Security on Sailboats – Sailboat Burglar Alarms DIY (Theft Defense) Patrick Childress Sailing #10


years ago we had just dropped anchor in
the capital of a coral atoll we were there to leave our sailboat Brickhouse
for two months while we came back to the US the problem is we had just heard that
eight other boats cruising boats had recently been broken into so what to do
we had to set up deterrence one thing that we do on a daily basis anyway is to
leave sandals on the side deck that always makes it look like somebody’s at
home and if something decided to take these sandals they can have them that’s
a donation the other thing is to hang laundry up as though it’s drying the
third thing that we did was to leave a bright LED light burning inside the
cabin as though somebody’s home it would be burning all 24 hours a day but those
lights use as much energy is probably the ship’s cat Lily right Lily hey hey
wake up the fourth thing that we did the fourth thing that we did was turn let’s
turn on the stereo oh hey quick bite my foot we turned it on to the local
station and turn the volume way up so you could hear it well off of the boat I
mean doesn’t everybody turn their stereo off and they leave the boat so at least
it made it sound like somebody was at home on the stern arch we have a
360-degree anchor light and when we left to return to the US we had removed the
cockpit awning so that this light not only spread across the boat but also
into the cockpit along with this photosensitive light actually
unfortunately these aren’t available anymore the company went out of business
light underneath the shines down into the cockpit so at night the boat was
well illuminated we left this anchor light on and the one at the top of the
mast they use such little energy that the
solar panels had no problem at all keeping up with the energy demands of
these anchor lights and the stereo running 24 hours a day so when we went
away we took off our heavy locks and put on these little luggage locks other
boats that were broken into were pry bar depart they destroyed the forward
hatches lifting them up so that the dogs were broken and so we figured if
somebody’s gonna break into this boat I want to slow them down but I don’t want
them tearing the boat apart so we’ve just put on these little luggage locks
not only on the main hatch but on the two cockpit lockers fortunately we never
had a problem they never got that far to start breaking in they figured that they
were going to just lift up the dinging these people were experienced they’d
broken into at least eight boats they could lift up the dinghy and they knew
the hatch underneath would be open for ventilation and that’s what stopped them that even hurts my ears
but I’m just finishing up the installation of this alarm I’ll mount it
up here somehow and put an awning over it to help keep the water off this is
replacing this alarm which was mounted higher up just below the radar dome and
that alarm saved us they kept burglars off of our boat scared the heck out of
me but this is the material just some Sunbrella that I just draped over it I
think you know it doesn’t look factory finished and that’s for the better it’s
nice and camouflaged it’ll help to shed the water away from the horn even though
that horn is supposed to be waterproof they never last that long so we’re good
to go on that one this is the mousetrap that protected
brick house from the biggest rats the thieves that were trying to break into
our boat you can see here there is an electric line attached to the wood part
of the trap and another connecting line which is soldered to the wire frame when
that trap is tripped it closes makes the connection and sounds off the alarm we
had three of these one was in the Ford peak and the trip line right here was
attached to the hatch in case that was opened we had another one set in the
main saloon and the trip line would go up through the main hatch and attach to
the handle of the dinghy which was turned upside down and stowed there then
we had this one in the aft just sitting on the companionway steps and this line
went up and attached to a screw in the upper slat so somebody pulled it would
set off the trap me alarm would go off the alarm was so loud and woke up the
whole Anchorage the waterfront and another a mooring area about a mile
north all of those boats heard it 20 of the thieves jumped in the water our
cruising friends jumped in their dinghy at 2:30 in the morning and the guys
disappeared but in any case our boat was saved this is our latest burglar alarm
this is a hundred and ten decibel alarm it’s powered by a 9-volt battery that
sits in this case here it’s very effective very loud this is the trip
mechanism pull that makes the contact of those two screws and it’ll scare the
heck out of any thief I’ll set this up in the top of the Coach roof hook this
in somewhere put a rag over it this stretches across to the lifeline or any
place else that a thief might go when he passes through it sounds such a big
alarm it’ll scare the sandals off of them too often when you go to a store to
buy some kind of burglar alarm those things aren’t any louder than a
frightened canary these are effective one problem is soldering these wires
onto the top of that screw it’s very difficult I end up melting half the time
the whole clothes pin assembly and I have to start all over again a better
way is to just go ahead and put your screws in make them adjust long enough
so you can put a nut on the top put ring terminals on the end of your wires and
you’re done except for of course all of the hot gluing of the rest of the parts
well hopefully some of these idea will help to protect your own boat while
you’re out cruising if so please give us a thumbs up and a subscribe and we hope
to see you soon

25 thoughts on “Security on Sailboats – Sailboat Burglar Alarms DIY (Theft Defense) Patrick Childress Sailing #10

  1. It took 30 days for the thieves to became accustomed to the scare crows and get brave enough to try to enter Brick House through the main hatch by lifting up the dinghy.

  2. It's a shame you had this idea for a video. Wish videos like this never get made, but unfortunately some people suck. Hate thieves. I liked the mouse traps lol.

  3. good video and pertinent (for Florida even….). Curious, did you have someone, another cruiser perhaps, come over and reset alarms…or did the wailing continue until 9v batteries died….and did any patient crooks, with sandals scared off them in the first instance, come back aboard knowing you were away and the alarm was a diversion tactic? thanks! Andrew

  4. You need to wrap a solar powered electric fence around the the boat when they grab the rail to get onboard it knocked them about twenty feet into the water, well it would be funny to watch it happen 😂

  5. We have had a few problems with folks messing with our club boat here in the US on an inland lake. I think these little alarms will be perfect. Thanks for the ideas!

  6. Great ideas for anywhere, here we have some property in the province that is a good target for petty thieves, some of your ideas will work well there….curious is you have ever tried a "hot " wire connected to a good sized marine battery? Gives the thieves a shocking welcome aboard..

  7. I have a thermal detector that turns on the spreader lights at night when I step aboard the stern. It was originally done to make it easier for me to board at night, but could definitely be part of a security system. One of the last things a thief wants is to be lit up while they are sneaking around.

  8. I am gaining so much valuable information from your videos. I turn 75 in February 2019 and will be starting my cruising adventure this coming spring in a C&C 39. I will restrict myself to coastal sailing until I am well familiar with the boat. I glean all your videos for all the useful info., they contain. Thank you so much Patrick, for all you kindly share with your audience.

  9. Your ideas are great, but what if trap mouse fires accidentally, say in a gale!, do you have a time out break, or it will just goes off when out of battery?

  10. Is that your attack cat. Keep him hungry while you're away. Let him eat the flesh off an intruders foot instead.

  11. Love your channel! So many great ideas to implement:) all the best from sweden. PS you comming to the baltic for some cruising?:)

  12. Hi Everyone! How do you protect your boat from theft…at the dock, or in the anchorage?

    Please SUBSCRIBE and SHARE with sailing friends if you like this video…

  13. I bought a $35 Raspberry Pi 3B+. I am working to use it for remotely turning on extra heat if the engine room temp gets near freezing and to remotely run emergency sump pump. I was flooded during to the couch cushions while I was away during Hurricane Florence.

    The new Pi has built in wifi so if you have access to a nearby wifi, say at a marina or a neighboring boat, you can access it remotely from your computer or phone. You could also program it to notify you.

    Currently, I am using an app VNC viewer on the phone and VNC Server on the pi. This allows me to logon and control the pi remotely. This would allow you to change light and music configuration while you are away as well as monitor the status of sensors and alarms. Change the mouse trap to a momentary on switch with a latching circuit and you could reset it remotely or just have it reset in a time period. There are many options, when I get the time to fiddle with them.

  14. Very clever DYI pirate alarms – thanks for sharing your tips and experiences. Rick Moore from Sailing Sophisticated Lady equipped his boat with a light / audible / motion sensor alarm from www.piratelights.com that he finds to be quite useful. Fair winds Patrick & Rebecca.

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