Boat security

Lesson 1. Spend the time backing up to the cloud all digital information of value. (Or whichever safe location one chooses.) Especially passwords. In a foreign country with limited internet it is a tall order re-establishing passwords and authorization, especially when your devices have been lost.

Lesson 2. Work on your security. Every time you leave the boat, raise the dinghy and outboard, lock everything away, hide valuables below and leave outside lights on even though energy is a precious commodity. It is an absolute pain but it has to be done. Have some good hiding places for surplus cash and valuables. Have something to sacrifice without giving it all away. Install a tracker. We regularly hear of yachts being stolen in the Caribbean. Rebecca’s GOST system isn’t just an alarm system, it will track her boat if it ever leaves the harbor without her on it.

Lesson 3. Formulate a damage control plan. Have the contact numbers of your bankers, insurers, family, etc., written down and saved in hard copy. Have someone trustworthy back home as co-signatory to your bank accounts. Keep boat papers and important documents in duplicate and stored electronically. Keep the container for your SIM cards. It has an essential PIN on it. Store PINs in at least two secure locations other than your mobile phone and tablet.

Lesson 4. Be courteous to the locals. You want them on your side. You may not always understand or agree with local customs, but the cruising experience is made so much richer by our goodwill towards our hosts. Locals never want to see cruisers harmed.

Lesson 5. Keep your friends close, especially if you go to more remote anchorages. Even more so if you sail solo. 

Michael Hayward