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View Full Version : Someone tried to steal my boat!!!!


Masternorth
07-20-2012, 05:18 PM
I just arrived at my cottage and I noticed that my cover was misplaced and one of my mooring whip was not attached. When I removed the cover, I discovered that the ignition switch was missing and a bunch of wires hanging at the back of the dashboard. The burglars were not able to start the boat but I am now worried that they will try to have a key made for the switch and come back when I am not there to finish the job :mad:

I am starting my 3 weeks vacation today so I am really pissed-off but the good news is that my dealer has a new switch so I am going there now to get it...a nice 4 hours round trip:mad::mad::mad:

Any advice on securing my boat for the future? My trailer is locked inside my garage and the lake I live on has a locked boat ramp so I really wonder how those guys intended to take the boat out of the lake...

It seems like they did not cut any wires so I hope to be able to put it back easily:

scott023
07-20-2012, 05:20 PM
That's horrible to hear. :mad:

pram
07-20-2012, 05:29 PM
thieves are low lifes

mzimme
07-20-2012, 05:31 PM
Is the boat at your own private dock?

fstaslp
07-20-2012, 05:32 PM
Can you go to a key pad like other manufacturers? Hidden Fuel Cut off switch? Or motor disable?

rkhodges21
07-20-2012, 05:35 PM
That sucks Masternorth. Hope the rest of your vacation goes better. If you put a new switch in your boat, then they would have to rip it out and replace it with the switch that they took and had a key made for right? Is there a way to safe-guard against that? What kind of hoops do you have to jump through to have a key made for a switch?

Maybe once they saw that they were unable to start your boat they just dropped the switch in the water?

73blue
07-20-2012, 05:40 PM
Increase your insurance and let them have it imo.

gts-20
07-20-2012, 05:41 PM
Alarm maybe???

http://www.columbiaboatalarms.com/

soacj
07-20-2012, 05:45 PM
I'd bet it's unlikely they'd make another pass given the likelihood of increased security/vigilance on your part. Seems like a hidden toggle switch somewhere on the ignition circuit might save you some heartache if they're that brazen.

Lowlife ******* thieves!:mad:

Jason.H.
07-20-2012, 05:45 PM
By law you have to show proof of ownership and a copy of your I.D. is made when getting a key made to match (like when you lose all your keys). If every shop does this or not I do not know. We do at the dealership I work for, but thats cars, not boats. Hidden fuel cut switch would be the route I would go.

gts-20
07-20-2012, 05:59 PM
Scary info: My dealer told me that there are only a few different keys (like a,b,c,d,and e) for Mastercrafts. We never leave our keys with them when we drop the boat off for service. They just use their master set, all on one key chain.

rkhodges21
07-20-2012, 06:01 PM
Scary info: My dealer told me that there are only a few different keys (like a,b,c,d,and e) for Mastercrafts. We never leave our keys with them when we drop the boat off for service. They just use their master set, all on one key chain.

I hope there are no dishonest Mastercraft dealers out there.

snork
07-20-2012, 06:44 PM
They used one of the master keys but the boat had trouble starting the perps thought in was a bad key switch so they took it out to replace it when they returned,
if they only knew it was a problem with the fuel pump

Rockman
07-20-2012, 07:26 PM
If your boat is on a lift, then get a big ole chain like the one we got from a motor cycle shop and chain the lift support together...that should slow them down.

A buddy of mine removed a few pieces from under the motor box such as a wire or plug to prevent the motor from starting when he was not at his cottage.


No matter what you do, if they want it, they will take it. But you can deter them a bit.

JohnnyB
07-20-2012, 07:36 PM
I lock the wheel on my lift to the frame of the lift

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk

JohnnyB
07-20-2012, 07:37 PM
Do you own a game camera or have a hunter buddy who does...might be worth putting down at the dock

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk

jgraham37128
07-20-2012, 08:04 PM
I would place a sign up that says under video surveillance and put at least some fake cameras if not place some wifi cameras and actually record it. Look at y-cam.com. You could lock it up with a short chain from the bow to the dock with a lock. If it's real hard to steal they will just move on. Plus they may just wanted to go on a joy ride. Lock the lift too if on a lift.

You could also put a note on the steering wheel that says if you've made it this far smile we have you on camera! I bet they will get back out of the boat. Also put on the note how many years they will get if caught stealing a boat and being a convicted felon.

Make sure you keep the insurance paid up.

Rossterman
07-20-2012, 08:41 PM
Spot has a satellite alarm system for boats that is exactly what you need! It's designed to notify when the boat is moves 500ft when the key fob isn't there and tracks location. Notification can be sent to your phone so monitored if you are anywhere in the world.

Masternorth
07-20-2012, 10:57 PM
I'm just back from the dealer with a switch but no instructions and no wiring diagram. I will work on this tomorrow morning and try to figure out the wires.

In the meantime, I have added a lock from my dock to the front of the boat and will consider an alarm system as both of my neighbours are full time resident and would do something if they were to hear an alarm. I will also consider a camera and a hidden kill switch.

When something like this happens, I usually over react but I hate to think that bums are messing up with my toys!!!

Thanks for all the great comments, I'll keep you posted on the rewiring progress tomorrow.

DeeeJay02
07-21-2012, 02:01 AM
It looks like maybe they were just harvesting your boat for parts. They obviously knew what they were doing, No cut wires, dash seems intact, I think someone needed a tumbler.....if what someone said earlier is true and there are only so many keys (a, b, c, d and e) maybe they searched all the Mastercrafts they could find until they found the right one.

Thrall
07-21-2012, 05:05 AM
If they knew what they were doing your boat would already be gone. Leave the key in it so they don't eff up the new switch and pull the fuel pump relay or starter relay.
Then give your neighbor a shotgun with some OO buck!
tell him to fire one in the air to get them out of the boat and let them have the next one in the @ss!

petermegan
07-21-2012, 05:17 AM
I wonder did they try and steal the boat or need an ignition switch for their own boat maybe, just a suggestion. Alarm would be a good idea or have you thought of a trail camera setup. I saw a camera advertised the other day that was motion sensitive and with a sim card would send the photo to your phone, about $500 I reckon.

madcityskier
07-21-2012, 08:47 AM
Trail can all the way. An alarm will tell you when the boat is in trouble. I'd be worried about the prop, starter and other expensive parts. Also agree with chain, but bolt cutters are cheap, so I wouldn't rely on that.

petermegan
07-21-2012, 08:56 AM
Sorry JohnnyB just read your earlier idea of a game camera. cheers

PS195
07-21-2012, 10:31 AM
agreed if they knew what they were doing your boat would be gone.
our ignition switch went so we bought a new one for $30, comes with NEW keys, takes about 5 minutes to change and the boat is yours with new keys.
crazy to think its that easy but it is
if you are worried I'd buy one of those cables that can't be cut, put it through the eye in the back of the boat and attach to your dock

JimN
07-21-2012, 10:39 AM
It looks like maybe they were just harvesting your boat for parts. They obviously knew what they were doing, No cut wires, dash seems intact, I think someone needed a tumbler.....if what someone said earlier is true and there are only so many keys (a, b, c, d and e) maybe they searched all the Mastercrafts they could find until they found the right one.

If they only wanted an ignition switch, they would have cut the wires.

Masternorth
07-21-2012, 10:45 AM
I need help re-wiring the switch...please!

On the switch, 4 terminals:

BAT
ACC
IGN
ST

I have 8 wires:

1- Purple
2- RED (TRID) with fuse
3- RED (RELY seat heat) with fuse
4- RED (VDIG ) with fuse
5- RED (MMDC) with fuse
6- RED-BLACK (STER)
7- YELLOW-RED
8- RED-BLACK

So, where does each one of them gets connected?

Thanks

Masternorth
07-22-2012, 10:58 AM
With the help of my dealer on the phone, the switch is back where it belongs and the boat runs perfectly.

I have now to work on my deterrent systems but I will enjoy my vacations first!

Thanks for everybody's input!

Masternorth

JimN
07-22-2012, 11:08 AM
With the help of my dealer on the phone, the switch is back where it belongs and the boat runs perfectly.

I have now to work on my deterrent systems but I will enjoy my vacations first!

Thanks for everybody's input!

Masternorth

An easy way to keep it from starting is to remove the fuses for the fuel pump and ECM. They would need to know why it's not starting in order to get it going but this doesn't keep them from cranking it until the starter and battery are dead. Pull the lanyard, while you're at it.

The only problem with this is that you would need to ALWAYS take them with you when you leave the boat.

vision
07-22-2012, 11:21 AM
http://www.boatalarm.com/skiboatalarms.html

Works great in my X-star. I often forget to turn it off before stepping in the boat and the siren is loud!

JohnnyB
07-22-2012, 11:57 AM
Sorry JohnnyB just read your earlier idea of a game camera. cheers

No worries....all in the spirit of trying to help a fellow MC owner :cool:

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk

TayMC197
07-23-2012, 12:02 AM
I'm about to move into an apartment in Dallas and just discovered my boat won't fit in the garage. Darn 8' wide doors. Do I'm looking into a mod that allows me to remove the tongue. Still leaves my speakers exposed. Maybe I can make quick connects for them.

On my truck I put a switch that kills the ignition to the starter. Hidden switch. Consider that on your boat.

hkyplyr31
07-23-2012, 12:15 AM
I would put the boat on the trailer in the secured garage for your three week vacation... at the very least you wont have to be worried about it when you are gone. For the rest of the time you could pull the battery - I doubt they would be prepared enough to bring a battery with them next time.

JimN
07-23-2012, 12:29 AM
I'm about to move into an apartment in Dallas and just discovered my boat won't fit in the garage. Darn 8' wide doors. Do I'm looking into a mod that allows me to remove the tongue. Still leaves my speakers exposed. Maybe I can make quick connects for them.

On my truck I put a switch that kills the ignition to the starter. Hidden switch. Consider that on your boat.

I had an '83 Cutlass Supreme when I worked for a car audio/security store. I hadn't gotten around to installing the stereo or alarm and was concerned about it being stolen, but didn't go to bad areas of town. Sure enough, Christmas Eve, I got home and was hanging out with the people who owned the house when there was a knock on the door- it was a cop. He asked if I had a gold Cutlass and I said that I did, then he said, "Well, we got it back". I didn't know it was gone and I had only been home for 45 minutes.

Anyway, I put a starter interrupt in, using a momentary switch, which needed to be pressed while trying to crank. No press, no crank. I used to laugh when I would go to the car wash. They always shut the cars off , then re-started them to get to the drying area. They always had to push mine out because they couldn't figure out how to start it.

If they couldn't figure it out, I think it was successful.:D

T-bone
07-23-2012, 04:15 PM
We have one of these as well....

http://www.boatalarm.com/skiboatalarms.html

The siren is obnoxiously loud as vision pointed out. I do the same thing on occasion and step in the boat without shutting it off first.

Our boat has always been cabled on the lift, but before the alarm was installed someone stole the amp, tools, etc. out of the boat. About $4,000 worth of damage & theft.

I also tried one of the game cameras but found that it went off every time a wave hit the dock. So I installed an expensive security camera that feeds back to a 500 GB hard drive in the house.

http://www.surveillance-video.com/

It records for about 10-days then starts to re-write. I can view it remotely from my phone. We also added signs that everything is under video surveillance.

So what happens next? During the middle of the day on a Friday when no one was home, they smashed the dock camera, which is 15 feet up on the top of the light pole, then broke down the back door of the house and stole the dvr hard drive that it records to, as well as a bunch of other stuff while they were at it.

So I replaced the dock camera, added a few cameras inside the house and garage, and had a monitored home security system installed that will notify the police and myself within 5 seconds of an intrusion alarm. If I do get a call I should be able to have time to click the app on my phone and screen capture whatever is going on. We thought initially it was just a matter of kids stealing stuff from boats and never expected them to progress to breaking into houses, so my point in the story is I don't think you are over-reacting. Be prepared up at the house as well as at the dock.

gid
07-23-2012, 04:58 PM
Jeez, and to think my stuff sits around with no tailer locks, open driveway and such....never an issue. I leave the jet ski, and S&S, tied to the dock w. two bungies during the weekends.

funk
07-23-2012, 05:02 PM
Simple and easy trick i've known harley guys and hot rodders to use, pull the coil wire when left for any amount of time. Pretty much the poor mans kill switch.

JimN
07-23-2012, 05:02 PM
We have one of these as well....I also tried one of the game cameras but found that it went off every time a wave hit the dock. So I installed an expensive security camera that feeds back to a 500 GB hard drive in the house.

http://www.surveillance-video.com/

So what happens next? During the middle of the day on a Friday when no one was home, they smashed the dock camera, which is 15 feet up on the top of the light pole, then broke down the back door of the house and stole the dvr hard drive that it records to, as well as a bunch of other stuff while they were at it.

So I replaced the dock camera, added a few cameras inside the house and garage, and had a monitored home security system installed that will notify the police and myself within 5 seconds of an intrusion alarm. If I do get a call I should be able to have time to click the app on my phone and screen capture whatever is going on. We thought initially it was just a matter of kids stealing stuff from boats and never expected them to progress to breaking into houses, so my point in the story is I don't think you are over-reacting. Be prepared up at the house as well as at the dock.

One camera is never a good idea as a means of security. In any case, two or more should be used and preferably, they should be able to see each other.

T-bone
07-23-2012, 05:24 PM
"One camera is never a good idea as a means of security. In any case, two or more should be used and preferably, they should be able to see each other."

JimN - we actually had a total of 4 cameras initially. The one at the dock was smashed while the others were stolen. The problem was they all recorded back to the hard drive, which was stolen out of the house as well. My guess is they smashed the dock camera then realized it was probably recording, so they broke into the house and saw on the monitor that there were other cameras throughout the property. Those were easier to access, so they snapped them off the mounts.

I have yet to find a way to record remotely because of the size of the files.

JimN
07-23-2012, 05:33 PM
"One camera is never a good idea as a means of security. In any case, two or more should be used and preferably, they should be able to see each other."

JimN - we actually had a total of 4 cameras initially. The one at the dock was smashed while the others were stolen. The problem was they all recorded back to the hard drive, which was stolen out of the house as well. My guess is they smashed the dock camera then realized it was probably recording, so they broke into the house and saw on the monitor that there were other cameras throughout the property. Those were easier to access, so they snapped them off the mounts.

I have yet to find a way to record remotely because of the size of the files.

I would make sure the cabling is in metal conduit and can't be identified as used for the cameras, if possible. I would make sure the DVR is in a place where you A) can't see cabling and B) have to work to get at it and the cameras are vandal-proof. You could always put the DVR in a lock box. Also, if it's not on a UPS, do that.

Quinten
07-24-2012, 10:41 AM
You can try a steering wheel lock. like this (http://static.autoblog.nl/images/wp2010/big/stuurslot.jpg)

broncotw
07-24-2012, 11:32 AM
I would be tempted to place a heavy chain and lock around the prop and shaft provided the boat was on a lift....

Kyle
07-24-2012, 11:35 AM
"One camera is never a good idea as a means of security. In any case, two or more should be used and preferably, they should be able to see each other."

JimN - we actually had a total of 4 cameras initially. The one at the dock was smashed while the others were stolen. The problem was they all recorded back to the hard drive, which was stolen out of the house as well. My guess is they smashed the dock camera then realized it was probably recording, so they broke into the house and saw on the monitor that there were other cameras throughout the property. Those were easier to access, so they snapped them off the mounts.

I have yet to find a way to record remotely because of the size of the files.

I bet the hard drive is somewhere in the bottom of the lake too......... just sayin

T-bone
07-24-2012, 02:50 PM
I bet the hard drive is somewhere in the bottom of the lake too......... just sayin

My thoughts exactly. I looked all along the shoreline in our cove and didn't see it in the shallow water. They didn't bother to take the remote or power supply, just the box. And they cut all the wires at the back of it. When they stole stuff out of the boat a few years ago they dumped whatever they didn't want, such as my 3/4" drive/socket set, in the creek coming into our cove.

JimN - wires are in buried conduit running into the crawlspace of the house and then go up thru the floor. The cameras are considered vandal proof, but if you hit them hard enough with something solid it will shatter the outer shell.

To get into the house they broke thru a deadbolted entry door. It looked like they used a prybar and sledge hammer to split the door jamb and knock out the deadbolt plate that had 6" screws. It must have taken them a while. It's a small vacation home with very little furniture, so it wasn't hard to locate the hard drive once they were inside and they basically had all day to go thru stuff once they were in there. We have full time neighbors on both sides of us who were home at the time but they can't see the back of our house as it sits on a point lot.

The new hard drive is now locked in a separate dead-bolted utility room, so they will have to go thru two doors to get to it. With the monitored home security system I should have time to click the camera app and start a screen capture of the cameras before they have time to break down the second door. We have 15 deputies that live within a 2-mile radius and sheriff patrol on the lake now, so hopefully they will get there quickly as well.

T-bone
07-24-2012, 03:01 PM
Another idea I've read on here before but haven't seen posted is to put the boat in gear when you leave it. It won't crank and it's tough to figure out why if you push the throttle just far enough forward so it is out of neutral.

NatesGr8
07-25-2012, 10:30 AM
I would say some of the easiest ways to prevent theft are: taking the kill switch with you and having a fake one made that doesn't push the pin in and leave that on, remove fuel pump and ecm fuses, getting a locking perko switch (http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_11151_10001_112765_-1?ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=112765&cid=sc_googlepla&gclid=CIDT7pH2tLECFUff4AodrEgAsA#.UA_xdLSEsto), finally some fake video cameras with signs posted.