Why We Don’t Put a Name On Our Dinghy

Several people have asked why we don’t put our name on our dinghy.  It’s a simple safety tip, especially for cruising outside of the country.

Dinghy enjoying Josh Caye off Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras.

Dinghy enjoying Josh Caye off Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras.

Often putting a name on the dinghy, you’re advertising to the locals that you’re not at home (i.e. on the boat).  This can open the door for thievery or mischief.

Dinghy  Exploring Warderick Wells/Exumas Land & Sea Park.

Dinghy Exploring Warderick Wells/Exumas Land & Sea Park.

Remember most robberies are “opportunity” theft — i.e. if your boat is the most available, it’s likely to be the one robbed.

We choose not to take the chance.  Not that an observant thief couldn’t keep track of which dinghies belong to which boats but by leaving the boat name (or something akin to our boat name — I often wanted to name our dinghy either “Blizzard” or “Snowflake” to go with s/v Winterlude — hopefully we make it just a little bit more difficult for would be thieves.

Click here for “15 Tips for Tilting Safety Odds in Your Favor”. 

Or check out “Keeping Your Dinghy Safe” post.

Anything we can do to deter theft is good.

Anyone have other tips to help keep your dinghy safe?  Please leave a comment and share.   Cheers!  Jan



  1. Locks-Keys & Thieves.. Get rid of them all and the world would be a better place..

  2. Keith Davie says:

    Well there is the obvious one of making sure your dinghy (and especially motor) don’t look attractive – as in “new”.
    I’ve heard of folks deliberately beating up the cover of their new outboard, scuff it, crack it, repair (or fake repair) the fiberglass, then do a bad job of painting it… Same for the dinghy itself. Shiney bright new is easy to resell – probably to the next cruiser through, after they’ve stolen HER dinghy! 🙂
    Ok, I sound paranoid, and I’m really not all that worried about theft, but I worry more this year, since I put the new-to-us dinghy on the public landing, all red-painted up and looking sweet…

    • Hi Keith! Yes, we had friends that bought a boat where the previous owner had painted the dinghy and outboard to look like a holstein cow — black & white & spotted all over. Unfortunately, the previous owner undid one purpose of the spotted dinghy when he added T/T the boat’s name on the dinghy — oh well… 🙂 It’s no more paranoid than not walking down dark alleys in big cities in the middle of the night alone. Cheers! Jan

    • Well, now you can go right out there and practice what you’re preaching.

    • The old-man-in-the-sea who was also a professor emeritus in marine biology Joe Linton from David Island, Tampa Fla, who had sailed many many years around Florida and Mexico, broke his ex-wife’s heart and she swears up and down that he did it just to piss her off, but he took his brand new bicycle she bought him for Christmas, and painted it with a couple of cans of different colored spray paint, ties a piece of line to it, and then before the paint could dry, he drug the bicycle through the grass, making it look really shitty. After that, he took that bicycle everywhere with him, never had to lock it, and finally after cruising for 15 years, someone finally took it. We figured it was another patron at the bar who didn’t want to walk home that night. Joe figures he kept that bike all those years because he gave it that ‘special’ paint job. True story.
      s/v Renasci

  3. I am wondering about this- as our insurance says specifically that in order to insure the dinghy, the boat name has to be clearly painted on it. Any thoughts on this?

  4. I had a brand new dinghy and motor stolen in two weeks . I covered the replacement one with graffiti and still have it tied to my boat ten years later !

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