5 ways to guard your Narrowboat against theft

The prospect of thieves and vandals targeting your vessel is a big worry as a narrowboat owner. To protect your pride and joy and your belongings, use the following steps to help keep your belongings secure. 


1. Doors and windows

It goes without saying that doors and windows should be locked as appropriate, with additional fastenings and bars as extra deterrents. It’s easy with the comings and goings to become lenient with this, but doors, windows and hatches are the easiest access points. Top-quality cylinder padlocks are ideal for windows and heavy duty internal hasps fasten doors and hatches securely. Please note that solid timber openings will be more secure, so consider upgrading if yours are not as strong. 


2. Fuel lock cap

With fuel prices at a premium, consider fitting a fuel cap lock to ensure you’re not left marooned. This will make the act of stealing fuel much more difficult, acting as a deterrent and not worth the bother.


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3. Mooring

As discussed in the blog 6 innovative space-saving solutions for your narrowboat, the exterior of your boat can be perfect for extending the room onboard and an ideal solution for your clutter. But be aware of your surroundings and what you leave on the deck or roof of your boat. If you have a roof box, ensure it is fully secured, however we advise against using them to store valuables. It is also good practice to keep curtains drawn whilst not on board and don’t leave gadgets in eyesight of the windows to prevent being pinched by opportunists passing your boat. If you’re not a permanent boat resident, then play safe by taking your most valuable items home - it may be extra effort but will give you greater peace of mind.


4. Alarm systems and wireless security systems

Alarms, CCTV and security lights are the most common security devices that spring to mind, but there are a vast array of gadgets designed to protect your narrowboat. If you don’t live aboard permanently, then a GPS tracker is a worthy investment. It automatically alerts both you and the police if the boat moves for any reason. Engine immobilisers are also effective, preventing people from stealing the boat itself by physically stopping the engine from starting. These systems can be pricey, but justifiable when weighing up against the risk of theft. 


5. Insurance

Narrowboat insurance will offer you the best guarantee of protection for your vessel and its belongings. Insurers such as GJW Direct offer instant liveaboard cover, all risks contents insurance and excellent financial security - find out more in our blog A buyer's guide to narrowboat insurance.


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