My husband and I bought Kayaks last fall. We haul these kayaks (kevlar) on the pickup with Thule racks. We are planning on some trips this summer where we will have to stay in a motel and I am worried about how to secure them to prevent theft. I’d appreciate your helpful suggestions. Thanks.
For a couple of years my wife and I have been using Lasso cables with our kayaks and our Thule cartop racks, and we’re very satisfied.
We bought our cables at The Jersey Paddler, but I’m sure there are other dealers.
I too secure my kevlar kayaks when on the road with the Lasso system. Very simple to put on and easy to take off. Its compact when not in use and its pretty imposing looking when in place. No system will guarantee total security, but this one comes close.
Thanks to all that replied. We’re definitely going to check out those websites and I know that I’ll rest much easier knowing that the keyaks will be there in the morning when we’re out overnight!
kayak - under seat
Most kayak seats are installed pretty securely. They can be removed, often with bolts or screws, but not quickly or easily. And possibly not at all while on the roof of a car. So what I have done is run a bike cable under the seat (between seat and hull) and then through the roof rack (which is locked).
Easy to make too
I have a lasso type cable-padlock setup made from cables and crimps that work well too. An additional benefit of this type of arrangement is that you can carry it in the boat easily. It’s possible to use this to lock your boat(s) to a tree, reducing some of the worry if a day hike’s in the picture after reaching a destination.
Great for securing cradles, too
We bought the Lasso cable with combination lock last summer for a long road trip. It is very well-made and easy to use. Best of all, it is long enough to do the job with room to spare. They also provide a good carry pouch for the cable when it’s not being used.
I even lock my J-cradles on the trailer with the Lasso lock. It easily goes through both cradles and around both trailer crossbars. I used to remove the cradles and lock them inside the truck. Now I just lock them in place–much faster.
ORS Direct for Lasso Locks
ORS Direct has the best price I have found on the lasso style security cable. See link below:
I agree totally.
If someone is able to remove the seat from the kayak, he’s likely able to cut the cable of whatever system you use anyway.
Locks are only deterrance. If someone REALLY wants you kayak bad, he’s going to take it no matter what lock you use.
The Lasso locks, because they snake through the rack, also provide a fail safe restraint in case the strap, rope or bungee holding the boat lets go while you’re driving down the highway. The little stuff sack is very nice and there’s no separate lock/key to lose.
What a lot of great information and suggestions. We read them all and you helped us a lot. Thanks again so much.
SPT Protection Straps
Keep an eye out for these early this Spring!
Steel webbing woven into the strap and the cam buckle is lockable.
Keep your toys, yours!
See you on the water,
we also use truck
we use a bicycle cable thru the seat of the kayaks.
We also travel with a pickup, dodge dakota. I think the hiegth of our boats helps against the some potential thieves seeing the boats as easy targets.
We also choose hotels that are not semi truck freindly. or in areas that have lots of semitrucks. on the theory that truck drivers often have chain and/or cable cutters AND have a convient vehicle to transport the kayak hidden from view. We are more concerend about the boats when we are at a large paddling event or race…more people around who might actually want or know what to do with the boat or gear.
All that said we have been carrying our boats on trips and on top of our truck since march of 2004 and have never had one stolen. Had some mcdonalds drive-thru trash in the cockpit once, when we parked in a spot right at the entrance of the hotel. figured someone thought it was funny or was drunk or whatever.
In the end though, you can only take precautions. If someone wants your boat, they can get it.
We bought a lasso type locking device, then switched over. We put a u bolt through the bulkhead and epoxied it in. Now we just thread a shorter cable through and lock it to the racks. It is easier than the lasso. It will stop the casual thief.
Those look pretty secure and will allow the boat coaming to play a part in the theft prevention in that you cannot slide the boat out of the straps with the coaming sticking up.
Got any price point insider info on this system?
Krypto Flex Cables
Kryptonite locks makes Krytpo Flex cables in a number of lengths. These have a loop at each end: http://tinyurl.com/yns5xn
These can be run under the seat, or, if you’re really paranoid, lasso one end around the bow, lasso a second cable around the stern, and lock both together under the rack system.
Most thefts are crimes of opportunity…in other words, something easy to grab and dash off with. Since a kayak is neither, a simple deterrent such as an really obvious, beefy looking cable, should do the trick!
Yes, they are a way cool widget.
Blue 5’ = $65
Green 8’ = $75
Yellow 13’ = $85
I’ll have a bunch in at the end of Feb.
See you on the water,
BUNGEE TIE-DOWNS? I don’t think so!
…also provide a fail safe restraint in case the strap, rope or bungee holding the boat lets go while you’re driving down the highway.
Bungee?!? Under no circumstance should you ever use bungee cords to hold your boat to the roof of your car.
And while the cable may offer some additional security to the boat should your “bungee” let loose, you should bear in mind that the entire rack can fail – bow and stern lines are a must.
I recently experienced a catastrophic roof rack failure first hand (it very well could have turned out to be a serious disaster) – a locking cable would not have been any help but bow and stern lines would have. You can read about my harrowing experience here:
Not exactly a bungee
I should have been more clear - I don’t use regular bungees - I agree that would be a mistake. They are the engineered attachments for the KayakPro rack system that I use. As such, they are pretty impressive. As for the rack itself, the factory rack I have bolts directly through the roof skin of the car into the frame beneath - very beefy. My flatwater kayak has no bow or stern attachment points - this is in fact why I chose the KayakPro system which is designed for this application. Here’s some pics:
For some reason, the bungees aren’t installed in these photos.