Police have issued a warning to boaties after a string of boat thefts from Whangarei, with the latest being a $50,000 craft complete with two outboard motors and a trailer.
The thieves cut a hefty chain securing the boat trailer to a concrete block, reversed a vehicle down a private driveway at Manganese Point, Whangarei Heads, and drove off with the expensive boat and trailer.
The 5.8m Naiad boat, which has a red and white hull and cabin, was equipped with two Yamaha 90hp outboard motors and was taken between December 8 and 10. The combined value of the boat, tandem axle trailer and outboards is understood to be nearly $50,000. The trailer had a distinctive square pole at the front with a solar panel mounted on it.
Onerahi Community Constable Aaron Furze said the boat was about the sixth to be stolen from the Onerahi area in the past few months and he urged boat owners to step up their security leading into summer.
He said trailers should have wheel clamps or locks on the towing coupling.
"It's simply not enough these days to have the boat out of sight and chained up. Everyone really needs to keep an eye out on their neighbours' properties and boats, and report anything they see they think is suspicious," Mr Furze said.
The boat's owner is offering a $500 reward for any information that leads to its return.
With Northland waters soon to be teeming with vessels, police are warning those buying boats to check their website.
The site has a list and photos of boats reported stolen.
The New Zealand police website lists 44 boats stolen from Northland.
The vessels range from distinctive wooden sloops to runabouts on trailers with outboard motors and a new Malibu kayak which was taken from Mahinepua.
Maritime police Sergeant Craig Kennedy, of the Auckland-based unit, warned the lead-up to Christmas was traditionally a time when marine thefts increased. Those buying boats, especially privately or from Trade Me, should check there was no money owing and search for serial numbers on an aluminium tag or sticker attached to the transom-mounting bracket.
The serial number may also be stamped into the frost plug that is located in the block of the outboard motor. Outboard motors should also have serial numbers attached.
Anyone with information about stolen boats around Onerahi should contact Mr Furze at Onerahi police station on 09 436 9080.