The security of your outboard engine is essential at this time of the season. We are well into the boating season and you have probably been using your boat and outboard plenty of times this year. However, history proves that at this time of the year complacency sets in and your normal routine of making sure everything is secure some how lapses! Get into a routine of checking everything is locked and secure before leaving your boat.
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Outboards that are not bolted to the hull need a secure lock on the mounting screws. There are several on the market that provide good strong protection against thieves. A good strong padlock will normally deter a thief. Most opportunist thieves are looking for a quick, easy theft. In other words an outboard that only needs its screws unscrewed and the motor lifted off the bracket or transom. Do not provide the thief with this opportunity. Lock your outboard or permanently fix it to your boat.

A few years ago Essex police force provided boatowners with an alternative outboard casing. This casing was marked with Essex police force lettering and effectively made the theft of the outboard useless as the thief would then need to obtain a replacement cowling casing before selling on the outboard. Most professional thieves would not go to that bother. So your outboard would be safe.

Remember, the name of the game is to make it really difficult for a thief to steal your outboard engine.  Changing the cowling, locking the mounting screws and bolting the outboard engine to the boat are all effective ways of making the thief think twice about stealing your outboard. But what if you repainted the outboard a different colour? It is no longer resellable. If you are happy with your outboard and have had it for some years why not customise it. It will certainly be a one off and less attractive to thieves!

A few years ago I had a Yamaha 15hp outboard and I decided to add another newer Yamaha alongside it. The older outboard looked tired so I repainted it. But the two still looked different. So I repainted both black. Now I know you recognise all Yamaha outboards as being blue in colour so having two black outboards was certainly different. Needless to say no attempt was made to steal them as far as I am aware. Both provided great service for many years. When it came to resell them I told the new owner of the benefits of having a black yamaha!

In this recession hit economy there are many thieves around. Make sure you are not a victim by following some of the advice above. Look for security devices on ebay or amazon and make your outboard engine thief proof.