Sunday, 4 May 2008

Outboard Motor Security

Back in July last year we had our Tohatsu outboard motor stolen, despite the stainless steel strop and padlock securing it to the boat (original story here). The thieves had simply smashed off the alloy transom screw toggles, eliminating our supposedly secure fixings.

Some weeks later, our friends Joe & Janet of SV Tegan showed us a simple tube that can be padlocked over the transom screws, to eliminate the weak point. Whilst the tube can be purchased commercially, it sure wasn't available in Sarawak. So we had one made by a local stainless steel fabrication shop in Miri, from square section tube that is commonly used for legs on stainless steel kitchen furniture. The first one cost about $12 and worked really well, so we had a second one made for our smaller outboard. One slot, two holes, its really very simple. The slot was cut with a plasma cutter.

A lot of people have since asked for the dimensions and details, so here they are. A detailed drawing is available here as a .pdf download. Click on the photo's at right to enlarge the view.

The padlock is a stainless steel Abus Mariner, which we've found to be bomb proof in a saltwater environment, though we needed a slightly longer shackle to go through both the tube and the stainless strop. The installed photo is at right. The rubber surround on the padlock stops it rattling against the boat - nice.

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