kayak/canoe security

i’m looking at a set of security rack cables - - www.kayaklock.com - - - anyone know anything about them ? - i do believe that they would need some kind of hull protection under them - a cut fire hose, maybe ? or would that mark a composit hull ?


On these you only lock your boat to the rack when you leave the car. You don’t drive with them on. I least I wouldn’t.

I have the TieYak and think it’s a pretty good product. I didn’t think, though, about the consequences of driving with it . . .

Thanks for the “food for thought!”


Made my own
I went to Home Depot, bought the cable, and had them swedge the eylets on, and made my own cables for under $10 per set. I measured the circumfrence of the boat just in front of and just behind where it met the roof racks, and added a couple of inches to give me room to work. One of the cables is short, and the other long, so the lock stays toward one end.

Works great, I have driven over 5000 miles with them on my boats, no problems at all (my boats are plastic, not glass). They fit snug enough that they don’t rub or rattle around. On long trips, I hook a short bungie cord between the locks (one on each boat) and that takes out any slack in the cables. The added benifit is that they act as a safety in case a strap should break. Although the kayak would move around with a broken strap, I don’t think it would fly off the truck before I got stopped.

I have also used them to lock my boats up when they are stored in the yard, or to a tree or something similar when I am camping. As long as the length of the cable is not so long that the cable can be slipped off of the boat, it works fine. My cables are just long enough to slip a lock in when they are on my rack, no extra. Off the rack, they have just a little slack, enough to wrap around a thin tree or pole, or I add a bicycle cable to the lock, and wrap that around the tree then back to the lock, if it is a thick tree.

Jeff in South Dakota

No Need Yet
While I haven’t had a need to lock mine up yet, if I did I would consider what I got for our son who just bought a ladder & rack for his new job, but this method may only apply to canoes.

I can’t think of the brand name off hand, but it’s a 6’ long coated cable with loops on each end that came with a real sturdy looking lock.

He just winds it through the rungs of the ladder and around the rack, which could be done much the same way through the thwarts & seats of a canoe.

If someone really wanted to take it, they could, but it would slow them down and they would probably have to make some noise doing it, unless they had a wrench or bolt cutters with them.


I use the Tie-Yak and drive with them.
The cable is vinyl coated and doesn’t scratch composite boats or cars.

Just make sure the lock can’t swing into the car.

make one yourself
My local hardware store has vinyl coated wire cable and swedge fittings. A hammer or rock closed the fittings leaving loops at each end. I dont remember the costs, but I thing the cable was less than .30/foot.

I view the locks as a deterrent for the “opportunistic” theft. A determined thief can get through one easily with a bolt cutter.

i’ve been using thr tie-yak for a year - i do drive with it on, and noticed a number of scratches at the side of the roof where i loop the excess cable around the rack - i guess i could only use it when i’m away from the car, but have liked the idea of something besides woven straps keeping the boat on the car - or probably i should just slow down a bit =:-/

Ditto Your Comments. Very Easy DIY.

I use a bike cable and lock
and they are the same type of material as the tie yak. The cable can be cut with bolt cutters-my bike was almost stolen at the pool once during noon hour. Another swimmer stopped them after they cut the cable-course my bike had another sturdier ulock on it and they couldn’t saw through that after being caught. Lucky me!

See “CD Squall” post
Check this thread:


CD rep (Tom Foote) had a boat stolen off his trailer while parked at the local Red Roof Inn in Charleston WV.

I do not know if it was cabled.

The local shop theorizes that it might have been a trucker - someone that would have access to cable cutters (for heavy duty seals) and also had a way to haul it off. This opens up a whole new can of worms in terms of who might be a potential perp. Of course, it could have been some local kids too.

I would suggest several types of locks if you have to leave your boat out of sight. Nothing is perfect, but the more layers a perp has to cut the greater the security.

As Sgt. Esterhaus used to say, “Lets be careful out there.”


TieYak on eBay - cheaper
I just got a TieYak on eBay for $20.50. They are always on there.

Other wise make your own, or rig similar with short and long bike lock type cables that have big enough loop ends to put one end through the other to make a loop with each - put one on each end of kayak - loop around rack - and lock the free ends together.

Canoes and SOTs with scupper holes are easier to lock as you have more places to run cabled through.

Motel/Hotel Room
If I am traveling, I try to look for a hotel/motel room long enough to put the boats inside because also HomeDepot sells the tools to easily cut the cables. L



Another method is…
I have seen a kayak lock made by taking “the Club” a steering wheel locking device and locking that across the coaming.Then a cable is run underneath that and attached to whatever(roof racks etc.I use a Home Depot heavy duty cable lock which I only put on when my car is parked for any length of time.Problem with my pungo is that there really isn’t a good place to lock onto, that’s why I might give the steering wheel lock idea a try.