In this post, I’m going to talk about how to prevent your kayak from stolen and how to choose a good kayak lock for your kayak. Also, What to do if your kayaks do get stolen.
Let’s say you are on a kayaking trip with your friends and family, and you are staying at a hotel. Now you are faced with a dilemma. The owner of the hotel does not allow you to take the kayaks in, so your only option is to leave them out in the open with your cars, and at the mercy of lurking thieves.
So how can you keep your kayak safe from stolen while traveling? The quick answer is that you can use a cable lock(Lasso lock). It Consists of a long cable and an assortment of hardware and padlocks, these cable locks will securely fasten your kayak on top of the car, ensuring that thieves will not steal it easily.
The solutions are actually quite simple. In the following paragraphs, I am going to walk you through how to keep your kayaks away from those pesky thieves.
Locking your kayaks on a car
Most of the time, your kayaks will be fixed on top of the roof rack of your car, so security measures should start from there. As I mentioned above, cable locks are the best choice in this case. You can use them to secure your kayak while traveling. Here is the step by step process on how to do it.
For practical purposes, I will only show you how to install Lasso Lock, which is among the easier ones to set up.
Here is how you do it
Before you start, you need to set up a combination for the combination lock.
- Line up the guide point with 0-0-0-0.
- Pull the locks apart. If the guide point is perfectly lined up, the cable should come apart easily.
- Push down the reset dial until you hear a click.
- Choose your desired combination by lining it at the guide point.
- Return the reset dial to its original position by flipping the setting button back up until it clicks again.
- Register the new combination by inserting the lock post all the way without turning the dial. Remove the lock post, and your lock is good to go.
After the combination lock is ready, you can start installing the lock on your kayak now. Here is how it works:
- Secure your kayak on top of the roof rack. Be sure to lock your roof rack on the vehicle.
- Loop each Lasso end around the bow and the stern of your kayak (always leave the cable running beneath the kayak). Now you can freely wrap the cable around either bar of the roof rack for extra security and complication, but remember not to get the cable all mixed up, as you might have a hard time taking the kayak off the roof rack later!
- Pull both lassos as close to the middle section of the kayak as possible to tighten the lock.
- Finally, just insert the combination lock, and your kayak is safe and sound!
- Remember to check if the combination lock is correct before each use!
- However, in the midst of more than thousands of choices, it is quite difficult to find the right type of lock for you, isn’t it? Here are some things to consider first when you buy a cable lock.
Image source: Lasso Lock
How to choose a Lock for your kayak?
You might notice that I really like Lasso lock. Actually, there’re some factors you should take into consideration when you purchasing a lock system for your kayak.
The first factor is materials. Materials play a crucial role in the lock system since you will not want a flimsy cable which can be cut into pieces in just a second, but you might also have to take the weight into account since heavy cable might slow down your car.
A great start is the Lasso Lock, a popular cable lock which is really easy to set up. What is more, since it is made of galvanized aircraft steel with a vinyl coating, the cable is durable and, at the same time, unbelievably lightweight, allowing you to install the system on your own. The cable also comes with a layer of high-impact protective plastic which keeps the cable from extreme weather conditions and scratches.
Afterward, you might want to take a look at the complexity of the lock. I’m going to let the cat out of the bag and tell you that besides preventing thieves from taking your kayaks away, cable locks can actually deter opportunistic crooks from even thinking about it. A smart thief will rarely steal a complexly locked kayak because it simply means too many hassles when they could steal another easy one in just half the time. So you will want your lock to look as complicated as possible. Again, Lasso Lock is still a reliable choice. Coming in varied lengths, the lock allows you to put on some extra loops and knots to deter potential thieves, and it also has a combination lock, the dreaded repellent for any pesky thief.
Finally, there is the length of the cable itself. For non-tech savants, measuring the perfect length sounds dreadful, since you wouldn’t know what is the perfect number. Fortunately, unless you are going to build your own DIY cable locks, most popular manufacturers such as KanuLock or Lasso will have specific locks for each type of kayak, so all you have to do is to check which category does yours fit and buy the recommended cable lock for that type.
It seems like I’m promoting the lasso lock. Yes, I’m! I think it’s a perfect choice for every kayaker looking for their first lock system.
Another big plus for this Lasso Lock is that it can be used with a lot of stationary objects, not just your typical roof racks. Let’s say you are at a lakeside party with your friends and you don’t want to constantly keep an eye out for your kayak, what do you do? Just lasso lock your kayak to a pole using the same procedures. So even though there are other types of locks which might be better in certain niches, Lasso Lock (Check the current price on Amazon) is very reliable, simple, and inexpensive, fitting for almost every kayak enthusiasts.
Other tips to avoid kayak thefts
Now with the kayak locked on the roof rack or a hard surface, you can finally leave it alone and enjoy some time with your friends and family?
I would say 90%, thieves might be deterred by a securely locked kayak, but that does not mean they will not try other means. To be absolutely sure that those nasty thieves won’t even think of stealing your kayaks, you have to do more than just locking your kayaks, and I will now guide you through some tips to further enhance your boat’s security.
Remember and hide your Hull Identification Number
Every kayak is issued a unique Hull Identification Number (or HIN), which is etched somewhere near the stern, as soon as it leaves the factory, so that the police can easily track it if is stolen. For this reason, write down the number in case yours get stolen. Some thieves can be smart and they might remove the etching, but you can always get one step ahead of them by etching the number somewhere else on your boat and if they get caught, police will be able to return the boat to you.
image source: www.boat-ed.com
Store your kayaks in a safe place
Thieves are more likely to steal kayaks left in open space than closed ones, so ideally, you should be looking to store your kayaks in a basement, a garage, or a locked shed. Also, remember to keep these locations within your eyesight so that you can take a glance now and then.
Get a kayak Insurance
Sometimes it’s wise to invest in a kayak insurance, as it covers the unfortunate case of kayak theft. Kayaks costing up to $1,500 (or $1,000 in some cases) in worth will be automatically covered in homeowners’ policy. For those beyond the limit, it is advisable to record your kayak as a “scheduled watercraft” for an additional premium.
You can find out more on this article: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Boats and Watercraft?
Do not buy stolen kayaks
Don’t be tempted by greed! If you see a kayak whose HIN is tarnished or tampered, report to the police at once. Also, if you find a kayak with really low prices, or if the seller insists on meeting at a shady location, cast some doubts immediately and report to local authorities.
You can find out more on this article: Prevent Kayak Theft with These Tips
What to do if your kayak is stolen?
With all said and done, sometimes it’s impossible to keep your kayaks theft-proof. In the unfortunate event that your kayak is stolen, don’t be panic!
First, call the police while recalling your HIN so that you can give it to them as soon as they ask. Afterward, you can ask for help from online communities such as this (stolen911.com) to keep an eye out if the thief tries to fence your kayak.
It also helps to monitor webs like (craigslist.com) because most thieves do their shady business there. If you are lucky enough to find your property, do not take action yourself. Instead, call the police and tell them what you know.
Kayaking is a fun hobby, but you shouldn’t get too carried away with the fun or your kayaks might get stolen.
So follow our tips above and always keep an eye out for your kayak, and be sure to let your friends know as well so they will be on guard as well. Hope you find this post helpful and interesting. If you find anything wrong or outdated in the post, please leave the comment below. I’ll update as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading, Happy Kayaking.