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DIY outboard lock
  |  First Published: February 2017



These days theft is very common. Fishing gear, crab pots and even entire boats and trailers regularly go missing. While some thieves go to lengths to secure what they want, most only take something if it is quick and easy to take off with. Although battery-powered angle grinders and other cutting devices can sever even the toughest locks, they’ll generally attract some attention. It’s the quick grab and getaway that needs nipping in the bud. Putting hitch locks on your trailer, keyed locks on your boat hatches and not leaving anything to chance will generally be enough to stop most dishonest individuals.

Small outboards are commonly only held on by two screw mechanisms with a flat paddle on each end to allow hand tightening (and loosening) for easy attachment and removal. Many boaters overlook the need to secure their outboards to their craft. Most smaller outboards weighing less than 35kg are easy fodder for thieves. Padlocking the two nylon paddles together will offer some protection, but a single hit with a hammer or other heavy object will snap one of the paddles to allow quick removal. Numerous outboard locks are available and cost $70-150.

Recently I bought a 3.95m vee-nosed tinny for a bit of crabbing, prawning and freshwater fishing. On the transom was a 2-year-old Yamaha 25. I considered purchasing an outboard lock for it. After seeing the expense for such a simple device, I decided on a DIY project. I had all the basic tools required and was lucky to secure some aluminium offcuts from a mate. You can also get a metre of suitable box aluminium from Bunnings for around $10, which would make three brackets. Additionally, you could use tube alloy or even stainless steel. Providing it fits lengthways over the paddles on your outboard’s securing screws, it’s suitable. Let’s look at how to make this device.

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