Insurance Clause (outboard must be locked)

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by gungadin, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    Fine print in my boat insurance policy

    Losses that are not covered: We will not cover,

    " theft of outboard motor unless it is securely locked to the yacht and/or tender by a motor lock or equally efficient theft deterrent in addition to its normal method of attachment"

    I feel I have two options. 1) drill a hole through one of the mounting bolts and attach a padlock, it would be under the surface of the water and would need changing annually I expect.
    2) Lay a weld along the exposed bolt threads. Only concern here would be stray current affecting the electronics on the outboard, so could prove expensive.

    Any ideas or thoughts?
  2. Gong Show

    Gong Show Well-Known Member

    What size motor and boat are you dealing with?
    Pics would help.

    @Capilano seems to have a good handle on what would be reasonably considered "securely locked".
  3. Alex_c

    Alex_c Active Member

  4. RiverBoy

    RiverBoy Well-Known Member

    I had a bar that slid over my tightening clamps and then locked with a master lock. another thread torched this style of lock but it worked for me. someone tried to jack my outboard and quit probably after making too much noise. anyways the lock was a Master lock and i filled the key hole with grease to prevent it from seizing after all the contact with salt water
    edit: didn’t look at Alex c link. that’s pretty much the one i have
  5. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    60 hp Yamaha, bolted through hull.

    Yes he does, and I use grader chain cross bar chain to secure the boat to a wharf and a 6ft 2x2 steel post anchored in the ground during storage

    Yes I looked into those bet unfortunately too small, and from what I understand, they are not as secure as they appear
  6. RiverBoy

    RiverBoy Well-Known Member

    No they aren’t too secure. but they will satisfy the insurance company. I have lots of experience having been in that industry. I wonder about getting something similar made? Like from York or something? perhaps with a higher quality lock?
  7. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    I am just looking to fulfill the requirements of my policy, if someone wants the motor and has enough time and space, they will get it. Just wondered what others have done or if my policy is out of line with the rest of the insurance world
  8. Capilano

    Capilano Active Member

    The only commercially available product that I would recommend for a permanently mounted outboard is the McGard Outboard Motor Lock. This lock works just like a locking lug nut for a vehicle and any thief would need the matching socket to remove the nut. To make it more difficult to remove the nut (which also has an outer spinner to prevent vise grip attacks,) make sure to use some loctite on the threads. Most people only use one of these, but don't cheap out and get at least 2 locking nuts.

    As for tack welding the bolts and nuts, not sure if that would qualify as a lock to your insurance company.

    Just keep in mind, that no matter how you secure the outboard, make sure you have detailed pictures of how and what materials / products you used as it will be much easier to demonstrate to the insurance company if the motor was ever stolen, that it was securly locked at the time of theft.

    In regards to the brackets that someone posted a link to Amazon - they are garbage. Besides the obviously weak padlock which can easily be bypassed in 2 different ways (and in seconds), the bracket itself is the real weak link. Due to the weak channel design and cheap materials, some of these brackets (opposite the padlock end) can be easily cut. The bracket then simply slides off the mounting bolts.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
    Gong Show likes this.
  9. tinboatrobb

    tinboatrobb Well-Known Member

    The insurance company only wants to know if it is locked, how secure the lock is does not matter. The best lock in the world will still only keep honest people from stealing something.
  10. RiverBoy

    RiverBoy Well-Known Member

    x2- like i said above it satisfies insurance requirements. i snapped a pic of my crap lock with my phone sent it to the broker. good enough. but yah it would be better to not go thru the whole mess of getting your kicker stolen in the first place
  11. Capilano

    Capilano Active Member

    It really depends on the insurance company. Many now have restrictions and clauses that your boat and trailer be locked to a certain degree / level.

    Although is an Ontario insurance company, this is the first example on Google and probably can be found in many insurance policies, nationwide.
    1. If I choose not to lock up my boat or trailer or I forget one day and my boat is stolen, will it still be covered?
    Many companies will have ‘Lock Warranties’ or ’Theft Restrictions’ listed in their policy wordings that indicate specific conditions that must be met for coverage to apply. For example some will dictate that your boat must be locked in a specific way, or stored in a locked facility at all times or that there must be signs of forced entry for any theft coverage to apply. Although, we do agree that it is very important for everyone to protect their vessel(s) to the best of their ability and we recommend that they take as many precautions as possible to prevent the theft of their property.

    Also don't depend on your insurance broker to get approval for your lock. Read your own policy fine print. My insurance has specific coverage - and also exclusions that requires a separate rider to obtain the proper coverage if ever needed. It should be noted that my insurance broker did not tell me this as he did not know until I pointed it out.

    Now in regards to these companies who may or not care how secure the lock is - I do care. When I go to bed at night or leave the house for work or any other reason, I know my boat and trailers are far more secure then at least 95% of others - and that is what really matters to me.

    Finally, there is no such thing as "The best lock in the world will still only keep honest people from stealing something." Or "Locks only keep honest people out." Don't know who ever came up with these sayings, but there is no such thing as an honest thief - regardless of their intent and target.

    I could go on, but I think most here already know how I feel and think about boats / trailers and related security...
  12. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    Hi Capilano. Those McGard Outboard Motor Locks are next to useless. Had one on our kicker and mount locking the kicker to the mount. We went out to the boat to remove the kicker and forgot the key. Rather than drive back home to get it, we took a crack at it with basic hand tools and it took about two minute to defeat it without even damaging it. Most of these systems will only deter the most incompetent of thieves.

    What does work is not leaving the kicker on the boat in the off season when the boat is not in the water for the summer.
  13. Capilano

    Capilano Active Member

    Like any lock, put enough effort and or thought into it, the lock will fall to an attack. I should have mentioned that one issue with these locks, they are subject to an attack where a screwdriver or other suitable piece of steel is wedged in between the inner nut and the outer spinner which stops the spinner from turning. Then a pair of vice grips or channel lock pliers will allow the lock to be removed.

    If you wanted to slow a thief down, do as my friend did, he put glue from a hot glue gun in the socket opening. This helps to resist the screwdriver attack, yet the glue is not hard enough to cause the spinner to seize and allow the nut to turn.

    Personally, I use a hardened Abus security chain and padlock on my portable outboards. The chain wraps around the base of the power head and then down to the trailer frame. I posted info and links in a related thread awhile back. Is it 100% secure? No - but nothing is and as I wrote here previous; security is a multi level process. And to expand upon that - if a thief has gained access to the boat, motor or trailer and bypassed other security measure implementations, then it is almost too late. At this stage, the locking system (whatever you choose) is really the last line of defense and just hope it deters the thief into thinking that it is not worth the effort - or you catch them in the act and take whatever action you feel is appropriate - I'll leave it at that.

    I agree, keeping a kicker off the boat in the off season is a good idea. I keep mine locked up inside a secured shed that is monitored by motion sensors in the yard, cameras etc. The motors are then locked up in the shed on a custom motor stand that is bolted to the floor and secured with the above mentioned chain. Again, multi level processes and perhaps overkill - but the trade off is peace of mind...
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  14. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    I have no kicker on my boat, but the insurance company wants the motor locked securely in addition to its normal method of attachment. The outboard weighs close to 136 kg so it is not light. I feel confident that it would be next to impossible to remove when the boat is moored. In order to steal the motor the entire boat would need to be stolen, I have consequently put my labour into preventing theft of the entire boat both from its storage location (my back yard) and its moorage location. Yesterday I trailered the boat home and drilled out one of the attaching bolts and installed a padlock. Now I realise that this is not the best solution and have ordered a McGard lock, which I will install when it arrives. I can install this at the marina. It is going back in the water this morning.

    Attached Files:

  15. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

  16. Capilano

    Capilano Active Member

    Aside from using a cheap padlock, nothing really wrong with what you did with drilling the bolt. It looks like there is still enough material on the bolt which would make it somewhat difficult to pry on the padlock (which may break first) and break off that remaining material. If anything and if possible, a larger diameter bolt drilled in the same manner along with a better lock, would give more protection.
  17. Capilano

    Capilano Active Member

    For a portable outboard, these are good - and I have mentioned them in the past. By way of design, they are made to fit around the tightening screw tabs on the outboard. So I am not sure that they will provide adequate security with just a bolt and nut as what the OP has and there would be possibly be room for a prying attack between the lock body and the bolt.

    The lock (Abus Plus disk cylinder) used on this product, is very good though.
  18. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    Absolutely correct, and I think the lock will be a big ball of rust by the seasons end. I will probably be using a grinder to take it off.
    Gong Show likes this.
  19. ryanb

    ryanb Well-Known Member

    Ebikes are mostly around 500W. That's less than 1 HP. You're talking over 10 times the current demand for a trolling motor. Even if you can go 70km on that bike, what is that, 2 hours? So for the trolling motor you're talking 12 minutes on that same battery. You want to troll for 5 hours, you need a battery 100 times bigger than the ebikes.

    Apples to oranges. Again, prove me wrong. I'm open to new technologies, even have an electric car myself. Battery technology just isn't there yet for outboards.

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