locking my boat

what measures can be taken to lock my kayak up? it’ll be living in the ‘common room’ in my dorm building at school. the boat will likely be a decent rec kayak in the 11-13’ range from Necky Perception or Dagger.


If the boat doesn’t have a locking point, you can install a stainless U-bolt on the deck, usually somewhere near the stern. Use a backing plate, make the holes tight, use a little sealant, and it won’t leak. Epoxy or peen the nuts if you want to stop someone with a wrench. You can then lock it to something(radiator?)as you would a bicycle.

Be advised, locking will
certainly discourage the occasional opportunists but the serious thieves will have bolt cutters. I have not locked mine to date. The only convenient place to lock is to the rack. The rack can also be easily removed. However,wrapping the locking cable around the seat supports and the rack will discourage novices. Good idea. When camping I wrap cable around a tree.

around car
If you have a place on the kayak to run a cable through as mentioned above you could run the cable around something under the car near the bumper. Remember, a bolt cutter can cut through most any chain/cable and remember that outside your kayak will be exposed to the sun for long periods of time which may not be good for your kayak depending on material. Maybe you know someone you trust living in a frat house and off in a corner there might be a place to lock it. Or, cosy up to a prof and see if you can store it at his/her place out of sight.

1 simple method
As stated above a determined thief can swipe most anything. To discourage the impulse theft I’ve had very good luck with Rackguard Cables from Shred Ready. About a 10-12’ length of cable with two loops. Lock the loops or there is a lucite ball strung on the cable. Lasso your connection point of choice on the kayak, insert the ball and small loop through the larger loop & place the ball & small loop inside your car. Close your car door and lock the car. Boat locked to car. Now just don’t lock your keys in! Costs about $25.

See you on the water,



Make It Undesireable
Years ago, to get more storage space in our station wagon on vacation, my dad would put the spare tire on the roof. But he worried that someone would steal it.

His solution was to paint the treads with green polka-dots! Our green station wagon was quite a sight with the green polka-dot tire on top. But guess what, nobody stole the tire!

Rather than painting polka-dots on your kayak, how about permanently marking your name on the seat, and/or on the bottom, or somehow else making your boat too unique for a thief to want to bother with?

the school i attend is relatively theft free… i’ve never heard of any serious swiping going down in the living areas. the locking is more for piece of mind on my part.

i like the idea of screwing a U bold on the stern with a back plate on the other side. that sounds like the most practical thing for my position.

thanks all

I took a new set of skis
and painted the top with a big, fairly ugly, white rectangle. The skis looked like hedouble toothpicks, even tho they were still considered (at the time) the fastest skis around I could leave them unattended with little fear.

My kayak? the w/w boat just fits in my Outback, the touring boat has a locking ring which I use to lock it to the factory rack. the rec boat… a little camo paint, most of which has washed off, seems to keep people from looking twice…so far.

Is there an outing club or similar at the school that has storage?

Is there a crew team with associated boat house?

Isn’t there a storage room in the dorm? If not, make friends with the maintenance guy. There must be a mechanical equipment room somewhere with an empty corner.

Are there any local non-school clubs?

Find a friend with a secure basement or garage.

Get a folding or inflatable.

The Club
In an old copy of a magazine I saw where a guy installed the “Club” from front to back on his cockpit. Then with a chain he could lock it to almost anything. I don’t know if they make a long enough Club for a rec boat cockpit though.

don’t try this at home
I use a TieYak lock - two cables that loop over either end of your boat and join together with a lock. I just broke the key off in the lock, so now I get to find out how difficult it would be to steal my boat by snipping or hacksawing off the lock or cables. I don’t have any advice to offer, just this cautionary tale :wink:

The club
If your boat is a closed deck boat you can install a “Club”. Install it on your cockpit like you would on your steering wheel and then just use any bike lock to lock it to whatever. I use it on both my ww boat and my touring boat. Very effective deterent. Like mentioned before any bolt cutters will take care of the cable but not the club. The boat would have to be destroyed to get it off.


U bolt
I did the u bolt and backing plate ten years ago to a keowee.I did it right in front of the cockpit to hang a whistle on it and a paddle leash so I wouldnt lose a paddle while fishing.This U never had anything pulling on it and it developed crackes in the plastic similar to a chip in the windshield of a car.Granted this may have taken 5-7 years to occur,but it was a pain to fix and looks ugly.Being plastic and coated with 303 I can bairly cover it up with a decal.

Just my two cents worth but I wouldnt do it again to a boat I plan to keep very long.



locking the yak
I run a bicycle cable through the scupper holes, then the through or around the stand I keep mine on, then use a good marine grade Master key lock.

If your’e in the common room run it through the legs of a couch, table, lounge chair, or maybe your bicycle.

It won’t stop the professional, but it will make it inconvienent for the amateur to use the yak with a couch attached. But then again most professional thiefs are not out to steal a Kayak