Home Boating

Best Trailer Tongue Lock Options

RigPie2005RigPie2005 Posts: 98 Deckhand
My boat has to sit in my front yard for a couple weeks while we have some work done in the backyard. What is the best lock to use to prevent theft?

Replies

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 15,822 AG
    This is what i have
    https://www.autozone.com/trailer-hitch-hitch-balls-and-towing-accessories/trailer-receiver-coupler-lock/p/reese-towpower-heavy-duty-trailer-coupler-lock/940885_0_0?

    But i would probably take some extra measures as that can be removed with two bolts and a new hitch coupler.  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • RigPie2005RigPie2005 Posts: 98 Deckhand
    What about something like this? Proven Industries #2178

  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 2,237 Captain
    Those would be good, but as Soda says, 2 bolts and they can put on a new hitch and drive away.  You need to weld the hitch on as well.
  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 2,237 Captain
    This is what i have
    https://www.autozone.com/trailer-hitch-hitch-balls-and-towing-accessories/trailer-receiver-coupler-lock/p/reese-towpower-heavy-duty-trailer-coupler-lock/940885_0_0?

    But i would probably take some extra measures as that can be removed with two bolts and a new hitch coupler.  
    Those are good, but a battery powered angle grinder with cut-off wheel would have it off in seconds.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 15,822 AG
    I've thought about taking a thick cable, i mean one like we used to have at Rinker Materials that concrete mixers would use to get each other unstuck from sand on jobsites, talking 1.5" thick and running it through the wheels and around the trailer so that the trailer could not be physically moved without spending way too much time cutting it away and arousing people's attention.   But I keep my boat at a storage facility, even then I use the trailer hitch lock.  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 2,237 Captain
    I've thought about taking a thick cable, i mean one like we used to have at Rinker Materials that concrete mixers would use to get each other unstuck from sand on jobsites, talking 1.5" thick and running it through the wheels and around the trailer so that the trailer could not be physically moved without spending way too much time cutting it away and arousing people's attention.   But I keep my boat at a storage facility, even then I use the trailer hitch lock.  
    Yah, there comes a point.  All you can do anyway is slow a thief down.  If he's determined, not much stopping him.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 15,822 AG
    gogittum said:
    I've thought about taking a thick cable, i mean one like we used to have at Rinker Materials that concrete mixers would use to get each other unstuck from sand on jobsites, talking 1.5" thick and running it through the wheels and around the trailer so that the trailer could not be physically moved without spending way too much time cutting it away and arousing people's attention.   But I keep my boat at a storage facility, even then I use the trailer hitch lock.  
    Yah, there comes a point.  All you can do anyway is slow a thief down.  If he's determined, not much stopping him.
    agreed. I just want to make them take a quick glance and go "nah, too much work" and move on.  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,424 Captain
    edited September 14 #9
    I have two case hardened 3/8” chains - each about six feet long with a #15 case hardened Master padlock for each chain… they go around one wheel and frame of my trailer and the second one goes through the lower unit on the motor and around the trailer frame…

    That   chain and lock setup should defeat a three foot set of bolt cutters.  Of course all I’m trying do is make it hard enough that thieves will hit someone else…

    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • pottydocpottydoc Port Saint JoePosts: 4,891 Captain
    jack jack it up, take off a tire, and let it down onto something that will let you just barely get the jack from under the trailer. They can still get it, but they have to bring a jack and a tire. More likely to steal your neighbors boat than go to that much trouble to get yours. 
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 15,822 AG
    pottydoc said:
    jack jack it up, take off a tire, and let it down onto something that will let you just barely get the jack from under the trailer. They can still get it, but they have to bring a jack and a tire. More likely to steal your neighbors boat than go to that much trouble to get yours. 
    When I have the boat at the house, i usually have the lock on the hitch, and even then i'm nervous leaving it.   If I ever move to a place where I can keep it full time i'm going to have a more elaborate anti theft system.   Best thing would be to have a camera pointed at it at all times.   
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 2,237 Captain
    As I said above, I've finally graduated to the idea of slowing them down, since it's nearly impossible to stop a determined one.  To my eye, the simple guarded Master trailer latch lock is about as secure as you can reasonably get.

    https://www.westmarine.com/buy/master-lock--armorlock-coupler-lock--383374?recordNum=1

    Quick and simple to connect, inexpensive, takes little room when not in use and no way to get bolt cutters on it.  Like anything else, an angle grinder with cut-off wheel will remove just about anything, given time, but they're noisy and draw attention.

    I also found some hard 2" plastic balls online and bought a set of 3.  They fit in the hitch and - hopefully - will prevent someone just setting the locked hitch down on their ball and carefully towing it away.  When the hitch is latched, they cannot be removed.
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,630 Captain
    I agree with taking a wheel off.  I've seen, at a ramp, a trailer tongue inside a trunk of a car with ropes holding it there.
  • cortrcortr Posts: 423 Deckhand
    Locks and chains are to discourage people looking for an easy steal.  Real thieves will find a way if the value is worth the trouble
  • RigPie2005RigPie2005 Posts: 98 Deckhand
    I bought the lock I posted above. I'll probably get some heavy chains this week to run through the wheels too. If the boat was going to be sitting a while in between uses I would jack it up and take a wheel off, but I'm using it 2-3 times a week so that would be a lot of extra work. I'm going to bust my **** to finish my work in the backyard this weekend so I can at least get it behind the locked privacy fence. I'd like to build some kind of alarm system and camera. It would be nice to have it set up to turn on spotlights, sound an alarm, turn on a camera and send me a text. I've probably got most of what I need to build something like that. But it's hard because I spend all my spare time fishing, lol. Obviously I don't want to go through the process, but it helps knowing that the boat is insured. Sucks that this has to be something we even have to consider, but it is what it is I guess.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 15,822 AG
    I bought the lock I posted above. I'll probably get some heavy chains this week to run through the wheels too. If the boat was going to be sitting a while in between uses I would jack it up and take a wheel off, but I'm using it 2-3 times a week so that would be a lot of extra work. I'm going to bust my **** to finish my work in the backyard this weekend so I can at least get it behind the locked privacy fence. I'd like to build some kind of alarm system and camera. It would be nice to have it set up to turn on spotlights, sound an alarm, turn on a camera and send me a text. I've probably got most of what I need to build something like that. But it's hard because I spend all my spare time fishing, lol. Obviously I don't want to go through the process, but it helps knowing that the boat is insured. Sucks that this has to be something we even have to consider, but it is what it is I guess.
    you know if you have wifi you can get a ring doorbell camera, and you can literally mount it anywhere on the house.   in the tuesday morning thread of the northwest section i posted a pic of a lizard having it's way with mine.  Must want me to switch to Geico 
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • RigPie2005RigPie2005 Posts: 98 Deckhand
    Yeah, a ring doorbell would be much more simple, but it would only alert me and give me video. If I'm at work by the time I could respond my boat would be gone. I'm thinking more along the line of video couple with a blast of light and a loud audible alarm that would bring the neighbors out to look, coupled with video. I have microcontrollers, relays, and I think I even have a camera laying around. I would just need some spotlights and an alarm speaker and the time to program it all. Also, would need to think of a good way to trigger it, maybe motion sensor in front of the trailer?
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 1,629 Captain
    Ring makes a spotlight cam that runs on either 1 or 2 rechargeable batteries. I get about 2 months of life before i need to recharger them. Camera is pointed at my side drive (access to boat). My boat sits in a carport behind my chain link fenced backyard. I keep 2 hitch locks on it.
    I would seriously doubt i would ever have trouble but i have taken reasonable steps to discourage it.
    Jason :USA
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,630 Captain
    A few years ago I had a motorcycle, on a trailer, stolen out of my son's driveway with a camera recording the theft.  By the time he reported it and the police came the thieves sold it.  They went to jail but the motorcycle was gone.  I got it back a few months later after placing an ad in a paper and paying the person what he bought it for.  A loud alarm and lights probably would have deterred them.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,258 Captain
    Another vote to remove wheel(s) and hitch tongue.
    Strap an old / unused trail camera at the winch area.....
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,576 Captain
    edited September 20 #22
    Take the wheel AND the hub off. 

    Put a For Sale sign on the boat that reads:

    ENGINE BLOWN 
    with a low price underneath. 





    Giimoozaabi
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 15,822 AG
    Take the wheel AND the hub off. 

    Put a For Sale sign on the boat that reads:

    ENGINE BLOWN 
    with a low price underneath. 





    i thought about having an autobody shop take the suzuki logo off my motor because it's already white and paint RAM FICHT on it along with the johnson logo.   seems like as good a deterrent as any  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 838 Officer
    I have always use a very visible yellow wheel boot and a tongue lock, there are a lot easier  targets out there 
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