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ASK THE EXPERTS

Boat Security FE ATURING BR AN DON BAKE R OF ELLIOT T BAY MARINA

“Distrust and caution are the parents of security.” – Benjamin Franklin Generally, there are lots of expensive toys aboard even a modestly-sized boat, and wherever nice things exist, there will be those looking for their shot at a five-finger discount. The pair of paddleboards your significant other bought last Christmas or that brand new downrigger can be mighty tempting, especially if you’re dipping in and out of different marinas, fuel docks, and anchoring fields during your adventures. Boat security as a concept is a giant subject that includes conversations ranging from the use of padlocks to packing heat aboard. Remote sensing systems are becoming increasingly user-friendly, efficient, and affordable as well. Cameras are appearing on smaller yachts and systems that manage a dozen sensors at once can alert you to

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Brandon Baker Brandon Baker has been the Marina Manager of Elliott Bay Marina for the past 3 years. He started at the marina 7 years ago during his college days working nights for some extra money and the rest is history. “Being a marina manager is a bit like managing a large floating hotel,” explains Baker. Hospitality and customer service are top priorities for Baker and Elliott Bay Marina. “The most important thing for us is to facilitate fantastic memories for boaters.”

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an issue almost instantaneously via text. It’s a brave new world in a lot of ways, and boaters should probably take a reflective look at their boats and think about what security measures are right for their situation. Of course, the best defense of all is choosing a good marina with an active clientele to channel that neighborhood watch energy. To learn more about the subject of boat security, we talked to Brandon Baker, longtime manager of Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle, Washington. NWY: Generally speaking, do you have any security tips for boaters? My advice to our boaters is to always do more upfront and to be proactive when protecting things on board. For example, for fishing boats with several downriggers and rods, it’s always safer to keep those expensive pieces of equipment locked up or put away. Don’t leave that kind of gear out on the deck to entice anyone. We also encourage boaters to keep any eye out on the docks for anything that doesn’t look

right. We want our boaters to call the office, available 24 hours a day, so we can get a heads up and come down to take a look. Encouraging boaters to keep their eyes out for each other and lock away loose valuables are two big pieces of security advice for boaters. NWY: You mentioned the community as a security asset. In your experience, do fellow boaters provide a reliable line of defense against crime? Definitely. In fact, boaters tend to err on the side of being overprotective about reporting anything suspicious on our docks. Maybe things get called in that don’t turn out to be an issue, but we always respond to every call just in case, and overall, it’s a good thing. The culture is that everyone is looking out for one another. We don’t have many liveaboards, who can also be a helpful asset, but we still have eyes on the dock that are helpful. We manage an 11-acre property, so it can always be a challenge to have our staff monitoring everything at once. Enlisting our boaters to help has

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