Unfortunately, boat trailers are stolen on a consistent basis. It is important to secure your investment rather than dealing with the hassle of filing a police report and dealing with insurance. Without a doubt, the chances of trailer theft can be reduced by utilizing locks specific to trailers. When it comes to securing your investment, you need to know how to prevent boat trailer theft. Here are the best preventative measures to keep your trailer secure. 

Where Are Boat Trailers Prone To Theft

When it comes to the primary locations where boat trailers are most frequently stolen, it boils down to three. If you store your boat trailer in any of these places, ensure to secure the trailer with locks. 

At Home

Yes, it is true the theft of boat trailers occurs frequently on residential properties. It should be noted that this is the case when the trailer is left outside. In comparison, garage stored trailers are infrequently stolen. 

Let’s face it: a trailer stored in the driveway or side yard is highly visible unless of course, it is tucked behind a fence. Know that your trailer is at risk even if it’s nestled on your property. 

Storage Yards

There is no question about storage yards see a high influx of people in and out of the gates on a daily basis. An increase in traffic equates to an increase in crime.

I personally stored landscaping equipment in a storage yard and experienced theft on a regular basis. 

Boat trailers are an easy grab if they are not locked securely. Gates or no gates, it makes no difference. The codes are passed around like candy, allowing anyone and everyone inside. 


Not many boaters are aware, but it is common for dry storage marinas and wet slip marinas to allow boat owners to store trailers on premises.

Interestingly, when entering the gates of marinas, you’ll catch a glimpse of rows of trailers without boats on top. 

Again, similar to a storage yard, storing your trailer at marinas means you’re at risk of it disappearing.

How To Prevent Boat Trailer Theft

Without question, an ample number of products are available to prevent the theft of boat trailers. However, I suggest using a combination of locking devices compared to one. Unfortunately, thieves are experts at their traits and know how to overcome obstacles. 

Trailer Coupler Lock

It’s hard to steal a trailer without connecting the ball to a coupler on the tow vehicle. Occasionally, flat beds are used, but that is uncommon.

To reduce the chances of a trailer from becoming stolen, one simple measure is a trailer coupler lock. 

The trailer coupler lock sits inside the coupler. Most often, a bar extends over the top of the coupler, thus holding the lock in position. Fortunately, the lock is designed to prevent a thief from connecting the receiver to the ball. 

Wheel Chock Lock

A wheel chock lock is similar to that of a boot placed on cars illegally parked. The wheel lock chock extends through the air vents of the trailer wheel from one side to the other. 

The wheel lock chock prevents the trailer wheel from spinning. Importantly, the lock is constructed with durability in mind so that it cannot be broken free. Wheel locks are most often composed of steel with a powder coated finish. 

Chain And Padlock 

Although a chain and padlock is considered an old fashioned form of locking up a trailer, it is highly effective. 

Similar to a wheel chock lock, a heavy gauge chain extends between the trailer wheel vents and around the frame. Finally, a padlock connects the ends of the chains to form a sturdy link. 

Extra Measure To Prevent Your Boat Trailer From Theft

Extra steps can always be taken to prevent boat trailer theft. I highly suggest combining two or more locking methods for the best results. Make your choice between the three different styles of lock by choosing two. 

Secondly, if the boat is stored on personally owned property, add security lights. Security lights are designed to turn on when motion is detected. Aim the sensor and lights on the trailer to scare off a would-be thief.

Lastly, again, on a private property, there is the option to install security cameras. Security cameras record the thief in action. However, you would be surprised at how many thieves are unphased by recording devices. 

Take Action: Prevent Boat Trailer Theft

Look, you can’t prevent your boat trailer from being stolen in all situations. However, you can take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood. Fortunately, I was always able to store my trailer indoors, so I was not concerned about it disappearing. Invest in quality locks, and remember to arm the locks every time you’re storing the trailer.