How to Lock a Kayak

A kayak can be an easy target for thieves, and I am sure that no one wants to lose their expensive vessel. That is why it is essential to keep it locked and safe from theft. However, many people find it difficult to store their kayak safely.

One of the best ways to keep it safe is by locking it, which is why I am writing this guide with you.

How to Lock a Kayak Safely: A Step-by-Step Guide

Storing an inflatable kayak is not a difficult task as they can easily be deflated and stored inside the house. However, a hardshell kayak does require additional measures to keep it secure and safe, which I have discussed below.

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Locking Inside the Garage or Shed

One of the best and safest ways of storing your kayak is keeping it inside the garage or shed. A garage or shed can provide secure safekeeping for your recreational kayak or any other type of kayak you own. Most garages have doors that are usually locked, and windows are relatively small for a kayak to pass through.

However, some paddlers don’t have enough space in their garages to store a kayak. Despite this, there are various ways to store a kayak, even inside a cramped space. For example, you may use a freestanding kayak rack, which can be set up in the middle of a room or against the wall. Alternatively, you may use a wall mount to mount your kayak on the wall without taking up much space.

If you don’t have space on the wall or in the garage, you may use a kayak hoist or any suspension system on the ceiling and let your kayak hang from there. Make sure you mount it correctly and that it does not damage your kayak in the process of securing it.

Locking Your Kayak Outside the House

Not everyone has garages or sheds at their homes; therefore, I am adding this section as well. Many paddlers live in small apartments and houses and do not have a garage or shed, leaving them with the option of storing their vessel outside their homes.

Storing your kayak outside your home requires some precautions to follow. You need to store it as close to your home as possible. If you are going to use a freestanding kayak rack, make sure that the rack is placed near the house. You can use a wall mount on the exterior wall of your house.

However, storing it outside your home using a rack or mount won’t be enough; you will need a chain lock system to lock it. You will need a permanent structure to lock it with. Adding a permanent structure and locking it will make it difficult for thieves to steal it.

Moreover, don’t forget to cover your kayak with a tarp so that it cannot be seen, which will protect it from harmful rays of the sun and also from the thieves seeing it. Also, cover the cockpit with a kayak cockpit cover to prevent insects and critters from going inside the cockpit.

Locking While on the Road

When you are planning to paddle in a farther location, you do need to lock your kayak for safe transportation from one place to another. You would be carrying your kayak on a roof rack or towing it with a kayak trailer. In both scenarios, you may have to leave your kayak in the parking lot while sleeping in the hotel, which may be a potential risk of theft.

To overcome this situation, you will need to use a cable lock to tie and secure your kayak on the roof rack or trailer. In case you have a Sit-on-top kayak, you can thread a cable lock through the scupper plug holes and safely lock it. Make sure that the scupper plugs are safely stored when you remove them for adding the lock.

How to Build a Kayak Rack [Video]

Securing Your Kayak While Camping

Kayak camping can be a fun activity, but it’s important to make sure your kayak is secure so you can fully enjoy your trip without worrying about theft. If your car is near the camping area, you can use a kayak rack or trailer and lock your kayak with a cable lock.

However, if you can’t bring your car near the campsite and have to bring the kayak inside your tent, you can opt for a foldable kayak that is easier to carry. If you have a hardshell kayak, find a hard structure like a tree, log, or dock to secure it with a cable lock. Make sure to lock your kayak near your tent for added security.

Get Kayak Insurance

Getting kayak insurance is always a good idea, as accidents can happen no matter how many precautions you take. Several insurance options are available for non-motorized boats that cover damages, including theft. Some insurance options even cover your kayak accessories like fishing rods and portable electronics such as kayak fish finders.

Bonus Tips to keep your Kayak Safe from being Stolen

Here are some additional tips to keep your kayak safe from theft:

Cover your Kayak

Cover your kayak with a kayak cover so that it’s not visible to potential thieves.

Remember Your Hull Identification Number (HIN)

Keep a record of your hull identification number (HIN) in case your kayak is stolen. The HIN is located near the stern of your vessel and can be useful information for reporting theft to the authorities. Some thieves may try to remove it, so consider adding it somewhere where it’s not easily accessible.

In summary, it’s important to know how to lock your kayak to keep it secure from theft. Use a cable lock to secure it to a hard structure or inside your tent, and consider getting kayak insurance for added protection. Don’t forget to cover your kayak with a kayak cover and keep a record of your HIN. Share this guide with other paddlers who might find it helpful.

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