicycle lock) then threaded through various hand holds and finally through the towing ring at the base of the "stem". The connection to the shore would probably have to involve another bicycle lock. However, that all seems very messy and probably not really secure. Is there a better way?
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:30 PM   #2
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I made up 15-20' of SS cable with nicopress eyes on each end. I loop one end through the lift handle on the outboard motor and then up along the dinghy and through the molded rubber lift handle. I then loop it through a cleat on the dock and lock it with a padlock. You could also drill a hole through the transom and feed it through there, for even better security.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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I made up 15-20' of SS cable with nicopress eyes on each end. I loop one end through the lift handle on the outboard motor and then up along the dinghy and through the molded rubber lift handle. I then loop it through a cleat on the dock and lock it with a padlock. You could also drill a hole through the transom and feed it through there, for even better security.
I do the exact same thing
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:59 PM   #4
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I use a Trimax cable lock. It's versatile and allows you to loop through an engine hard point and/or oar lock and run cable 3-5 ft to a cleat for locked security.



I bought mine at an outdoors store for around $25.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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While we have never had occasion to leave a dinghy at a public dock long enough to worry about it being stolen, if we did we would use two devices. One, the cable lock others have mentioned. Up here, most docks use bullrails which would make it very easy to use a cable lock.

The other thing we would do is install our outboard motor lock. This is one of those bar things you can buy at any marine store that slides over the C-clamp mount handles and has a padlock that closes the open end so the bar can't be removed. We use this on the motor when we leave the boat in its slip or when we are visiting another marina. Doesn't stop anyone from taking the whole dinghy, of course, but it could prevent someone from stealing the motor.

While we have never felt the need (yet) to lock our dinghy to a dock (nor have I ever seen anyone do this-- yet-- up here), when we do tie the dinghy to a dock to go into town or whatever, I remove the safety clip from the motor--- the clip on a red wire that holds the safety shut off open. Not that this would really prevent a determined person from stealing the thing--- all they'd have to do is carry around their own safety clip--- but it might deter the opportunist who was looking for a really easy target.

Plus we have a Livingston and they are so ugly and crude that nobody would be inclined to steal it. They'll go for the fancy RIBs tied up next to it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
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If they want it, no portable lock will stop them. I have heard of thieves cutting the transom out to get the motor. To me, I leave it unlocked so in case anyone needs to borrow it, it's there for them. We are not really tying up in high-crime areas.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:24 PM   #7
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I use a Trimax cable lock. It's versatile and allows you to loop through an engine hard point and/or oar lock and run cable 3-5 ft to a cleat for locked security.

Question about this device..... How does, or would, the lock end hold up in the weather?

We use a conventional cable lock (loop at each end and a padlock) to secure our Weaver Snap Davit-mounted dinghy to the boat when it's in its slip or when we're in another marina in BC or wherever. Up here in the weather (lots of rain) even the so-called weatherproof padlocks seem to have a finite life.

Is the Trimax lock pretty weather resistant?
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:40 PM   #8
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If they want it, no portable lock will stop them. .
Very true. If a determined thief wants your dinghy motor or wants to break into your boat, he will.

However in this area, this sort of crime seems quite rare. What is much more common are crimes of opportunity. When we hear in our marina about a boat being broken into and electronics or whatever stolen, it usually turns out the boat was unlocked or was extremely easy to get into. Like using a credit card or knife blade to push back a deadbolt or door lock.

Same thing with dinghy motors being stolen which is probably the most prevalent crime in the marina although still fairly rare. On the occasions I've looked at how dinghies are secured on the boats around us and that we pass on the way out to ours, almost none of them are secured at all. No motor locks, no dinghy-to-boat locks.

Since the fellow who really wants our dinghy motor or dinghy or our electronics or binoculars or whatever will get them one way or the other, our efforts are concentrated on moving far more common thief-of-opportunity on down the dock to an easier target. Hence the motor and dinghy locks and the plate I fabricated for our main cabin door to prevent access to the deadbolt and latch through the gap between the door and the sill.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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I have never locked my equipment at a dinghy dock but then I have never had an RIB w/ shiny outboard worth stealing. Most sailors carry bolt cutters onboard so if a sailor wanted it a cable or light chain would be no problem.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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I use two coated SS cables one about 8' long the other 15' an eye on each end. The long one to secure the dinghy to the dock or whaever, the short one to secure the engine, gas tank, ice chest, etc. to the dinghy. A determined, well equipped, thief will surely take any or all of it, but the spur of the moment guy who is only carrying a pocket knife, or less, may be deterred. I bought a pack of 4 "keyed alike" padlocks keep em well lubed when they rust out they go.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:00 PM   #11
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I use two coated SS cables one about 8' long the other 15' an eye on each end. The long one to secure the dinghy to the dock or whaever, the short one to secure the engine, gas tank, ice chest, etc. to the dinghy. A determined, well equipped, thief will surely take any or all of it, but the spur of the moment guy who is only carrying a pocket knife, or less, may be deterred. I bought a pack of 4 "keyed alike" padlocks keep em well lubed when they rust out they go.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:03 PM   #12
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One tip we got was if you have a nice outboard, make it look shitty. Grey primer maybe. Definitely want to take any stickers off it that advertise brand and hp.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
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You can ask Al (FlyWright) to confirm this. I lock nothing up in my boat and when my Livingston goes on my new davits that policy won't change.

If I was concerned with theft I'd chose a different marina. If/when we buy a cruising boat and head to far off strange areas that policy will be revisited. So if your a thief prowling the forum looking for an easy target find my boat and leave these other guys alone
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:18 PM   #14
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One tip we got was if you have a nice outboard, make it look shitty. Grey primer maybe. Definitely want to take any stickers off it that advertise brand and hp.
We pretty much follow that good advice. We bought another OB last month. The first thing we did was peel the manufacturers decals off and added ours. The 2nd picture is of the Yamaha just after we bought it where we did the same thing. They aren't going to be the first choice at a dinghy dock.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:53 PM   #15
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I just tie the dingy to the dock. We don't do anything to secure it with locks and cables and such. I actually can't recall ever seeing someone put a cable or chain and lock on their dingy (but it's not something I usually look for).

About all we do is stow the PFD's in the bow locker. Although ... sometimes we just leave them on the floor of the dingy. Oh ... and I take the key and the little safety cord with me.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:57 PM   #16
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Up here in the weather (lots of rain) even the so-called weatherproof padlocks seem to have a finite life.
Marin, if you get your hands on a tub of Lan-O-Cote, and give the locks and their exposed working parts a light coat..... They'll last a lot longer.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:06 PM   #17
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Marin, if you get your hands on a tub of Lan-O-Cote, and give the locks and their exposed working parts a light coat..... They'll last a lot longer.
Well thank you very much for that tip. I just read up on Lan-O-Cote on the web. The fact it's based on lanolin is a major plus because I know from direct experience how well lanolin works on sheep. And if keeps them from rusting, corroding, and sticking I bet it works really good on things like locks, shackles, turnbuckles and stuff. I'm thinking the "grease" form would be more effective for these applications than the spray form.

Seriously, thanks a lot for the suggestion. A lanolin-based grease really does make a whole lot of sense and I can see a number of applications for it on our boat, not just padlocks.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #18
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We've never left the dink for any longer than an hour and half or so while we had lunch or a little shopping. I've not seen anybody secure anything but the boat to the dock via the bow to the bull rail. Our motor is too heavy for anybody to just lift off.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:58 AM   #19
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Thanks, guys. I am aware that the risk is relatively low but I'm pretty paranoid about the effect that the theft of my expensive RIB and brand new outboard would have on my insurance premium, so I'm anxious to minimise that possibility. It sounds as though I'm thinking along the right lines: I'll distill all of your ideas and try to synthesise something that meets my needs.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:09 AM   #20
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Securing a dinghy at a public wharf

djmarchand/timjet:

Thanks. Sounds as though I'm on the right track. I can see that a simple "eye plus padlock" combination could be made to suffice in most situations and could simplify the structure
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