Register aims to sink boat thieves

A National Marine Register has been launched in an attempt to tighten the screws on boat theft and rebirthing operations.

Already containing 40,000 items, the register is a joint initiative of Club Marine, Crime Stoppers, police and DataDot Technology Australia and was launched by Club Marine CEO Greg Fisher at the recent Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in Queensland.

“We urge all other insurance companies to support this great initiative,” he says.

“Right now it is relatively easy to steal and rebirth vessels in Australia.

“If we all work together we can do our bit to stamp out this practice, which affects us all one way or another.”

Crime Stoppers spokesman Peter Price says marine theft and rebirthing is currently a simple, low-risk and profitable criminal enterprise.

“Criminal networks traffic in stolen boats and personal water craft between Australian states, where it is very difficult to identify the stolen vessels,” he says.

“The National Marine Register is an important tool and highlights the benefits of identification technology by providing a source of valuable information that will greatly assist law enforcement.”

The register allows boat owners to register and upload pictures and key data about their craft’s identifying features, including HIN, VIN and motor serial numbers.

It can also include DataDot details. DataDot is a system of applying to an item thousands of microscopic discs containing a unique identifying code.

Marine theft accounts for the loss of approximately $11 million worth of vessels each year, mainly recreational fishing and waterskiing boats.

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Meanwhile, Club Marine has also teamed up with luxury boat builder Riviera to launch a new comprehensive luxury boat insurance package, called R Insurance.