For those interested in more details regarding Winterlude’s stainless security bars, we had our stainless steel bars fabricated in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala by The Shop – I don’t think they’re there anymore, but they did a great job. Before we left the U.S. to go cruising, we tried to get the fabricator who did our arch to do safety bars, but he flat refused, saying we’d have a much greater risk of fire aboard and not being able to get out than any risk of someone trying to break in.
After being Robbed in Utila we went back to the Rio for hurricane season, looked at some other cruiser installations and had Chris design and fabricate these bars. They are NOT perfect – we feel like if anyone really really wants in, they’ll get in, no matter what safety measures we’ve taken. Luckily crime against cruisers is rare and most is opportunity theft — if the next boat is an easier target, they’ll skip your boat & move on. Unfortunately, that late afternoon/early evening in Utila, we were the ones that left them the opportunity.
Click on any of the photos below to see them slightly larger.
The stainless pegs are just epoxied in to the wooden frame. A backing plate would have made them more secure, but alot more work … going back to our theory of “if they’re determined to get it, they’ll get in, the bars are a deterrent” to opportunity theft.
The fabricator recommended we use Abus disc locks which we did – no use to go to the trouble of fabricating nice stainless safety bars if a simple snip of a lock could allow someone access.
Also, be sure to think through your companionway access. We happen to have an extremely heavy and sturdy teak companionway which we keep locked at night and even a bar wedging it from underneath so no one could just push it open to come in while we’re inside sleeping. We know most cruisers sleep with their companionways open and so do we most of the time, but not always and we like having the option.
We don’t recommend or not recommend you add safety bars to your boat. It’s each cruisers responsibility to be comfortable with what works for them – just as it’s each cruisers responsibility to determine weather and passage safety. But we can say we’ve never been sorry we added the security bars.
If anyone has questions or other ways they’ve created security bars, please share with everyone! Cheers! Jan