Imagine someone stealing the precious kayak you bought with your hard-earned money. Ha, the anger and frustration. To avoid stories that touch, you need to learn how to lock your kayak.
Your yak can’t be within your line of sight at all times. You could leave your yak on your truck bed and just wander around for a few minutes. By the time you are back, your vessel could be gone. Abracadabra! Except this is no magic trick. Someone got away with your kayak.
It’s also possible you don’t have ample space to store your kayak (consider inflatable kayaks, by the way) at home and have no choice but to leave it outside. If you don’t properly lock your kayak in this case, don’t be surprised when it vanishes one day.
Below you’ll find more information about kayak locks and a buying guide to help you choose the best one for your vessel. So here you go.
What Are The Different Types of Kayak Locks?
Kayak locks are of two types – key locks and combination locks. Combination locks have the benefit of being unable to be picked. The best chance for a kayak thief is to guess your four-digit code which is very difficult if you use random numbers. However, make sure your code is easy for you to remember.
Key locks come with tiny keys that lock or unlock the locking mechanism. They have the advantage of being faster to open and you don’t have to memorize any code. However, they are more prone to being picked and you will have to keep the keys safe.
There are models that come with both types of locks offering you maximum protection for your vessels.
How To Lock a Kayak And Prevent it From Being Stolen?
While the best place to store your kayak is a barn, shed, or garage, you may have to sometimes store it outside due to inadequate space. If this is the case, install a wall rack on one of the exterior walls of your home. The reason got this is to keep your yak off the ground.
You will need to loop the cable of the lock through a bolt loop or loop eye (anything permanent would work) secured into a wall. Also, an outdoor wooden rack would work as it gives you a mode secure place to loop the cable through.
Make it a habit to know and have a record of the Hull Identification Number (HIN) of your kayak. It’s usually found near the stern of your vessel. Should your vessel gets stolen, giving the HIN to the authorities makes it easier to identify your kayak if a stolen one turns up.
Kayak thieves are getting smarter and may attempt to remove the HIN of your vessel. For this reason, consider engraving your HIN on more obscure parts of your kayaks.
For more detailed information, make sure to read our complete guide on how to lock a kayak.
How To Secure a Kayak On The Vehicle For Transport?
When taking your vessel on the road, you can secure your kayak to your roof rack. Sit-on-top kayaks have scupper holes that your lock cable can pass through to secure your vessel to the roof rack.
On the other hand, sit-in kayaks may require you to drill a hole in the vessel. You have to be careful about where you drill holes on sit-in kayaks. And when camping, securing your kayaks to trees, docks, or any permanent structure works best.
You should take a look at my full article on how to lock a kayak, depending on your kayak type.
How to Choose Your Kayak Lock?
Almost all kayak locks come with a cable for securing your vessel. Ideally, you should choose a kayak lock with a cable that’s fine enough to pass through the scupper holes of your kayaks. At the same time, the cable should not be so thin that thieves can easily cut through them. Kayak thieves may come prepared with efficient bolt cutters or wires. As a rule of thumb, go for locks with cables that measure six to ten millimeters in thickness.
The most popular material used for manufacturing the cables is galvanized aircraft which is lightweight, durable, and cut-resistant. Make sure your cable is also coated with vinyl, rubber, or plastic to prevent corrosion and less damage to your hands, anchor points, and vehicle.
You should have an idea of where you intend to lock your kayak before buying a lock. Potential locking locations include the top of a vehicle or under a covered porch outside your house.
Depending on the style of your roof rack, you’ll generally need shorter cables when locking your yak on the top of your vehicle. On the other hand, locking your yak to a support beam beneath your deck may require a longer cable.
The minimum cable length you’ll find on the market is 5ft. The length increases from here to up to 16ft. The longer the cable, the more it can secure bigger decks. 10ft cable is enough for most kayaks but if you want a multi-purpose length cable for securing any kind of kayak, then you should go for a 16ft cable.
Note that extra length is unnecessary and may be counterproductive if you lock your kayak on a vehicle. This is because the extra slack may bump away your vehicle in the wind thereby damaging it.
Coatings with vinyl, plastic, and rubber will protect lock cables from corrosion. Be sure to buy a coated lock. Also, the coatings will make the cable less damaging to your hands, anchor points, and vehicle.
If you want to keep your kayak safe, you need to consider investing in a quality lock. The locks on this list are easy to use and offer superb performance and ty. And you’ll have no problem finding one that works for your vessel.