We live in a townhouse and it is likely we are going to have to store our kayaks outside. I believe I have the gist of the right way to store a kayak, but what about securing it? How can I prevent it from being stolen? If there is a link to a resource on this that I missed, feel free to point me in the right direction.
No perfect way
There are several commercial solutions out there that will deter an amateur, but nothing will stop a professional.
Cable locks are good, but can be defeated with a pair of bolt cutters. Best solution I've heard is to use "The Club", which is made for a car's steering wheel --- put it the length of the cockpit at an angle so that it won;t come undone, and lock it. Then secure a heavy bicycle cable to the club and a solid object.
That said, I use a bike cable when I'm travelling. Wrapped around the cheekplate next to the seat, and then around the roof bar on the car.
If cockpit is a bit on the large side, use hatches
Have you seen these cables?
I think the idea of using a club to secure the boat is interesting too. As previously mentioned nothing is going to stop a pro, the only thing you can do is stop casual thieves and slow down the pros.
I use the club.
I place it the width of my cockpit (right to left), jamming it as far extended as it'll go. Then I use a thick cable lock to run under it and the Yakima cross bar. Works great so far. Nothing is full proof, though. If someone wants something, they'll find a way. But that fricken tweeker would have to be pretty damn tall to reach the cockpit or be carrying a ladder.
Look for The Club on Craig's List, they're pretty cheap. I got 2 for $10.00.
Best bet . . .
might be to leave it on your vehicle if that’s practical. My brother’s truck has an alarm that includes a motion sensor which will trip if the vehicle is jarred or rocked. Would be very difficult to remove a kayak locked to the roof rack without causing the truck’s motion sensor to trigger.
Make it harder to sell
In addition to somehow locking it to something… remove the hatch covers and store them inside. Have you priced hatch cover replacements lately? Who’d want to buy a kayak without them? Maybe a dealer will be called on to fill an order for 2 valley oval hatches and a round one… There is your boat…
Another solution is to put crude swaths
of conspicuous spraypaint on the deck and sides. Works on bicycles too, or on anything unless you’re worried about resale.
Is your HOA going to be okay with you having these yaks outside and visible? I would be surprised if someone didn’t raise a stink about that. If they are truly that laid-back, maybe you could get a shed, and keep them in the shed, which you padlock? A set of bolt cutters could get to them, I guess, but someone would have to really know what’s in there and get the cutters. Again, a really determined person would be able to get them, but not only does the padlock on the shed deter the casual crook, but the fact that the yaks are not in sight would make them less of a temptation for the more determined.
Other ideas - does your townhome have a garage? I have a small garage at my bay house, so I rigged a sling system for my yaks, so they are up out of the way.
Even if you do not have a garage, maybe you could rig a sling system somewhere in your house.
If you cannot find anywhere inside that is secure and practical, I would recommend renting a small storage unit. a 5’X10’ can be had for under $30 a month depending on your area.
Thanks for all the great advice
I am mostly concerned with the casual thief as our house is in an area with a lot of foot traffic - a lot of it sketchy. Making it difficult for a passer-by to walk away with it would take 90% of the risk away, at least I hope. I understand a professional might still be able to take it. But then again, a professional would probably find better pickings in the house or with one of the neighbors that has a car worth stealing.
We have a patio and can store the kayaks sideways along the fence without HOA trouble. Standing them up along the fence would eventually get HOA attention. We have a small shed on the patio but it is way too small for the kayaks.
We have a spacious basement with more than enough room to keep 2 kayaks safe and secure. Unfortunately, getting down the stairs requires 3 90 degree turns with less than 6 feet of clearance behind them. We have been unable to get smaller things down there. And yes, I considered the basement windows, they aren’t big enough.
My husband thought about securing them upside-down on top of the shed. This would put them in partial view of passers by (as opposed to along the fence where they would be hidden) but they would be up high. I am not sure how difficult it would be to secure racks to the cheap plastic shed though.
Since you have a patio, I’d consdier . .
digging something like a posthole hole, filling it with concrete with an eye-bolt embedded in the concrete. Then use something like the lasso security product to attach the kayak to the eyebolt.
if you could find a way to secure weight in the kayak in a way that you could remove it, but it would be hard for someone else. i am not sure what to use, or how to do it, but if a stupid hooligan decides to try to walk away with your kayak i am guessing they would most likely leave it alone if they cant even lift it. maybe as a secondary measure in combination with locking it up. maybe find a way to hide the weight. maybe have the kayak full of weight upside down requiring a jack or something else to lift it. multiple people could possibly carry it off, but that combined with a lock would be a good deterant.
What I’ve done…
I store 2 of my boats ouside and along a fence I have…
Once they’re covered, I use lassoo locks that are threaded through large eyebolts that are screwed into the 4X4 uprights of the fence.
The locks are not in place in this photo, but you can see the uprights.
Focus on getting them
out of sight.
Cover them up, and then make sure you have some cables of something to hold them in place.
Just the appearance of security makes a big difference.
You can also rig up a big noisemaker or even get an inexpensive remote IR sensor and put it inside one of the boats. If anyone uncovers them an alarm goes off in your house.
What type of Kayak do you have?
There are several types and that means different ways to secure them. For instance a sit on top has scuppers hole that a rather large heavy duty cable locking system can be used. I built a rack for outside storage using 4x4’s. I drilled a hole through the 4x4 then ran the cable through it and secured it with a master lock. I ran the other end of the cable through the scuppers securing it with a matching master lock. One key opens both locks.
I’d secure them along the fence for several reasons.
Keeping them out of sight is better. You can still secure them with cable to a fence post or stake them to the ground, and few potential thieves will notice them. But you also want to protect your boats from the sun. Leaving them exposed on the roof of a shed all the time will cause them to degrade more quickly.
On most kayaks it should be simple to install a stainless steel U-bolt somewhere on the back deck. It gives you an attachment point for a cable if your boat doesn’t have one. Bolting through a backing plate is best, especially on a plastic boat.
A spring loaded blank …
… shotgun shell … saw the same idea once on an educational TV program , seems people used them to scare burglars off , openning the door would trigger the spring loaded mechanism … there are various other booby traps that an imaginative mind can conjur up as well although you may become disappointed after awhile , finding none of them ever get deployed …