|FYI — August 2001|
|By Brad Dunn|
Between 10 and 20 recreational boats are stolen every day in Britain. But now the country is trying out a new weapon against theft: a silicon microchip that permanently identifies a boat’s owner and helps authorities nab crooks.
Developed jointly by the British Marine Industries Federation (BMIF) and Equifax HPI, the Boatmark antitheft system starts with a tiny microchip that is programmed with your boat’s 10-digit Hull Identification Number and is embedded in a secret place within the hull. Your name and vessel are then registered in a national database, which police can use to check the ownership of any boat suspected of being stolen or to launch a search for a boat that has been reported missing.
"This tagging scheme can only benefit the marine industry's continuing fight against boat theft," says Howard Pridding, chief executive of the BMIF.
Backed by the British government, the new Boatmark program has already garnered the support of the country’s largest marine insurance companies and other organizations like the Royal Yachting Association.
Every vessel registered with the Boatmark system is tagged not only with a microchip, but also with a unique number marked on the hull and in other concealed locations to deter criminals.
Although visible identification numbers are vulnerable to tampering and removal, the microchips make it impossible for thieves to strip away your boat’s identity.
SHELVES: CHARTING CULINARY COURSES
$24.95, hardcover. A.B.
3-5. The Hot Summer Boat Show in Orlando, Florida. Phone: (407) 872-7799.
8-12. The Centre of Power Boat Show in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. Phone: (705) 326-4424.
16-19. The 15th annual Racine In-Water Boat Show in Racine, Wisconsin. Phone: (312) 946-6262.
23-26. The Michigan City In-Water Boat Show in Michigan City, Indiana. Phone: (440) 899-5009.
23-28. The Brisbane Boat Show in Brisbane, Australia. Phone: (61) 7-3899-3333.
This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.