locking/stashing a kayak

I’m gonna take a short trip where I may have to stash my kayak, and possibly leave it for a few hours to a day or so while I hitchhike or otherwise figure out how to get back to my car. I have a steering wheel locking “club”

that fits the rear hatch, and I can run a cable lock around that and a tree. I’m not real worried-I can probably hide it in the woods where nobody will even see it and its a low crime area. But I’m curious what methods others may have developed for securing a kayak, just in case.

Special Cable
A good boat shop will have a cable designed to wrap around the hull of the boat to lock it. It is coated, designed for the purpose and a lot lighter than a steering wheel club.

does a cable lock around a hull?

lasso lock

– Last Updated: Sep-02-11 7:30 PM EST –


It works on the idea of a cable loop that is smaller than the widest part of your kayak. You loop one end over the bow until the loop snugs up maybe 1/3 from the bow, then again with the other loop on the stern. Finally lock the two parts around a tree or something making sure to wrap extra cable so that the loop ends can't pull off the bow or stern.

I use them on road trips on my car rack and a couple times at camp when my boat wasn't close to my main camp site.

If you're considering a small WW boat it may not work as well.

It works on canoes too
not sure of the ww kayak.

You can get quite creative with it with a canoe.

I use 20 foot long pvc coated 1/4"…
cable that has a loop in each end.

I feed it through the stainless steel pad eye that has the grab loop attached to it, and then wrap it around a tree or equal and fasten the two loops together with a pad lock.

I use the same set up if I am at a motel over night, but just fasten it to the roof rack.

Jack L

Master Cable Lock
I use two of these:


Loop them around each end of the kayak, roughly a third of the way in, and also run them around any solid object – rack, fencepost, etc. – then snug them up. I find these much less fiddly than the cable lock with twin loops.

on car vs on shore
On my car, I use a Lasso, or just a standard lock and cable for a boat that has a lock point. The boats sometimes have to stay overnight on my car on the street in San Francisco (sometimes more than overnight).

On the shore, say if my campsite is away from the boat, I usually just hide the kayak. Keep it out of sight of both shore and any roads, and you should be safe.

lock points…
U would think the kayak companies would smarten up and design a thru-the-hull lock point or something similar on their respective boats , since kayak theft is a common problem …and yes, anything can be stolen if the thief is determined to steal it. One suggestion to the OP is too loop the cable around/under/thru the seat , if possible, as these tend to be fastened in pretty well, it might deter spur of the moment thefts.

Read my post above
QCC has one on the bow and also on the stern.

You would have to tear the boat apart to get the stainless steel fitting out of it.

jack l

I think the OP has the best solution!
If you already owned a “club” already, that seems the perfect solution. A short conventional cable lock to tie the club to a tree will actually be more secure than locking the seat, which can be removed with a couple turn of the wrench.

My WW kayak has a steel grab bar. If I ever do self-shuttle, it would be a no-brainer to run a cable through that.

Virtually all WW boats …
… have a through the hull metal fitting or fittings. They are used in rescues.

Simple bike lock
I use a cable lock/bike lock with a combination. I generally just run it through one of the grab loops and around a small tree. That’s not AS secure, but it small and keeps someone from just waking away with it.

Also write your name and phone number inside the hull where it isn’t obvious. If it goes missing, it will be missing a grab handle which will make it easy to identify on Craigslist or eBay.

cable lock and camo tarp
I have stashed my canoe in backcountry many times. The longest for 4 days while I backpacked. Place well off the the trail where it is less likely to be spotted by a passerby, cable lake through a thwart and around a tree, and cover the whole thing with a camo tarp (a couple yards of camo cloth from the fabric section of Walmart). Probably an overkill, but never had a problem.

I think so too. I appreciate the other suggestions though, but I think my system will work fine, And its already paid for. But now I know what those funny cables are that I’ve seen looped around city folks’s kayaks on top of their SUV.

Threaded U-Bolts from Jamestown
Hi Wayne - I’ve installed threaded U-bolts from Jamestown Distributors on a lot of kayaks. They have two nuts for each side (4 total). You drill two through-hull holes at bow or stern, install the U-bolts with one nut inside the hull and one outside on each side, and use marine putty over the nuts to secure them. The height is enough 1-2" so you can thread most cables through them, including bike cables.

If you have multiple boats, decide bow or stern so if you need to cable them together you will have a consistent line-up. Or, they’re cheap enough to install at both ends.

Next time we paddle together I’ll bring a couple you can have. I bought a box & have many extras.


some kayak companies already do it

I too, appreciate people sharing what works for them.

But apparently, not everybody reads: their proposed solutions cost more and work no better than what already work for you.

Lasso Security Cables
I echo the techniques of some of the other posters with the Lasso Cables. I also thread it around the seat as well. I’ve left mine for hours in public areas while moving my pickup vehicle.