|Out of the water and secure|
Dinghy theft is sadly a given fact for cruisers here in St Martin. Historically most dinghies are stolen for the outboard motors. The dinghy itself is often found with the tubes slashed and partially sinking. However lately the stolen dinghies are being used for transportation to board and break into boats at anchor/mooring. Lock it or lose it is the common phrase among cruisers. We knew this prior to sailing to St Martin. We have put several security measures into our everyday routine. Tom purchased some chain so we could lock up our dinghy and the outboard. In the first week since arriving here, Tom has continued to tweak our new security measure. This includes purchasing additional chain…multiple times. While I appreciate his efforts, I am getting a tad concerned that my husband may have a chain habit. We may need an intervention soon if he continues as our dinghy will sink if any more chain is added! “Hi. My name is Tom and I have a chain addiction.” “Hi Tom.”
|Chained to the toe rail|
All joking aside, here are some of the security measures that are now standard for us. Maybe they will help others. If you have some good ones you use, let us know.
|2 horse outboard secured|
|Jerry jugs secured to the toe rail|
Lift it or lose it. We raise the dinghy each night. We are not able to raise it using the arch and leave the outboard on. We don’t want to pull the outboard off each night and re-launch it each morning. So we lift the dinghy via our spinnaker halyard on the starboard side of s/v Honey Ryder. Tom rigged up a three point bridle of chain with a shackle to make it quick and easy. The leftover chain is then chained to the toe rail of the boat. Another short chain secures the outboard and gas tank to the dinghy. Finally a third length of chain is attached to the eye on the front of the dinghy so we chain it to something each and every time we go ashore thus leaving the bridled chain for only lifting it each night. Our little 2 horse Evinrude outboard on the back rail of s/v Honey Ryder is chained in place. Another length of chain is run through the two jerry jugs on deck. I told you…..Tom has a chain habit!
|Rope solar lights|
|Solar lights charging|
Additionally I have 7+ solar lights and a string of solar rope lights that illuminate the deck and cockpit of our boat at night. We lock our overhead and companionway hatches and we have a steel pole that we jam into place to keep the companionway hatch secure each night.
Some might ask “Why go there if there is dinghy theft?” Well….couple of thoughts……1.) Bike theft was the hot thing in Brunswick GA – it just happens to be dinghies here. 2.) Theft happens everywhere. NO place it immune. 3.) A dinghy is basically a cruiser’s car. You lock your car most of the time, right? This is no different. 4.) We are careful and aware but we also don’t want to let fear scare us into missing special places, cultures and adventures.