Is your boat correctly ‘locked’?

Why you should not lock the boat by the bow eye.

It is a good idea to lock the boat to the jetty, which most boat owners do, fortunately. The police, the insurance companies and Securmark all recommend using a good wire and a lock approved by the Norwegian Insurance Approval Board.

But were you aware that the point at which you lock your boat may be important?

‘Many people who use a wire and padlock to lock their boat to the jetty, lock the boat by the bow eye (see photo). It is often not made of hardened metal and can therefore be easily severed by thieves. The bow eye is primarily intended for hauling the boat onto a boat trailer,’ says Roar Johnsen, head of Securmark’s dealer network.

On some small boats, the bow eye can also be removed by unscrewing the nuts on the inside of the eye.

‘We have several examples of thefts where the bow eye has been severed, and we recommend that boat owner’s take steps to prevent this,’ says Johnsen.

If the bow eye is severed and the boat is stolen and then returned to its owner, installing a new bow eye is sometimes a major operation because the fastenings are normally concealed inside the hull.

‘This job can be expensive,’ he says.

But where and how should the boat be locked?

Some manufacturers use bow eyes of hardened steel, for example Buster. If your bow eye is not of hardened steel, you should use the bitt or a separate lock ring,’ says Johnsen, who also recommends using the stern bitts when locking the boat to the jetty:

'This usually makes access easier for the boat owner and more difficult for thieves,’ says Roar Johnsen.