Roof Cradle Theft

-- Last Updated: Mar-27-15 9:49 PM EST --

Quick question. When I bought my roof rack a bit ago, I was told to make sure I purchase the extra (and expensive) locks to prevent theft. My question is, however, what you guys do about your cradles/rollers? I just bought the Thule Roll Model ( but it just screws on with knobs. After going to such lengths to prevent the theft of the rack (which in my opinion isn't the most convenient thing to disassemble), what do you do to prevent someone from taking these which are easy to just unscrew?

Never have locked them.
Can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind though. I’ve kept yak pads in the trunk to pad the crossbar if the saddles/cradles should ever disapear.


Has never occurred to me as a risk. Have kayak lassos for the boats on the rack, but the racks and attached parts just drive around.

I take them off but it may not be needed
On my car, the kayak carriers are easy to reach (I never carry more than one kayak (usually just canoes), and the kayak mounts, when attached, are located at one edge of the rack). Actually, in my case they are J-hooks rather than saddles, but the attachment method is the same. It takes less than one minute per J-hook to attach them, and just a few seconds to remove them, so I see it as no inconvenience at all. On some cars, it would be a lot less convenient, but still do-able. However, I don’t know anyone else who takes them off, and I also have never heard of them being stolen.

To that end, are racks stolen very often? I had to shell out $100 for 6 locks but as I mentioned, the roof rack seems more difficult to take!

Racks to get stolen…

– Last Updated: Mar-27-15 11:19 PM EST –

(EDIT: Change the title line to "Racks do get stolen...")

...but I can't tell you how often or what your particular risk would be. A few years ago, someone here ran across some information that suggested racks were being stolen just so they could be sold on Craigslist. That actually makes a lot of sense, in light of the clever things thieves are coming up with to make a quick buck. I think it was more of a big-city problem, but I don't really know.

I have a set of WAY-too-expensive locks "securing" my Yakima cross-bar mounts (I think the total cost for the locks was around $100). I joke about the word "securing" because anyone with a screwdriver and knowledge of how the locks work could pop the clamp-tightening levers free in the same amount of time it takes me with a key! Yakima and Thule make good products overall, but in some ways they screw us royally, and I generally hate them for it. The quality of the so-called locks on my setup is a great example of how they screw the customer. If they made the clamp-tightening lever (and thus the built-in tag that the metal lock tab holds down) out of stainless steel instead of plastic, it would add less than a dollar to the actual cost of a four-lock set, so the $100 price tag would be no less outrageous but at least the locks would actually be functional.

Hear ya
I have the Thule but needed the extension kit for my car, so 6 locks instead of 4.

Everyone keeps telling me that kayaking isn’t an expensive sport once you have all the gear, but I keep discovering new “essential” gear all the time :wink:

Fortunately I’m picking up a boat tomorrow (knock on wood) and once in my possession I should be finished!

Replace the Knobs
I replaced the knobs with nuts and washers. Stealing my kayak racks will require a wrench and much more time.

Nylon Insert Hex nuts
Take one of the bolts for the saddles to a local hardware store and ask them for Nylon insert lock nuts. They should cost somewhere around 20 cents each. Tell them what you are planning to use them for and they’ll assist you in getting the proper ones. Total cost should be only a few dollars. Be sure to count the number of nuts you will need before going to the store. While they won’t make the saddles completely theft proof they will make it a lengthy project to remove them which will discourage most potential thieves. You’ll need the tools to install the nuts but it’s not hard to do.

Replace the wingnuts it’s more of a PITA to remove but they may stay on longer.

I view locks as a deterrent not as a

– Last Updated: Mar-28-15 10:14 AM EST –

preventative. A prepared and experienced crook is going to get your stuff, one way or another, if they have enough time. Locks slow them down and may cause them to pause and consider moving to a victim that is less restrictive. Sounds kind of harsh that my security measures push the problem on to someone else but that's crime.

Bear in mind that the crossbars can be sawed through with a hacksaw in less then 2 minutes so any measure to lock the rack to the vehicle is not crook proof. If you are parked in an area with other cars, then locks might move the crook on to another car. If your car is parked by itself in a remote area out of site of passerby's for an extended period of time, then the risk is greater.

For the record, I do have locks on my rack but not on the saddles. However, I cable lock the kayak to the rack, so unscrewing the saddle from the bar won't give up the kayak.

I just bolt everything to the roof

I like it!
Simpler than my method of using a flat washer, lock washer and nut on each bolt.


find Omega in: CAR ALARMS…Sonix Electronics…

wire in shock sensors and a ground interrupt device

buy a horn from Summit Racing:

also wire/connectors…check out Wolo …I have a Wolo motorcycle horn tucked under the van’s hood front lip. Scares deer off highway berm…paralyzes elk

Omega nylon connectors and seams are waterproofed using liquid electrical tape from an industrial supply eg Summit or Graingers…not Walmart. CHOH the plastic before coating.

lights and strobes are possible…doahn forget fuses. Summit sells boxes of fuses.

sad but true
not my tale…luckily

but apparantly they do disappear

Rack loss is the least of their problems.

Makes a good argument for not leaving racks on vehicles all the time.

I’m glad I live where I do
And never have to worry about that.

Fortunately I have a garage so park there during the night, it’s just when I’m at work that they would be taken really. I didnt think it would be much of an issue since I’m in San Diego and almost everyone near me has a rack for a bike/surfboard/kayak, but was just wondering if there was a product out there I didn’t know about.

Sonnyjane. You hope you’re finished! :slight_smile:

– Last Updated: Mar-30-15 9:31 PM EST –

Let see. Started in the 1990's w/an OT Otter/Polylink-sweet for a beginner but quickly outgrew it (sold), 2nd-OT Loon 111-tracks much better & very stable (polylink/still have for winter paddling w/skirt), 3rd-OT/FG Castine (sold after its visit to body shop; loved for its weight but didn't work well on hard clay shelves on Michigan's Pine River). Next #4-OT Castine (polylink, still have & use), then OK/SOT Malibu 2 (sold), then bought & tried an OT/SOT,SUP combo (forgot it's name/sold-nice enough boat but I found out I'm not as agile as I used to be), followed by my lime colored Necky Chatham 16/poly(sold) loved her but limited to rivers I could use her on, though we loved to surf big waves on Lake Michigan. A friend and fellow club member bought it and will let me use her anytime I want. Then along came the Necky-Vector/poly 14 (sold) really liked how it handled, turned, rode really well and liked the depth at which you set down in it but had difficulty getting her onto my Hullavator (due to its weight & my height), which I won't give up. Now have a Necky Manitou 14/poly, which is great for rivers & multi day camping, lakes (BIG & small), easy to lean & turn, clips along at a good pace though not as nice as the Chatham. Last, (so far) is my OK Prowler 13/poly which is sweet for fishing and glides in open and small areas real nice. And these were just mine but we have downsized. There are now only 10 yaks in my garage, but one never knows. Come next month I'll be selling the OK Kea (kids yak and/or up to 150#) that the grandson likes but no longer uses since he tried out Nana's Prowler. Plus he's nearly at the weight limit due to growth spurt this year. He lives next door and likes to take off and go fishing, which he can do anytime as we live alongside a river.
Finished? Who knows.
Many of us on p-net are addicted to paddling. Whether canoes or kayaks.
Maybe you'll fall in love with another someday. Boat that is. No matter what, be happy, enjoy the sport, and paddle on.

You got me
Ha you’re right there. The boat that I just picked up is a plastic Tempest 170 which many people I paddle with find too big but I have huge feet so the 165 is too small for me. For a composite boat (aka wishlist) I like the Seda Ikkuma but I got the Tempest for an absolute STEAL so the glass boat will be the next goal I suppose :wink: