How to keep your narrowboat safe from theft

canal boats, narrowboats moored alongside each other

Whether you live aboard your boat, or use it for leisurely purposes you will have experienced the worry of thieves that may choose to target your vessel. As a narrowboat owner, you will want to do what you can to keep your narrowboat safe. We’ve put together a list of 5 ways you can avoid this risk.

  1. Theft Insurance for your canal boat - One of the most obvious ways to protect your narrowboat and contents within, is to ensure you have the appropriate insurance in place. Insurance acts as a safety net that can indemnify your loss if you were to experience a theft. Our comprehensive narrowboat insurance includes cover for theft.

    However It is important to remember the insurer will expect you to have taken reasonable precautions, so lock your boat and don’t leave gear on the deck when your boat is unattended (claims will only be paid if there was force used to break in to your boat). Also remember that it is a condition of the cover is that you report the theft, attempted theft or any malicious damage to the police as soon as possible and obtain a crime reference after the incident.

  2. Security alarm systems - There are many security solutions that are designed to help you protect your narrowboat against theft such as alarms, CCTV, security lights, GPS tracker and potentially even engine immobilisers. Most of these systems are cost effective and easy to get hold of and install yourself.Make sure that you let us know about any security devices you install on your vessel as it will help us to obtain the best possible price for your cover.

  3. Safe mooring - Having a safe place to moor can limit your risk of theft. If you have a mooring at a marina, you will most likely be protected by a locked gate upon the entrance to the pontoons. If however you are on the move continuously, taking extra care of your belongings on board can make a big difference. Storage for narrowboats will typically be inside, but you may have a roof box for other contents, so be sure that this is locked and secured.

  4. Lockable fuel cap - Narrowboat owners can consider a lockable fuel cap which can help protect your fuel tank from being syphoned. Given the fact that fuel prices are very costly, it may be worth buying such a lock to prevent you from being stranded without any fuel.

  5. Lockable doors and windows - If your narrowboat is left unattended a majority of the time, ensuring that your doors and windows are locked is very important as these are the main access points for thieves. You can buy separate fittings that you can fix to your doors and windows to add that extra bit of security. This doesn’t mean that if you are around your boat often that this is still not a sensible action to take.The locks and systems mentioned above can be purchased at your local chandlery or online.

Outboard Motors

Outboard motors can be valuable, and attractive to thieves, so If your vessel has an outboard motor, we would suggest that you fit an antitheft device, which prevents retaining bolts/clamps being undone, in addition to its normal method of attachment. Theft cover will only operate if you have an anti-theft device, and have recorded the serial number of the motor.

Contact us

Feel free to call us on 01303 297940 or email if you have any questions about your boat security or the theft cover included in your narrowboat insurance policy.