Narrow Boat Security – Top Tips On Keeping Your Boat Safe!
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Wed Jul 1, 2015 at 9:35am

Narrow Boat Security

If you own a narrow boat or are in the process of buying a narrow boat, you are going to need to know how to keep your boat secure and safe from potential burglars. In this article we will look at how you as an owner can protect your vessel. This will require some time and money, but knowing that your boat is secure when you are not on board will give you peace of mind when you are away from the boat.


It is important to make sure you have insurance in place, just in case the worst should happen. This will not make the situation of a break in any easier to deal with, but it will help financially should you need to replace items and repair damage.

There are many insurance companies that specialise just in narrow boat insurance; we would recommend contacting these companies for a quote.

Entry Points.

The access points of the boat such as the hatch, windows and doors are the weak spots of your boat. You need to make sure these areas are as secure as they can be. This will make it harder for potential criminals to get into your vessel.

  • The doors should be made from strong solid timber or should have steel skins if you feel they need extra strength.
  • Wooden interior shutters will add additional security at the windows and also provide privacy and help retain the heat in the boat.
  • Use good quality cylinder padlocks and window locks.
  • Secure hatches and doors with heavy duty internal hasps.

Security Gadgets.

Alarms, CCTV, GPS trackers, security lights and immobilisers are all products that can be bought to deter someone from breaking into your boat. The cost and the sophistication of each gadget varies so depending on your budget and how worried you are about security, this will determine which products you opt for and how much you invest.

  • GPS trackers automatically inform you and the police if your boat moves for any reason.
  • Engine immobilisers are a main theft deterrent as they physically prevent the boats engine from being started.
  • A wireless DIY boat alarm is very easy fit and will stop burglars from stealing your boat and its possessions.
  • It might be prudent to consider a small IP CCTV camera system to capture images of the culprits.
  • Fit PIR activated security lighting. Sensor lights will help deter someone from proceeding any further once detected on the lights sensor field.


It is advisable to use chains when mooring in urban areas; this is a necessity as some think it is a rather good prank to cast off your boat! If you are unable to use a chain then try using heavy duty nylon cable ties around the loose ends of the rope to make it just that little bit harder to untie the mooring knot.

Try to not leave valuables on the roof; having ones possessions “lifted” from the roof is not uncommon. Try and secure these items for example use a chain and lock for your bikes, keep fishing tackle, and other moveable items in lockable roof boxes.

Fit a lockable filler cap on your fuel tap. Whether it’s a few pounds or a hundred pounds worth of fuel, it’s yours don’t leave it exposed for the taking.

When moored up try and keep your curtains, blinds or shutters closed on the towpath side this will stop anyone from looking in and casing your boat.

If you don’t live on your boat full time then it is advisable to take very valuable items home with you. If you do live on board then just try and keep these items out of sight when you are not around.

And lastly don’t moor where you don’t feel safe! Marinas offer moorings - some with high levels of security.  When staying at a marina ask about what security they have in place.