Avoiding Attacks – Fit Security Hatches

Published 12 years ago, updated 4 years ago

From Glynn Craig – 9 July 2010

One reads of many cruisers being attacked whilst sleeping at an anchorage. Many years ago we fitted stainless steel “burglar bars” underneath all our top hatches and we also have a stainless steel “security gate/grid” which slots into position inside the area behind where the cockpit washboards would go, i.e. inside the boat at the top of steps. This grid has a top piece that slots into 2 holes and hinges down to slot into two more holes near the top of the steps.

At any anchorage, we just put in the grid, lock the padlock, and sleep safe and sound knowing that no one can get into our boat and attack us. Should someone come on board we can try and deter them from the inside with pepper spray, loud noise, lights, etc. and it also gives us time to call for help and to alert other cruisers etc.

Coming from Africa people always say “yes, but you are used to living like that”. We actually copied this idea from an NZ yacht who had never been attacked, but we thought it was a great idea, – nowadays it seems more necessary than ever to protect yourself, no matter where you sail.

Glynn Craig

From David Peppiatt – 1 September 2011

I think Glynn Craig’s idea is good, If they can’t get in then one is reasonably safe. I have fitted SS tube to both forward hatches. I added mosquito netting to them. Both hinge but even the Hulk would never kick them in.

For the main companionway, I’ve fitted a pair of 30mm ID SS u-sections. They run up either side of the entry, then along under the hatch. The rails are SS tubes which slide up and then along under the hatch opening.

Each tube is connected to the next by SS wire. As the wire passes between each tube its locked in place with a pair of swages. The upper end of the pair of wires fetch up (with SS eyelets) to a pair of lock points, so I can reach in and lock this when I leave my boat, or when I’m aboard. The whole lot folds down below my companionway steps.

No man could ever kick these tubes in.

The mosquito netting is attached to the bars with velcro.

Should they arrive and start kicking I shall respond as required..

Remember. The rule is: if they’re outside and can’t get it, then you’re inside with time to deal with the issue. And they can’t rob you while you’re away from your boat.

Another defense thing I have recently learned. Not against Pirates, but against bugs. Avon’s Hands So Soft. Mixed 50/50 with rubbing alcohol. Apparently it deters even the No-see midge.

David Peppiatt

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