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CNI Carenage, Raiatea - Yacht Break-ins

By Sue Richards last modified Jan 23, 2009 04:04 PM

Published: 2009-01-23 16:04:59
Countries: French Polynesia

I'm still working on getting the details on this since one of the boats broken into was mine. It happened over the Christmas holidays. I was wondering if anyone else has contacted you about this or you know any other details?

Apparently they tried going in through the cockpit and damaged the hatchboards. When that failed they forced open a hatch.

Drew Sorrell

Re: 12/08 break ins at CNI
From: CNI Management

"Yes, it is sad that during New Year's Eve (2008/9), 2 break-ins happened on some of the yachts stored in the yard. It happened to other yards nearby, and probably happened in many other places in the world.

These 2 boats were stored in a fenced area and we are now trying to get the local authorities to fence the whole area of the boatyard so we can better control who gets in. We always warn our clients that we do not provide security services and we advise them not to leave anything of value on board (especially alcohol), to lock their boats well, and to have insurance.

One of the boats broken into seemed to have a big amount of alcohol aboard. In case of unfortunate break-ins, we call the gendarmerie so our clients can have proof of break-in for their insurance claim. We send the owners digital photos so they know what happenrd and we immediately repair the damages at our cost, even though we don't have to. So you can see that we suffer as well as our clients in case of such theft! But we try our best to protect from such events and we do all we can to assist the boat owners.

We now have hired a day/night watch at no extra cost to our clients. I believe we offer the best care we can and we hope that these unfortunate break-ins will not tarnish our excellent reputation."

CNI management
Translated from French by Noonsite Editor Luc Callebaut.

Luc knows the CNI facility well having roamed the South Pacific for many years, and comments;

"I do not know of any yard, the world over, where no thefts occur once in a while. I have met many cruisers who had a lot less support from the yard/marina management than in Raiatea. As Jacques says, try not to leave valuables (money, computers, alcohol or anything appealing to local thieves) on the boat. Often they are after what they would like to buy for themselves! Lock your boat well and consider a loud alarm system ... big noise is a good deterrent!

Further Comment from Drew Sorrell
I spoken with the secretary at CNI who told me that 5 boats were in fact broken into in their yard and that others were broken into in Raiatea Carenage. They also sent word that many homes were broken into during this same time.

My boat was locked extremely well. The intruders damaged both the main companionway and the main hatch over the salon during the break-in. Of course, I know I signed a contract stating they have no responsibility concerning break-ins, but it is obviously of great importance to let other sailors know that there is a problem in Raiatea that needs attention.

Have you ever tried to explain to your insurance company that 10 bottles of vodka is actually worth almost $1000 in Tahiti? The insurance companies have no understanding of the actual cost of items in that part of the world. I also lost over 400 DVD's worth $2500-$3000(including full seasons of many U.S TV shows), a laptop, and a VHF radio, and that is what I know so far. I'm still awaiting word on other missing items.

I understand that I take a risk in leaving my boat in storage anywhere in the world, however wish to inform other sailors of the risk. I have no problem with CNI. It's not their fault and I know it, but from a cruisers aspect, knowing the facts may inspire a second look before leaving your prize possession on Raiatea in the future.

Drew Sorrell