Kayaks cost money, which is why you’ll want to make sure that you don’t end up losing your investment to some unscrupulous individuals looking to make a quick buck out of your boat. This may not be a problem if you have an inflatable kayak since you can easily fold it and lock it inside your cabinet. But what if you have a hardshell kayak instead? Well, it may be more challenging to secure or lock a kayak of this type, but it’s not altogether impossible. Below are some tips on how to lock a kayak and keep it secure whether you’re keeping it in storage or while you’re on the road.
Lock It inside Your Garage or Shed
Arguably the best way to keep your kayak safe from theft is by keeping it inside your garage or your shed. Such structures provide a secure storage area for your recreational kayak (or whatever type of kayak you have) since they have doors that can be locked securely both from the inside and the outside. And though these structures have windows where unscrupulous individuals can come in, they are usually very small and do now allow a full-sized hardshell kayak to pass through.
There are people though who say that they don’t have enough space in their garage or shed to put their kayak. However, there are various ways to store a hardshell kayak, and some of these work even in tight and cramped spaces. For instance, you can use a freestanding kayak rack which you can set up in the middle of the room or against a nearby wall. Not enough floor space in your garage or shed for a kayak rack? Well, you can make use of kayak wall mounts to securely mount your kayak against the wall. Don’t have space on your wall because of shelves and cabinets? Then you can install a kayak hoist or suspension system on your ceiling and let your kayak hang from there. Whichever method you choose to use, always remember to check that the mounts or hoists are affixed and set up properly and that your kayak is mounted securely to prevent them from falling off.
Lock It outside Your Home
As mentioned above, the best way to keep your kayak safe and secure is by locking it up inside your garage, shed, or any other similar structure. You’ll have a better chance of preventing thieves from stealing your beloved touring, whitewater, or surf kayak if it’s out of sight. However, not all people have a garage or a shed as is the case with kayakers who live in small homes and apartment buildings. Given the situation, the only option for them would be to store and lock their kayak outside their residence.
Storing your kayak outside will require extra precaution if you want to keep it safe and secure. For one, you’ll want to keep your kayak close to your house as much as possible. If you are using a freestanding kayak rack, be sure to place it as close as possible to your house’s exterior walls. You can also install a kayak wall mount on the exterior walls of your house and place your kayak there. However, these alone won’t be enough to ensure that your kayak is safe from thieves.
To further improve your kayak’s security, you’ll want to make sure that it is tied to a permanent structure (like a post or tree) with a cable locking system or a chain with a padlock. This way, thieves who are bent on stealing your kayak will have to either destroy the structure the kayak is locked into or cut the cable or chain. Sometimes, making it difficult for thieves to steal something is enough to deter them from doing so.
Also, you’ll want to cover your kayak with a tarp. This will keep thieves from seeing and being tempted to go after your boat, and at the same time provide your kayak with protection against the sun’s harmful rays and other natural elements. By the way, be sure to cover the cockpit with a kayak cockpit cover to prevent critters and insects from going inside and nesting in your kayak.
Securing Your Kayak on the Road
When you go out on a kayaking adventure somewhere far, let’s say your whitewater kayak for a run on thrilling rapids or your fishing kayak for a weekend of fishing across the state, you’ll most likely be carrying it over your roof rack or towing it on your kayak trailer. In any case, you’ll find that most of the time you’re going to have to leave your kayak on or with the car at night when you stop by and sleep in a hotel along the road, and this can put your kayak at risk of being stolen.
The best way to deal with this problem is by making sure that your kayak is secured to your kayak roof rack or trailer. This means using a cable lock to tie and secure your kayak on the roof rack or trailer. If you have a sit-on-top kayak, you can thread the cable lock through the scupper plug holes and secure it in place. Be sure that when you remove the kayak scupper plugs to keep them inside the car or in your bag so they don’t get lost.
Securing Your Kayak while Camping
Kayak camping trips are fun, but not when you get all worried at night thinking about waking up in the morning and finding your camping kayak gone. If your vehicle is just next to your campsite, then you can use the above-mentioned methods and lock your kayak onto your roof rack or trailer. However, if you had to carry your kayak (the right way, of course) to the campsite and leave your vehicle behind, then that approach just isn’t feasible.
It would be easier if you have a compact folding kayak which you can just bring inside your tent (provided it’s big enough). However, if you have a hardshell kayak, then you’ll need to find a permanent structure like a tree, log, or a dock where you can secure your kayak using a cable lock. In any case, make sure that it’s near your tent so that nobody will dare come near it while you’re dozing off.
Get a Kayak Insurance (Just in Case)
It sometimes happens that things still go wrong no matter what precaution you take. These unforeseen and unexpected mishaps are the primary reason why you’ll want to consider getting insurance for your kayak. There are insurance options for non-motorized boats, and these cover a variety of potential damage and even theft for kayaks, canoes, small sailboats, and others. Some even offer coverage for your kayaking accessories like kayak fishing rods, portable electronics like kayak fish finders, and others.
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If you have a high-quality kayak, then it’s probably one of the biggest investments you’ve made. That said, you’ll want to make sure that you keep it safe, not only from unnecessary damage but also from theft. Whether you’re keeping it at home after the kayak season or leaving it in the open while you’re on the road, make sure that you take every necessary precaution to ensure its security. Learning how to lock a kayak securely is one skill you need to learn. You may need to invest in high-quality cable locking systems or a solid chain and tamper-proof padlock to lock a kayak, but these essential expenses and are going to pay for themselves over time.
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