Your kayak is likely to have cost you a significant amount of money, and the last thing you want is for it to be stolen. This article will show you how to secure your kayak to keep it safe from thieves.
Kayaks come in various forms and sizes, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution for locking them up. It is too easy for someone to say use a kayak cable lock, yet this isn’t the end of your security. A determined thief could make light work of a cable, and would-be thieves could be miles away before you even knew your kayak was missing.
Remember that if a potential thief wants your boat, they’ll find a way. Locking your kayak in the right way can hopefully deter most thieves.
Locking your kayak varies based on whether you have sit-inside kayaks, sit-on-top kayak, or even an inflatable kayak. When an inflatable kayak is deflated, it is much easier to secure these, yet you’ll find limited options when inflated. (Read DIY Kayak Hoist)
In our guide, you can learn why kayak cable locks are among the best kayaking accessories you can find. A bicycle cable lock system is relatively inexpensive when compared to a new kayak.
By the end, you’ll see how to make your kayak theft-proof as you secure it to a stationary object or other permanent structure.
How Do I Keep My Kayak From Being Stolen?
No matter if you are at home, in the middle of your road trip, or halfway through your camping trip. It would help if you cared for your kayak securely. Here are a few things to do to look after your recreation or fishing kayak.
Record Your Hull Identification Number
The factory assigns each new kayak a 12-digit Hull Identification Number (HIN). Your HIN is usually etched near the stern but hard to find, as it can be lightly etched. Make a record of your HIN and keep it safe, and while it doesn’t stop your kayak from being stolen, it can make the job for police easier for identification.
Hide the HIN in another location
When you want to know how to lock a kayak, you’ll discover how smart a potential thief could be. If they can cut through a cable lock, they can easily remove the HIN and change it. Spend some time to etch your kayak HIN onto an unsighted spot of your kayak. When it comes to identification, it makes it easier to say if the stolen kayak is yours or not.
Store Kayak In Safe Place
Kayak crooks are out to make a quick buck with easy targets. Leaving your kayak unlocked and in a remote location makes it easier to steal. (Learn How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn)
The best place to store your kayak is in a basement, garage, or locked shed. If you must store your kayak outside, keep it close to home and connected to stationary objects using a long cable that passes around your built-in security cleats. You can quickly secure your kayak to a tree or post.
Lock Your Kayak to Your Car Rack
When traveling, your kayak will be on a rack of some sort. It makes sense to lock your kayak to the rack so it can’t get blown off in the wind. While you will use tie-downs, these won’t stop a thief. A cable or two around the metal of the roof racks makes it far more secure.
You can also use your roof rack as your locking system on camping trips if there are no large objects to which you can fasten your kayak. If you use a long cable, make sure any excess cable is secure as you can damage your paintwork.
Most people who currently have an active homeowner’s policy could find they have insurance to cover certain types of watercraft and accessories and possibly your portable electronics.
This includes canoes, kayaks, and small sailboats. However, this won’t be for everyone. Check you have kayak insurance or take out a policy to make certain you are covered.
Can You Lock Up a Kayak?
The inflatable kayak’s immense flexibility makes it harder to store and more difficult to fold than a rigid kayak. A hardshell kayak may be more difficult to secure or seal, but not impossible. Here are some helpful tips for locking kayaks and keeping your kayaks safe without too much extra cost.
Lock a sit on top kayak
Sit-on-top kayaks come with built-in features like scupper holes or a drive well for locking your kayak. You can thread a cable through one of these holes to lock your kayak. Of course, the same techniques work for sit-in kayaks, depending on their design.
Lock an inflatable kayak
Inflatable kayaks are convenient to store and transport. If you don’t want to take it with you, you can store it in your garage, apartment, or car. A blown-up kayak is another matter.
If you must lock your inflatable kayak, use the cable loop approach as with a sit-inside kayak. Put a loop around each end of the kayak and lock it with a cable. An inflatable kayak’s handles can also be used as they are typically extremely well sewn to the rest of the body. (Learn How To Put Kayak On Roof Rack By Yourself)
How to lock up a kayak at home
Without a garage or shed to store your boat, you’d think you are out of luck. However, with all the above of lock a kayak, you can use the same methods outside.
If you plan to keep your kayak outside all year, keep it out of direct sunlight since UV rays can weaken kayak materials. The key thing is to keep it hidden so you can protect your boat from the elements while keeping it secure.
How Do You Lock a Kayak to a Storage Rack?
Lock Kayaks in Garage or Sheds
The safest approach to keep your kayak from theft is to store it inside your garage or shed, where doors can be closed securely.
Such structures may contain windows yet are often too small to allow anyone to pass a full-size hard-shell kayak.
If you don’t have space in your garage or shed, you can easily build a freestanding kayak rack, fasten your kayak to the wall on a wall rack, or hang your kayak from a kayak hoist or suspension system on your system.
Lock It outside Your Home
The best way to keep your kayak safe and secure is by locking it inside, and you have a better chance of preventing thieves if your kayak is out of sight.
However, you may not have space inside, and outside is all you have. The only option could be to lock your kayak outdoors.
Outdoor storage of your kayak needs extra care to keep it safe. Keep your kayak as close to your house or permanent structure as possible. Place a freestanding kayak rack close to exterior walls. You can also add a kayak wall mount to the outside of your home and keep your kayak there, although you need to go further to keep your kayak safe.
Secure your kayak with a cable lock system or a chain with a padlock, and keep your kayak locked at all times. Keep two keys but keep one safe if you lose the other; you can use a combination lock if you don’t wish to use keys. Note, many thieves can open a combination lock if there are not many numbers. If using a chain or cable, make sure your locking system has a vinyl coating to help prevent damage. (Read Kayak Storage Ideas)
How Do I Lock My Kayak to My Trailer?
A kayak lock is required to keep your kayak secure on the road. You’ll have to make it along the road if you’re traveling somewhere distant. Leaving an unattended kayak on a roof rack or trailer in a strange parking lot or area, even for a few hours, invites thieves. Most stolen kayaks are stolen on the road.
A bike cable lock can secure your kayak to your roof rack or trailer. It will help keep your kayak safe on the road, providing you peace of mind when you need to leave your kayak temporarily.
Try threading it through the scupper plug holes before locking the cable loop end on a sit-on-top kayak. It is impossible to get it out of the scupper hole or drain hole unless they cut the cable.
Locking your kayak to a vehicle roof rack or trailer is easy with cable locks and steel core lockable straps. Others have no scupper holes or other mounting surfaces to secure kayaks to roof racks.
You can find some designed specifically for a kayak roof rack lock, and these ensure your craft is secured by a lock that wraps around the vehicle roof rack slots or those on your trailer. This design works well for sit-in, sit-on-top, and fishing kayaks at the same time.
Steel core locking straps are another strong locking option. Steel wires encased in nylon sleeves thwart most would-be burglars. Check out Thule’s superb steel core locking straps here.
Some precautions can be taken while traveling with your craft to prevent theft. Set your car’s alarm and park as close to your bed as possible. If it’s a hotel or motel, park as close to the lobby as workable.