Cleat Instalation?

-- Last Updated: Apr-11-09 11:51 PM EST --

My Valley Nordkapp RM (Poly) doesn't have a cleat, or any metal through hull loop for locking the boat down for security purposes. Has anyone installed some sort of metal hardware, cleat, etc through the deck? Any holes through to the hatches would need to be waterproofed. I'm thinking of a small metal loop somewhere in the rear above the skeg box, Any suggestions? Photos?


A better solution…

– Last Updated: Apr-11-09 12:52 PM EST – to just get a pair of "lasso" type security cables. They have loops that slip over the bow and stern. You then loop them around your rack and lock them together with your choice of padlock. They look impressive, which is probably enough to deter most would-be thieves. They can be used on any boat.

Another option is to just run a cable behind the cheekplate(s) in the cockpit and around the rack. A thief would have to cut the cable or the seat in order to steal the boat. They're not likely to do the latter, as it would raise questions and ruin the value of the boat.

OTOH, a Nordkapp is a long boat and it's not something someone can just grab and throw in the back of a pickup truck; stealing one takes some planning. Considering that most thefts are crimes of opportunity, sea kayaks are not common targets. I can't remember the last time I heard of anyone around here (MA/NH/ME) having a sea kayak stolen off their vehicle.

Although I have a pair of lasso lock cables, I can't remember the last time I used them. Very few of the sea kayakers I know bother to lock their boats. Unless you have a specific concern about theft, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Quite a while back, Harmony
sold a kit for installing a vinyl-clad stainless loop in the surface of a whitewater boat. Inside the boat was a substantial backing plate. I installed one in my old Phoenix Seewun c-1, after some kids tried and failed to steal the boat where I left it while walking shuttle.

Installation involved drilling holes and bolting the plate in place. One of the purposes for the plate and loop was to provide a place for attaching a throw rope to extract the boat if it should become pinned. The other purpose was to provide a convenient place for locking the boat.

I provide this info for historical interest only, because I doubt that these kits are available anywhere. You should be aware that a determined thief can cut any cable with a hacksaw, bolt cutter, or battery powered disk cutter. Locking a boat down only deters impulsive “collegian” theft.

Those EZ nuts, or whatever they call them, which work by expanding a rubber surround by tightening a screw, are often used when installing a cleat. The holes drilled are about 3/8". The screw and rubber surround are pushed through the hole, and then when the screw is tightened, the rubber swells to hold the screw in place. The rubber also usually seals against water entry, but we used to add some Aquaseal to make sure of a tight seal. I have used such nuts to install drain plugs in whitewater boats. I think they could be used to install cleats.

Correct installation of cleats
Through bolted with a backing plate below the deck. Use bronze, stainless or monel hardware.

Any other installation and there will come a time when you wish you hadn’t.


– Last Updated: Apr-11-09 11:52 PM EST –

I know the likelyhood of a boat walking from my rack is rare, but I'm also thinking about locking to a tree on a shuttle run. I'm also hoping the casual oportunistic theif isn't carrying bolt cutters or a hack saw.

It's just piece of mind. For example today I happened to have both of my touring boats on my truck. I was out in one and the other sat for all to see at a fairly remote boat launch. It wouldn't have taken much for some redneck to toss it on his beater truck while I was across the lake. I;ve made my own cable lock for pennies on the dollar, but it's not long enough to figure 8 around the boat and both bars. I figure 8'd it around the front bar in a snug fashion and visibly displayed the masterlock to deter, but I'm sure some finagling would have freed it? I either make a longer cable or I figured if I had a steel loop or cleat it would make it easier on all accounts.

I do like the idea of looping it through the seat, clever.

I figured I'd use the plastic nuts mentioned in the other posts. I thought I read somewhere people using neoprene as a washer between the boat and back plate? Bow or stern? I'm thinking stern?