SEVERNA PARK, MD-The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) is reaching out to dealers, installers, and boat builders to help prevent the theft of marine electronic displays and systems. In a strategic move, NMEA has added educational information about preventing theft and improving vessel security to the next version of the NMEA 0400 Installation Standard, scheduled for release later in 2020.

The Installation Standard additions describe marine electronic display installations using specialty security through-bolts and nuts along with other best practice recommendations that make removal of a display from the vessel more difficult. A second section details the proper installation of vessel security systems, which adds an additional level of protection to the vessel in the event of a vandalism, burglary, or theft attempt. This section details best practice installation of motion sensors, alarm buzzers and tracking antennas. Installation of these items can help deter theft before it even begins, as these alarms can be triggered when someone steps on a vessel. 

At the same time, NMEA is encouraging owners and captains to record and register serial numbers of their electronics with the appropriate manufacturer so that the proper authorities can assist with theft recovery, should it occur.

NMEA organized a meeting at last year's Miami International Boat Show that included manufacturer members, marine journalists, a theft activist attorney and others to discuss ways to prevent MFD thefts from the manufacturer, installer and boat owner levels. Since that meeting, one major NMEA manufacturer member has introduced an optional "pin code" for their displays that, if enabled, would render a device useless if stolen. 

"Encouraging dealers, installers, and boat builders to take additional steps to prevent electronics thefts through changes in the 0400 Installation Standard is another step to help reduce this crime," said NMEA President & Executive Director Mark Reedenauer. "Also, adding a pin code is a major move for one specific MFD manufacturer, and I anticipate that other manufacturers will hopefully follow."

For more information, contact Mark Reedenauer at (410) 975-9425 or mreedenauer@nmea.org.

By Ocean Navigator