An anti-theft database of stolen boats has signed up 17 underwriting agents in its first week of activity. was created by the British Marine Foundation as a central information point for police and insurers to access and update a national register of stolen items.

A spokesman for said: "The system is primarily designed for stolen boats. However, one of the offshoots is that people will be more disinclined to make fraudulent claims.

"It will make it very difficult for anyone to undertake any criminal activity."

The register, which is free for insurers and the public, will include boats, outboard engines, personal watercraft, trailers and other equipment. The register will also automatically inform police of all stolen equipment.

The spokesman said: "The official launch was only a week ago, but we have already had our first recovery. We are delighted with the results."