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There are many unique things about our new boat. One that I was not initially sold on is the custom lockable security bars on each hatch. While by no means paranoid, we are in the habit of always locking the companionway door when we retire for the night. In some places, that may not be enough though. For example, the previous owners of this boat had done some traveling in Venezuela where they felt more security was required, hence the bars (these days most cruisers avoid Venezuela altogether).

We just found out today that friends of ours had someone climb aboard their boat last evening while they were asleep, anchored in Canoan. Perhaps this, and the super-clever (secret) alarm system that our new boat has, is not such a bad idea after all. I still need to weigh the pros and cons though. For example, if there’s a fire, I want to be able to get out!

By the way, Happy National Day to all of our French friends. I doubt much is going to be happening on the boat front here in Martinique today!


  1. Even if you don’t want to leave the bars locked while you’re sleeping, they could certainly discourage theft when you’re not on the boat.

    What worries me are the tales of locals pulling your anchor loose when you’re gone, then “salvaging” your boat for you. It basically turns into extortion to get your boat back and have repairs made.

  2. A discrete masthead camera pointed forward can solve that problem.

    • Which problem? The boat being moved? I’d like to hear of a specific report of that actually happening. Like I said, I’ve not heard of one instance.

  3. I’d like to re-post this on my blog, with full credit given.


  4. I can see your reasoning in the event of a need to escape the boat suddenly (and I hope it never happens to you). Are the bars removable? If yes, maybe you could stow them and only install them when you think there might be a security risk.

    – Dave

  5. As far as the release boat and salvage for profit thing goes I read an account of a case where that was suspected and allegedly known to happen on the west side of Mexico in a remote area. The boat was at anchor and supposedly being watched by a local while the owner was traveling out of the area. I can’t confirm anything. Good luck with your new boat. Greg

    • My point is asking is, one “alleged suspected” case does not make it anything to waste a moment’s thought on. The petty thieves around here are no where near that sophisticated.

  6. As far as making security bars easily removable for emergency, Fatty Goodlander wrote a piece in Cruising World perhaps 1-2 yrs ago on that very subject and design that was secure but quickly removable.

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