Locking a kayak to a building

-- Last Updated: Nov-21-07 12:37 AM EST --

I own a poly Valley Skerray, and need advice on how best to lock it to a building.

I am about to move into an apartment, and at one of the places I am looking at I may or may not be able to get my kayak into my apartment for storage. I will try to get my boat either into my apartment, but if that is not possible I will have to store it elsewhere. The apartment is only two blocks from a lake, so it would be a pity to have to store my boat miles away in a rented storage or someone else's garage. However, while I want my boat on site with me, I want it to be secure.

The management is considering letting me store my kayak outside the building(in a UV-protectant boat bag, to shield it from sun and random prying eyes). The areas we're discussing are fairly private in terms of being hidden from view from the street, etc., but I would still prefer to be able to lock up my kayak. I have seen ways to lock kayaks to roof racks, but I need some sort of some sort of locking system to secure my kayak to the building. They seem to be receptive to the idea of having to install bolts or something of that nature for the fastening system.

Any suggestions?


Couple ideas
Get a “club” used to lock steering wheels and use it on your cockpit. cable a lock through it. Thread a cable around your seat and lock it to something suitable. Pretty much keep the honest people honest.

Lasso it?

Chain it up…
to a nice sturdy tree.

to what?
Lasso it to what, though? I am posed with securing the kayak to a brick building, not a rack. I saw those cables and have heard good things about them, but am puzzled what to lock to if not a roof-rack.

Possible damage to kayak?
I have heard that the Club can be wrenched out if someone really wants to, and while hypothetically if they succeeded they would take my boat, if they tried and failed… well, I’d be worried about the damage to my cockpit.


No trees
No trees on the property, at least not where there is room for a boat. It is downtown, so space is somewhat limited. Also, being downtown, I would prefer to have it by the building, where it would be safe from the random passerby looking for a target for opportunistic theft.

Thanks for the idea, though!


install bolts or something of that natur

– Last Updated: Nov-21-07 1:06 AM EST –

They seem to be receptive to the idea of having to install bolts or something of that nature for the fastening system.

Can you have them approve a large eye bolt in the cement (ground)? I would anchor the lasso to that. Or, get a mean chihuahua and put on its collar. ; )

Bolts are a maybe

– Last Updated: Nov-21-07 1:10 AM EST –

The management is considering letting me install bolts in the brick wall of the building, and I bet they'd consider letting me put them in the concrete instead. Do you see the bolts in the concrete patio (or whatever) as being better than the side of the building, out of curiosity?

I was just thinking that hoisting and slung from the wall might deter my fellow tenants from sitting on, kicking, putting their hibachi on top of, my kayak...

I do have friends with shi-tzu's that they swear protect their boats while camping... ;)



– Last Updated: Nov-21-07 1:18 AM EST –

I bet they change their mind on the building. Not sure,but I would. When I had my shed concrete poured I went to a hardware store and got ~2 foot anchor eye bolts and put them in when the cement was poured. I put a chain through the eye. In regards to Lasso, I was told to contact a Harley dealer for contacts to get a thicker cable. You can also buy those cable lock loops (brand name escapes me) at Lowes, Home Depot and thread a cable through that.

bolt loops
Cool, thanks for the input!


If it was me and I was in your same…

– Last Updated: Nov-21-07 5:57 AM EST –

situation, I would leave it locked on the roof of my vehicle.
We head to Florida for four months every winter, and I keep two sea kayaks and a canoe on my truck roof the whole time we are there.
Just don't park in any of those low roof garages.

One other option is one of those storage places. Many of them have a outdoor area where people store their power boats, (they are cheaper than indoors) and you could chain it to the fence or a post.


eyebolt in ground
Knock the bottom out of a metal coffee can

Dig a hole of can size and about half again deeper

Place the can in the hole, like a sleeve - recess to just below ground level

Pour some quickcrete down in there and stick a large eyebolt into the mix - recess to just below ground level

There ya go! And, when you are through with it, the hole can be topped off to clean up the area.

I’d be tempted
to sell it and buy a folding kayak. A kayak locked outside an apartment building is going to be noticed by lots of potential thieves over time, even if it is in a semi-discreet area. Not to mention the random dumb young vandal. Cutting a cable is not hard, and if a dishonest person knows it is always in that place, they will eventually bring some cutters with them.

Alternatively, I’d be looking to rent a duplex, or an apartment in a house, where you would know the few other residents who share the property. Not only is there more likely to be a cellar or garage space for it, but even if it were locked outside in back, it would be seen by a lot fewer people than it would be at an apartment complex. I think a kayak locked up in the same place outside at a largish apartment complex is doomed over time.

My kayak stays on my van roof until fall
Then I put it on my patio and lock the gate.

This gives the guards something to talk to me about when I come to work in the morning.

I have a locking system for the rooftop but I have not used it here. However on a camping trip I locked it to a tree in a Michigan State Park.

Fortunately while I’m at work, we are locked away from the surrounding bad neighborhood.

In this state, Ohio, the kayaks have to be registered so anyone stealing it would have to take it to another state to unload it. Supposedly but anything is possible.

Dead Man anchor
I like the coffee can idea, but I would up-size it to a 5-gallon bucket! Make sure to use a serious-looking forged eyebolt or a 5/8 or larger “U” bent from rebar. Remember, you are trying to discourage “grab & run” thefts. A serious thief would use a battery-powered sawzall to cut the anchor.


Low-level target
If you cable your boat to an eyebolt in the ground, make sure the boat is secured at a reasonable altitude. In my experience, people will let their dogs pee on just about anything - I had a woman talking on her cell phone while her dog peed on my car while I was sitting in it - she couldn’t understand why I was upset. Also, bugs will invade and people will throw trash in the cockpit, so use a cover.

Do what you can…
But do not make it easy for them. I would remove the hatches and store them inside.

Similar option

– Last Updated: Nov-21-07 3:45 PM EST –

Once the lasso is installed, get a good lock and another cable. Loop that second cable under the lasso and around whatever solid object is available. It could even be something well above ground level if your second cable is long enough.

Earth Anchors
Go to a Farm and Home supply type store and get a 3’ earth anchor. It has a “eye” on one end and a auger on the other end. Screw it in to the ground and cable the kayak to it. It would be very hard, if not impossable, to unscrew it out of the ground with the kayak attached.