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Boat security, advice would be hugely appreciated


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12 minutes ago, MartynG said:

It seems I am not understanding the dimensions of the plates 

 

 

 

Say 1.2m x 0.7m to cover a typical bus window with some overlap for fixings. 3mm thick plate. Steel density of say 7800kg/m^3 gives a weight of 19.7kg. Heavy, but possible to lift. You have to hold this in place while doing up the fixing. Handles?. If it slips, it scratches the paint, so need rubber edging perhaps. Risk of corrosion with water wicked in to the gap between the boat side and the plate and standing for weeks on end. Especially if the paint was scratched moving a 20kg plate around.

The boats I've seen with steel shutters are generally side hinged, rather than removable and I am guessing weight is a factor. Hinges welded to the shell. Often moored in the suburbs of big cities, off side at the end of some ones garden, where they provide tempting target practice for bored kids on the towpath. They look ugly; the shutters, not the kids!

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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5 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

You are not alone.

 

Quote : I think we’ll be fine..might need 30x300x250mm

 

It reads as if he is using 30mm thick plate each sheet 300mm x 250mm (less than 1' foot square and 1 1/4" thick.

 

Sounds like very tiny 'bus windows'. or maybe it is a deep water submersible ?

Or has he got 30 tiny windows?  Anyway its a daft idea as a burglar deterrent.  Thin sheet as a stone chucker preventative OK if you moor in the badlands.

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This is what the boat coul look like :-

image.jpeg.5cf6c2249ae54f68987ada8a1404cc5e.jpeg

 

It looked horrible and the cabin was difficult to clean.

In practice the boat had a marina moorings and the shutters were never used in anger, so they were removed....

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10 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

This is what the boat coul look like :-

image.jpeg.5cf6c2249ae54f68987ada8a1404cc5e.jpeg

 

It looked horrible and the cabin was difficult to clean.

In practice the boat had a marina moorings and the shutters were never used in anger, so they were removed....

AS well as looking horrible, the shutters risk catching on your clothing when walking the gunwales and putting you in the drink.

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48 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Say 1.2m x 0.7m to cover a typical bus window with some overlap for fixings. 3mm thick plate. Steel density of say 7800kg/m^3 gives a weight of 19.7kg. Heavy, but possible to lift. You have to hold this in place while doing up the fixing. Handles?. If it slips, it scratches the paint, so need rubber edging perhaps. Risk of corrosion with water wicked in to the gap between the boat side and the plate and standing for weeks on end. Especially if the paint was scratched moving a 20kg plate around.

The boats I've seen with steel shutters are generally side hinged, rather than removable and I am guessing weight is a factor. Hinges welded to the shell. Often moored in the suburbs of big cities, off side at the end of some ones garden, where they provide tempting target practice for bored kids on the towpath. They look ugly; the shutters, not the kids!

Jen

The OP was proposing shutters attached by bolts inserted from inside the cabin into tapped holes in the shutters. So that requires one person outside to hold the shutter in place and another inside the boat to insert the bolts. And with a load of messing about to position the shutter accurately enough to line up the bolts and holes. Completely impractical, quite apart from the consequences of having holes through the shell (even with grommets to keep the rain out).

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I'm 2013 I was taking my boat from Reading to Bristol during a spate of boat break-ins at the eastern end of the K &A.  W. Berks Police had even dotted notices to that effect along the towpath but I had to leave my boat for a week so that I could go back to work. 

 

My boat is fairly difficult to break into: all portholes, internal locking bolts into the steel runners on the sliding hatch, and internal locking bars on the side doors. It also has all steel doors at bow and stern. Contrary to most of the advice the bow doors are locked with an external padlock. One of these welded on.

 

image.png.803efae984a44f0c22514a31068f0c5a.png

 

I don't really buy this stuff about keeping them guessing whether someone is aboard or not. If a burglar wants to know if someone is home on a boat (without an external padlock) they can just knock on the boat with an excuse if someone comes out.

 

I've left my boat all over the place and never had a problem. The point is that if you must have an external padlock make it a big f@ck off padlock that the casual burglar doesn't want to deal with. Most boat break ins are committed by opportunists who carry nothing more than a large screwdriver to lever hasps out of wooden door frames. Professional burglars stick to houses where the pickings are richer. An opportunist boat burglar might look at my boat and see that nobody is home, but they'll go to the next boat which is easier to break into.

 

The other people who break into boats are other lowlife boaters of course. They may carry more tools. About 25 years ago I met a guy who left his boat on the towpath hundreds of yards from any road access between Kings Langley and Hemel for about a week. When he returned he found his engine, gearbox and solid fuel stove had been nicked! I went onto his boat, couldn't believe it. I made sure I could lock my deck boards on this boat.

 

The other thing I won't have are canopies or cratch covers. They just hiding places which invite burglars in so they can take their time in figuring out how to get in.

Edited by blackrose
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30 minutes ago, David Mack said:

The OP was proposing shutters attached by bolts inserted from inside the cabin into tapped holes in the shutters. So that requires one person outside to hold the shutter in place and another inside the boat to insert the bolts. And with a load of messing about to position the shutter accurately enough to line up the bolts and holes. Completely impractical, quite apart from the consequences of having holes through the shell (even with grommets to keep the rain out).

Not to mention overlooking the fact that the cabin will be lined and insulated with no access to the shell.

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You don't have to moor up in the middle of nowhere when you leave it for a fortnight. Choosing somewhere close to other boats is probably some of the best security you can get, except perhaps in some of the rougher city/town centre parts. The places popular with others are also likely to be closer to transport and other facilities, which will be what you also need in a place you want to leave it. Some of those other boats may move on during the fortnight, but in popular spots others may move in.

 

And have others have said, making it look occupied may be better than making it like an unoccupied fortress!

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12 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Have you ever had to comply with the safety requirements for a boat ? (which you need to meet to be granted a licence)

 

If the boat already has a BSSC you can invalidate it by changing (adding / removing / replacing) parts and systems that may no longer comply.

 

 

 

Do you see cutting a wire and putting a switch in it a major change to invalidate the BSS. A cube fuse on the positive battery terminal will do the job or one of these 

Universal Top Post Battery Master Disconnect Switch Battery Terminal Link Switch Isolator with Green Knob 12V or 24V Car Truck Boat Vehicles

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Securing sliding hatch and side doors.

 

Bolts are welded onto the inside of sliding hatch cover on each side. On the side doors I used stainless 12mm dome headed bolts through the doors. 

 

 

IMG_20220522_113903.jpg

 

IMG_20220522_114024.jpg

Edited by blackrose
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14 hours ago, dmr said:

 

You mean the police?  If there is a burglary in progress in a house they likely won't turn up, will just phone you a few days later with a crime number?  Anything to do with boats and they will almost certainly won't turn up..

I have to say that that has not been our experience although the two occasions on which it happened were six+ years ago now. On both, someone attended within a couple of hours, even if they explained that there is little they can do. However, logging the crime helps build intelligence and, ultimately. some do get caught as a result.

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13 hours ago, Cheese said:

You don't have to moor up in the middle of nowhere when you leave it for a fortnight. Choosing somewhere close to other boats is probably some of the best security you can get, except perhaps in some of the rougher city/town centre parts. The places popular with others are also likely to be closer to transport and other facilities, which will be what you also need in a place you want to leave it. Some of those other boats may move on during the fortnight, but in popular spots others may move in.

 

And have others have said, making it look occupied may be better than making it like an unoccupied fortress!

 

Making it look occupied is not as easy as it sounds initially. Or at least not to the more experienced eye, or to another boater. I think most boat crime is by other boaters, sadly, and mostly comprises stealing fuel (diesel and coal gas bottles) and random relatively useful stuff not fixed down e.g. chimneys, longshafts, centre lines etc from the roof. Although earlier in the thread I scathingly dismissed the chances of a break-in and trashing of a boat, I've suffered this low level theft on many occasions. The most annoying being when my cratch cover was vertically cut top to bottom with a knife next to the zip to get under and steal three bags of coal, presumably to avoid the noise of the zip being opened. Several long shafts, brooms, and once my chimney have been taken, and once my sparkly brand new chimney was swapped for a rusty old one much like the one it has just replaced after one day in place, ffs! 

 

Point being, a small proportion of boaters are total tea leafs and will take easy stuff if they think you're not in, and a boat empty and locked up for a fortnight is easy to spot and hard to disguise. Or rather an occupied boat is obvious especially in winter as lights will be on in the dark, the stove will be alight so smoke will be visible from the chimney, and the boat may well be moving slightly as the people inside move about.. The chimney(s) will be in place rather than inside the boat and the chimney cap(s) on, the tiller may even be in place if occupied and certainly not if no-one's in. Visible padlocks will be in place if empty and padlock positions un-padlocked if occupied, and also the curtains - if closed in daylight (especially on the opposite side of the boat to the towpath) or open when its dark, the boat is probably unoccupied. Hard to fake all of the signs of occupation in an empty boat. 

 

 

Edited by MtB
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42 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

One of these will do.

 

 

Quandó 9 hónapos... foto: burian | German shepherd barking, German ...

I have met a boater who just had a dogs water bowl on the back deck. bit like having a dummy CCTV camera . But unless you leave the dog shut in the boat for 2 weeks while you are away its not much use. (can't find a smilly)

 

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46 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

One of these will do.

 

 

Quandó 9 hónapos... foto: burian | German shepherd barking, German ...

 

 

Once installed in the OP's boat, how long will it work for? The full two weeks the OP intends to leave the boat for, each month? 

 

Where do the batteries go?

 

 

 

 

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As you walk along the towpath its fairly easy to see which boats are occupied - especially when they have bars across doors, big external locks which you can see are in use. I would imagine these indicate to thieves that they can take their time breaking in as unlikely to be disturbed, so not really a deterrence?  I think the only deterrence is location of the mooring....

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5 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Cratch covers are handy, you can sit inside unobserved while you break into the front doors

That's why if we are leaving the boat for a short time (shopping or pub visit, we leave the cratch open as a shut cratch is another indication of an unoccupied boat. Don't think I would ever leave our boat on the towpath for more than a few hours though.

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38 minutes ago, haggis said:

Don't think I would ever leave our boat on the towpath for more than a few hours though.

 

 

I would not do this, ever.

 

For a start it would be one helluva palava getting it out of the canal....

 

:giggles: :giggles:

 

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17 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

 

I would not do this, ever.

 

For a start it would be one helluva palava getting it out of the canal....

 

:giggles: :giggles:

 

Oh, we're on the ball this morning ! . I remember one of the canal mags many moons ago having a photo of a narrow boat with a crane on the roof (might have been the April edition) and I thought what s good idea it was 😊.

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33 minutes ago, haggis said:

Oh, we're on the ball this morning ! . I remember one of the canal mags many moons ago having a photo of a narrow boat with a crane on the roof (might have been the April edition) and I thought what s good idea it was 😊.

That's ingenious, you can lift yourself out as and when you please ;) 

 

I'm considering one of those Heatherwick rolling bridges installed on the well deck, then you can just drop mud weights in the middle of the canal, roll down the bridge and off you go. It will need a remote control so you can retract it once ashore, and probably advisable to check batteries on same before leaving/arriving.

You can then leave the boat out of reach of miscreants for as long as you like. I can foresee no possible downside :) 

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I thought of developing my tightrope walking skills

Anchor mid channel after attaching a rope to the bank. Walk ashore or if really proficient ride a bike down the rope. On return, repeat.

Total security apart from circus clowns and acrobats.

 

 

 

 

Its no dafter than some of the proposed measures.

Edited by Tracy D'arth
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3 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

I thought of developing my tightrope walking skills

Anchor mid channel after attaching a rope to the bank. Walk ashore or if really proficient ride a bike down the rope. On return, repeat.

Total security apart from circus clowns and acrobats.

 

 

 

 

Its no dafter than some of the proposed measures.

This may prove problematic after sampling the local fermented beverages. Plus having once seen some very talented yoofs “slacklining” i don’t think it’ll keep ‘em out, although they were in Mallorca.

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53 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

This may prove problematic after sampling the local fermented beverages. Plus having once seen some very talented yoofs “slacklining” i don’t think it’ll keep ‘em out, although they were in Mallorca.

I may add crocodiles.

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