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Preventing a new dinghy outboard from being stolen


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What is the issue?
New outboards are prime targets for theft. The immaculate looks of a new outboard is completely conspicuous and they may readily be called into service on a new vessel or traded.

Why address this?
Most dinghies do not row well and you will require power to get out to a distant vessel. You want to avoid the cost of replacement or associated insurance premiums.

How to address this?
If the outboard is to stay with you for its serviceable life (i.e. you will not be trading it in or selling it later) you should reduce the outboards appearance of value or by making it look old and tatty see figure 1.
This is a difficult and painful choice for yachtsmen. We take great pride in turning out our vessel and tenders ‘’ship shape and Bristol fashion’’. However in doing such we are only presenting the outboard’s value to people of weaker morals.
The most effective way to achieve this is to:
1/ Peal off and remove all smart new markings.
2/ Mark the outboard with the yachts name in such a fashion that they cannot easily be removed. You do not need to be smart about it, tatty is the desired effect.
3/ Bolt on convenient customisations such as the convenient lifting handle taken from a car presented in figure 1.
4/ Scuff the plastic cover with a steel brush to make it look old. Some people go as far to dab light grey paint about the lower casing to appear like alloy corrosion.
Once complete you will find that although your excellent new outboard engine is the most serviceable, it looks worthless. Thieves walk on by.
This approach is heartbreaking but totally effective. The old saying ‘pride precedes the fall’ is avoidable.


With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, with thanks to Bernie and Sue McDonald, Yacht New Liver Bird.



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Lee Gunter wrote this review on Dec 13th 2006:
I would add that smaller hp is far better as well. Besides being cheaper, 8-15 h.p. is most useful for small fishing boats in many parts of the world. A 2-4 h.p engine is only good for a dinghy and has the added benefit of being easy to mount on or off the dinghy when the dinghy is in the water. Lee Gunter, New World

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