theft proofing boat

What is the best way to prevent theft of a boat on a rack. The rack is a yakima, which locks and I also have a locking cable that loops around kayak and rack. The boat is poly, is there a way to id the boat and/or register it with the police.

I realize being plastic any id number could be filed off. Any suggestions?

Protecting your boat
Your boat should already have an ID number on it.

To protect the boat while on the rack: attach a large dog to the outside of the car.

They do make cable locks for this, but nothing is going to stop a determined thief.

nothing realy
A cable lock, while it may deter theft can be easily cut with a pair of cable cutters, and most padlocks easily cut with bolt cutters. There are videos on the web that show how easy it is to steal bicycles. Locks only keep honest people out.

should’nt worry about it
Hey there,

I would’nt lose sleep over someone stealing your kayak… if they were going for a big ticket item they’d probably go after the car that’s attached.

I know people are paranoid about theift but it’s a fact of life. If you’re leaving the boat on your car during hot summer days make sure you don’t tighten it too much you can easily warp it and bend it right out of shape.


Small price for a good sleep
Wire your car alarm so that when the cable is cut, the alarm sounds.

If you do want to ID your boat, hot stamp it with your name in an area that is easy to spot and fill it with hot glue of a contrasting color.

It happened to me
I had my first kayak stolen at a trailhead (local park, bike path, canoe livery take out, ice cram shop…the shabang). I had it tied to a tree in the water. We regester our boats here in Ohio, so the Dept of Natural Resources and the Police have all the information.

I have an old bike lock for my canoe, but I am not changing my ways because of fear that i will lose my stuff. It is just stuff. I love my boats and they are part of me, but I am not a locking-up kind of guy. I just have a faster shuttle service now.

If you have it on your car, and secondaraly locked with a cable, then you are set for life. It has already been said about the Honest people staying honest. If you want to step it up throw a lock in your boat incase you stop somewhere…I have the master lock Python, or Cobra or whatever snake it is called. That is, like, the best lock…cable wise.

Now go and enjoy your boat, don’t just sit there worrying about it!


We register boats in Ohio. When I built my Stitch and Glue I epoxied the HIN # and the Registration number in two places–one where it is easy to spot and one a thief is not likely to find. So in your scenario, if it is stolen but I was able to track it down, even if the thief removed the obvious HIN and registration number, the “hidden” one would still be there.

I’m under no illusion that this will somehow dramatically increase the likelihood of boat recovery should my boat be stolen. But it took almost no time to do this at not additional cost. So why not?

If it gives you an ounce more piece of mind, you could do the same on your poly boat.

I have my name
stamped (with these metal punchers)into the underside of the thwarts and written underneath the deckplates-in addition to a more obvious and easy to find place.

Deface it. I just sprayed blue patches
at various places on my MR Synergy. One of my poly kayaks has very unusual decorative paint flashes.

Keep it at highway speed.
Never heard of one being stolen while driven or paddled.

On the otherhand if you are using it as a roof ornament, just drill and bolt it to your vehicle.

Once you buy it you won’t need it.

Happy Paddling,


mine had sweet stickers
so if anyone sees a cheap old tan kayak with sweet grey girl shilouettes…you know who to call. I plastered the Rush with stickers…but my canoe is not getting a paint job!

I read in a magazine (written by “paranoid about ‘the man gettin’ them’” kind of people) to put something like your driver’s license number inside hidden somewhere. you know just infront of the seat or under the front deck could say OHDL93038_ (I didn’t want to just post my number).

I always thought it was a slightly strange idea, except on portable electronics like a CB or something. If they stole my boat, why not identity…I am sure a driver’s license could help in that.

Just thought this thread might be a place to throw that information at the world.


Could you rent a van and keep it
inside? A part could stick out and it would still be very safe.

A boaty guard
A well trained dog in the car, with the window rolled down. Just brainstorming.

Paul S.