theft prevention while on roof rack

-- Last Updated: Jul-27-07 2:29 PM EST --

Trying to figure out how to connect the locking cables to canoe to prevent it from being stolen while on roofrack. I usually load my boat the night before so I can get an early start. Previous boat had a Tug Eye drilled into bow so I ran a bike cable through that. New boat is all wood gunnels and thwarts. Easy for anyone to just saw off these. Cable is one of the krytonite thick ones. Any suggestions?

I haven't drilled anything into my new canoe can't even bring myself to gluing knee pads in! On previous canoe was brave enough to rivet about 50 snaps for a Cookes cover, rivet in a footbrace, etc. This one is.... special :-)

Although, I could be convinced to charge up the drill!

my $0.02
You sound just like me. I was saying this while locking my kayaks through the seat buckets. But - someone could always saw off the seat bucket, or the lock for that matter, or just steel my car (actually I think I’ve hit on something - get a crappy car like mine and people might assume your boats are junk also!).

I think you have to assess your risk vs. drilling a hole in your boat.

custom made cable for your canoe
No holes necessary in the canoe.

I went to The Pennsylvania Sling Company and had them make a custom cable for my Spirit II. I drew up what I wanted and they made it on the spot while I waited.

The best way to describe it is a bridle for a horse. It looks something like this


The O slips over one end, the ---- is long enough to go around the back of a tree and the C goes over the other end and is connected together into another O by padlock. Cost was about $22.

The ----- section is long enough to go around the back of a pretty large tree. If you are going around something smaller, just put one or two overhand loops into the length of ---- to effectively shorten it. When done right, it is impossible to get the padlocked O----O off the canoe without cutting the cable. Of course, a determined thief will do just that.

casual theft
I think if you focus on any thief that’s more than a drunk or a teenager, you’re wasting your time.

I have a family member who is a thief and when he first saw my Yakima racks he said: “Jeez. I wouldn’t know where to begin to steal these.” When pressed he allowed that if given enough time he could probably figure out a way.

So, since the professional is going to get your boat if they really want it, the only thing you can do it to make it inconvenient for the casual thief.

Get a bike lock; loop it under your roof rack; loop a seat or a crossbar; and hope the drunk or the teenager doesn’t have a phillipshead screwdriver and a lot of patience.

It goes without saying that your paddle should not be on the rack, as its presence would only serve to provide more incentive for a casual thief to steal your boat.

Anyone who would carry a saw around to cut through wood thwarts might also carry tools for going thru a cable. As I see it the cable will only serve to slow ‘em down and/or reduce the chance of an otherwise unlocked boat becoming an easy target of opportunity.

I made up cables much like Clarion described at my local hardware store. They were kind enough to let me use their swedging tool for crimping the cable ferrules. I imagine it works much the same as Clarion’s.

So far - no problems yet… knock on wood…

So I do cable my boat(s) to the rack on my trailer/roof rack and/or to trees, but even with locked cables I don’t leave boats or gear unattended very long, especially in remote locations. The dire consequences suffered by some of our friends here at who have lost boats to scum-bag thieves keeps us on our collective toes a bit more these days.

Also: There is much truth in what seakak1 said about a crappy car. Bill Mason used to advocate a rusty piece-o-sh*t Toyota for use as a shuttle car - as a theft deterrent. I’ll buy into that line of thinkin’ …except I’ve never owned a Japanese car… Fortunately for patriotic types me there are plenty of crappy cars made in the good ol’ USA! – Randall

Good idea! What are the ----, O, and C made of. How much does it weigh? If you are staying overnight at a motel can you use it to attach the canoe to your rack or the car?

I drive by PA Sling all the time, I assumed that they made everything out of canvas or synthetic strapping.

good idea clarion and arkay
same concept as a lasso cable. They do sell one at about $45 but would be easy enough to use a couple of the kryptonite cables and adapt for canoe.

Good, you all saved me from getting that drill out and…opening a hole or two in my new canoe! I’ll eventually start customizing it, just need to get a few scratches on it first to make me feel better about the holes. But for now, I want to make it a bit more difficult to steal.

I agree with Arkay. No one is going to
steal a boat if it involves cutting through gunwales or cutting through a cockpit rim. The vulnerable thing is the cable itself, and then the lock securing the cable. Serious thieves have ways of dealing with these, quickly.

My opinion, though, is that most boat theft is by cheap collegians who do not have the money to afford what they can steal. A cable run through a hole in a hull or deck and secured to a car is usually more than enough to cause collegiate thieves to go elsewhere. By the way, a hole in a kayak can be covered by using a drain plug kit. Usually a cable hole in a canoe need not be covered.

Another way of reducing theft is to spray paint ugly swaths of pink or green randomly inside and outside the hull. You need not even be artistic. Such painting means that the thief is either going to have to spend lots of time explaining the ugly paint swaths, or spend lots of time removing the paint.

no sir
"Another way of reducing theft is to spray paint ugly swaths of pink or green randomly inside and outside the hull. You need not even be artistic. Such painting means that the thief is either going to have to spend lots of time explaining the ugly paint swaths, or spend lots of time removing the paint"

There is NO WAY I am gonna ruin the finish of my shiny new canoe by painting it with ugly swaths of pink/green! LOL! Let them take it…I’ll hunt them down and…oh, never mind.

Attach several scorpions on tiny leashes
around each strap the thief would have to undo to get the boat. This works fantastically for me.

everything is cable
and yes, you can connect the ----- around whatever you want.

Maybe Tebpac would post a picture sometime. It went along with the boat when I sold it to him.

I would suggest you make a quick and dirty model out of string or rope to figure out what you need for your canoe. Then just give them a 60 second sketch of what you want and they’ll make it.

Alternative Design?
I like this so much, I’m going to take a stab at it. I really need some security system for when the canoe is on the car. I’m hoping that maybe I can use some plastic covered cable or a heavy, hard to cut webbing.

And how about this for a design: 0—o o—0

Both the 0’s would be sized for the ends of the canoe; and the little o’s could be padlocked together in the center after being wrapped around or through something.

Am I missing why this isn’t practical?

not missing anything as far as I can see
It may work better than what I did.

If you make it, I’ll be sure to check it out when I have the chance.

You could tie a rattlesnake to each end of the boat, seems like a read an article about dope-growers doing that in KY - apparently it works well. :slight_smile:

Why bother with all the 'secure boat to RACK" stuff when most racks on the market would probably take a few minutes to remove if so inclined. gee. why spend 10 minutes dicking around with your fancy locking cable, when you can take 3 and either pry the racks off the car, or cut the crossbars with a hacksaw(no way it would take over 2 minutes) and have your way with the boat?

And no i’m not a thief.

Or if you’re spending the night at a motel in Jackson, Mississippi, and get accosted by a hooker, and a crack dealer on your walk back from IHOP to the motel…pull the Bell Flashfire off your canoe rack(where it was locked with a cable), and take it into the room with you. I did.


Yakima lock cores
On lowriders locked to factory rails. Someone trying to pry my rack off would make a whole lot of noise doing it.

Dude you need to find a better motel
directory. lol. Seriously, though, if you’re staying in a place THAT bad, you might want to get OUT of town a little on your next overnighter . . . .

Motion Sensor
My brother’s truck has a motion sensor that detects movement of the truck and sounds an alarm if it detects movement. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to remove a canoe or yak without causing the motion sensor to trigger. Combined with some form of cable/lock, this should provide adequate protection in most instances. Of course, as noted previously, a “professional” thief will always find a way. But, then, a “professional” thief probably wouldn’t bother since he would have an easier time fencing electronics or jewelry than a canoe or yak.

Surprised me…
Surprised me; it was not a cheap motel.

I wrote it off as having to do with the close proximity to the interstate, and being located in a state capital. It has been my experience that motels located on interstate highways, in capital cities, have more than their share of “denizens of the night”.

Anyway, it was not a good introduction to Jackson, Mississippi, and I “still” have the Flashfire.