How To Lock Up A Kayak or Canoe – Guide To Keeping Your Kayak Safe

You’re definitely blown away by how great your kayak is. However, do you know who else might think it’s cool and worth stealing?

Whether you own a personal kayak or manage a commercial enterprise with several kayaks to protect, knowing how to lock up a kayak is essential. However, the ideal approach to securing a kayak or canoe is dependent on a variety of conditions.

If you don’t have an outside kayak rack, you’re probably stacking them on the ground or against a tree, building, or storage container.

A Day Spent With Water Is Never Waste of Time…!

Kayaks and or canoes are expensive, as you and I are well aware – and I’m willing to guess that the “bad guys” are well aware as well.🫵🏼

Indeed, you don’t want to make your kayak or canoe an easy target, whether you’re keeping it in your garden or leaving it unguarded while on the road. It is your duty to keep your kayak secure.🚣🏻🗝️

Don’t risk it; learn how to lock a kayak or canoe and keep it secure at all times.

This last aspect is perhaps the most significant for beginner urban kayakers since it allows you to feel safe rushing into the grocery store after your morning paddle and locking your kayak to your roof rack.

These are just a handful of the various circumstances you could encounter when thinking about how to secure a kayak or canoe. However, Sad to say, thieves can strike at any time, and a strewn-about canoe or kayak can be an attractive target. Whether you’re traveling or just want to keep your kayak safe at home, In this post, we will learn how to secure your kayak or canoe to keep it safe from thieves.

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How To Lock Up A Kayak or Canoe – Guide To Keeping Your Kayak Safe

How To Lock Up A Kayak or Canoe – Guide To Keeping Your Kayak Safe

There are several methods for securing kayaks, all of which are dependent upon the type of kayaks you need to lock and where you plan to lock them. As a result, we’ve designed this section to provide advice for every possible case!

How Do You Keep Your Kayak Safe At Home?

Keeping your kayak inside in a locked shed, garage, or your home is one of the greatest methods to keep it safe and secure. This could indicate that it is hidden from would-be robbers. However, as we all know, this is not always possible.

If you must lock your kayak outside, make sure it is as close as feasible to your home. You might even choose to attach a wall rack to one of your home’s external walls to keep your vessel off the ground.

If you think your kayak is impervious to theft because you’ve made it thus far, you’re wrong.

Kayaks have “magically” vanished from docks, been stolen from people’s yards, and been lifted from vehicle roofs in the middle of a parking lot, according to several horror stories I’ve heard.

So, to protect your investment and keep your kayak secure, you’ll need to take some extra steps.

Locking Up Kayak or Canoe On-Road

When you take your kayak on the road, you may find yourself having to leave it in unfamiliar locales. Locking up your kayak is much more vital whether you’re going camping or on an overnight adventure.

Kayaks are stolen more frequently on the road than anywhere else.

If you’re traveling to a remote location, you’ll almost certainly need to stop along the way. Leaving an unattended unsecured kayak on a roof rack or trailer in a random parking lot or unfamiliar place – even for a short time, let alone overnight is an open invitation to thieves.

You might want to consider where on your vessel the optimum location for this is. If your cockpit has a storage deck or cup holder, this could be an excellent area to drill a hole if it doesn’t go through the hull.

Using the tie-down points provided within the truck bed or trailer, you can secure it to a truck or trailer using the same technique.

Locking Up While Camping

Because you may not always have your vehicle with you on camping vacations, attaching your boat to your car may not be an option. But the last thing you want is to wake up and discover that your mode of transportation has vanished.

Simultaneously, you can use a cable lock to secure your craft to your roof rack, just as you would for securing your craft to your roof rack. However, you will need to find a permanent structure near your campsite instead of a roof rack.

Why Is It Necessary To Lock Up Your Kayak or Canoe?

First of all, getting to know how to lock up a kayak or canoe is an essential skill. After spending your hard-earned money on a new kayak, the last thing you want is for it to be stolen because you failed to properly lock it up. but if you’re only dealing with a personal kayak, you might wish to lock it to your roof rack as well.

2nd Kayaks are pricey, therefore it’s worth the effort to secure them. A cable lock does not have to be expensive to be effective in preventing theft.

As I previously stated, if a thief is desperate enough for your boat, they will find a way to acquire it, but you should make it as difficult as possible for them to steal it.

How To Keep Your Kayak or Canoe From Being Stolen

When it comes to kayak theft, greedy thieves enjoy an easy target, and the scenario usually goes like this:

Someone walks along and notices a kayak sitting alone and thinks they can make fast cash. As a result, they take it. Try and learn how to secure your kayak to a roof rack or trailer. Consider installing a drain hole if you don’t have an easy way to loop a cable lock through your boat.

You can also look into other options, such as using the handles. Rope-style handles are pre-drilled holes in some kayaks.

It is your responsibility to ensure that no opportunity to steal your kayak ever occurs.

Keep Your Kayak Out of Sight, Out of View

The first step is to learn how to lock a kayak. Keeping your kayak out of sight – and, as a result, from our mind – can give an added degree of security, especially if you’re storing it for an extended period of time.



It would be excellent to have a designated space in the garage, basement, or shed. If that isn’t an option and you must store your kayak outside, at the very least cover it with a tarp so that it is difficult to spot from afar

Keep A Record of Your Hull Identification Number (HIN).

It’s a good idea to maintain track of your kayak’s Hull Identification Number in case it is stolen. The hull identification number is a 12-digit code that serves as your kayak’s identification. It’s usually branded or embossed at the stern.

This implies that you should be able to provide the information to the authorities, making it easier for them to identify it if a stolen one is discovered.

However, some thieves may try to remove the HIN for this reason, so place it somewhere else on the craft where thieves won’t see it.

If your kayak is stolen despite your best attempts, having the HIN on hand can help the authorities return it to its real owner. It’s essentially your kayak’s own fingerprint!

So, just in case, keep a record of your kayak’s hull identifying number.

However, some thieves may try to remove the HIN for this reason, so consider placing it somewhere else on the craft where thieves won’t see it.

Always Keep It Locked Up

Make sure your yak is locked up when you leave it, no matter where you’re going. When your yak is on the roof of your vehicle, in the back of your truck, or in your trailer, it’s a good idea to keep it locked.

But if you’re just paddling up to what appears to be a peaceful picnic spot. If you secure it to a tree, dock, or post, you may rest assured that it will be there after you’ve finished your meal.

Even if it’s simply a pit stop for petrol. It will save you time on the road if you remember to lock it securely before you start your journey.

Get Insurance For It.

If you’ve invested a large amount of money in your kayak, having insurance can provide the extra peace of mind you need.

It’s recommended to double-check your policy specifics before buying special cover for kayaks and canoes because some house insurance policies do cover them.

When Should You Lock Your Kayak?

Following are a variety of reasons why you might need to lock up your kayak or canoe:

  • You’re in a crowded environment with a lot of people around you.
  • Be cautious. Even in densely populated locations, thieves can be aggressive. When you’re not paying attention, you’d be shocked how quickly a kayak may vanish.
  • If you stay for the night or eat at a restaurant while traveling, After you launch your kayak and need to park your car, you must leave it to fetch your car when you are finished paddling for the day.

What Kind of Kayak or Canoe You Are Locking Up?

Locking up your kayak will alter depending on whether you have a sit-inside or sit-on-top kayak. When your inflatable kayak is deflated, securing it is simple, but when it is inflated, your options are restricted.

How To Lock A Sit-on-Top Kayak or Canoe To The Anchor Point?

Sit-on-top kayaks have built-in features such as scupper holes or a drive well that you can use to lock up your kayak. You may lock your kayak by threading a cable through one of these holes. To get a sense of what I’m talking about, watch the video below.

If you don’t have a functional anchor point nearby, locking sit-in kayaks to one another is also a safe option.  The problem with sit-in kayaks is that they don’t have scupper holes through which a length of cable can be threaded. This means you’ll need to attach your cable through hardpoints on your sit-inside kayaks.

Small metal loops are bolted into the deck of many sit-in kayaks at the bow and/or stern. These loops can be used to connect two sit-inside kayaks, but they’ll need a lot thinner cable than you’d use to connect them to an anchor point.
As a result, you’ll need to measure the space beneath those loops to ensure that a cable lock will fit through.

If your sit-inside kayak has rails, you can add tie-down eyelets to give you more options for fastening the kayaks together.

How To Lock A Sit-In-Side Kayak or Canoe To The Anchor Point?

It can be difficult to secure a seat inside a kayak. Installing a drain hole for a sit-in kayak is one solution to make your life easier. For additional information, watch the video below. This video is helpful since it demonstrates how to cut and install a drain hole.

The drain hole method can also be used to secure two kayaks together. A criminal would find it difficult and inconvenient to steal both kayaks at the same time. So, in this scenario, an ounce of prevention could be a good idea.

You can place one end of the cable around the bow and the other end around the stern if you’re merely locking a single sit-inside kayak to an anchor point.

You can also run a cable lock through the handles of your kayak. You might be able to use pre-existing holes for the handles. The handles may be a suitable choice in some circumstances, but not all. The sort of handle and how it’s attached to the boat determine this.

Cleats or metal loops may already be fitted on your kayak. These can be used to secure your kayak with a tiny cable lock. You can also put a metal eyelet to run a cable lock through if your kayak has rails. A sit-inside kayak can be locked in a variety of ways. You might have to think outside the box!

How To Lock Up A Kayak or Canoe To A Vehicle or Trailer

If you have a sit-on-top kayak, you can fasten the lock to a roof rack or trailer by running a cable lock through the scupper plug holes. To run a cable lock through a sit-inside kayak, you can utilize an existing drain plug or make one yourself. Then secure the kayak trailer or roof rack to the boat.

When you’re on the road, you’ll almost certainly need to secure your kayak to your roof rack or trailer. You might stop for a bite to eat along the road, or you might stay in a hotel overnight, depending on where you’re heading.

What To Look For When Purchasing A Kayak -Buying Guide


The lengths of several locking cables or straps are mentioned instead of the breadth or length of the boat they’ll fit. The length of the locking system is an important consideration because you must ensure that it fits around or through your kayak.

The lengths of several locking cables or straps are mentioned instead of the breadth or length of the boat they’ll fit.

Remember that if the straps go around your kayak, you’ll want to account for the depth of your hull rather than merely doubling the width. If you have a wider fishing kayak, this may be more of a problem.

You can also come across locks made for longer touring kayaks that aren’t suitable for shorter leisure kayaks.

Key Lock Or Combination Lock

When choosing a lock for your kayak, it’s crucial to think about the type of locking mechanism it has. This is frequently a matter of personal preference. A key lock necessitates you to remember to keep the key with you at all times.

Because you don’t have to worry about losing a key, a combination lock can be more convenient. It’s a good idea to write down your combination number somewhere safe, like on your phone, in case you forget it.

Resistance to Corrosion

If you plan to store your kayak outside, corrosion resistance is vital. This can help keep the locking mechanism as well as the metal cables on your kayak from rusting.

Many locking cables contain a coating that helps to prevent corrosion. The coating can also help prevent scratches on your boat or vehicle. Some will have a coating on the lock itself, which can be good in coastal regions because it helps to keep the lock-in working order.

Best Kayak Cable Locks & Straps

1. Malone Auto Racks Lockup Cable Lock

The Malone Auto Racks Lockup Cable Lock is a perfect solution for anyone who loves to keep their kayak secured down while storing it on a roof rack. To lock and open this cable, you’ll need a key, which you can easily add to your existing keychain, leaving you with a spare for backup.

Malone Auto Racks Lockup Cable Lock, 8-Feet,Black

The cable is made of heavy-duty 12-millimeter-stranded steel and is eight feet long. This cable lock can also be used to secure sit-inside kayaks together without an anchor point, as long as the U-shaped loops on the deck of your kayak are large enough for the cable to fit through.

That metal is also coated by a highly corrosive vinyl coating, which extends its life and protects your kayak and body from scratches and cuts that might occur when dealing with unprotected steel cable.

Anti-theft and anti-saw features are also included in the Malone Lockup Cable.

2. DocksLocks Anti-Theft Weatherproof Coiled Security Cable

DocksLocks Anti-Theft Weatherproof Coiled Security Cable with Resettable Combination Lock

Because the steel cable is protected by a vinyl coating, you don’t have to worry about being hurt if the steel frays over time. When transporting a kayak on a roof rack, the coiled cable design prevents any excess cable from dragging or making detrimental contact with your roof.

The DocksLocks Anti-Theft Weatherproof Coiled Security Cable is 10 feet long and secures your kayaks using a combination lock. You won’t have to worry about misplacing or losing a key, but you will have to choose a four-digit combination that is easy to remember. The locking end of the cable is the same diameter as the cable, allowing it to pass through the scupper holes on a sit-on-top kayak with ease.

The cable is manufactured of 10-millimeter marine-grade stainless steel, and it’s coiled to make it easier to store when not in use.

For locking up sit-inside kayaks, the Suspenz Universal Kayak Locking System is the industry standard. It comes with the two lengths of cable you’ll need to connect your sit-inside kayak’s bow and stern to a central anchor point or your vehicle’s roof rack.

3. Lockable Tie Down Security Lock Lashing Strap

The Lockable Tie-Down Lightspeed Strap is six feet long, with a strengthened aircraft-grade aluminium locking cylinder. Each strap includes a single locking cylinder and two keys, so you’ll always have a backup in case something goes wrong.
Steelcore cable is comprised of cut-resistant, aircraft-grade steel and is found inside the strap. When you leave your kayak unattended for a few hours, even a set of bolt cutters won’t be able to cut through this strap.

Lockable Tie Down Security Lock Lashing Strap With Steel Core by LightSPEED Outdoors, (10' Black, 2 PACK)

Final Thoughts

If you want to keep your kayak secure, whether you’re at home, on the road, or on a multi-day paddling excursion, remembering how to lock it really is important.

Although, If a thief really wants your brand-new kayak, he or she will find some way to have it. Locking your boat should be enough of a barrier to making it unprofitable for them.

Hence, now you know how simple it is, keep in mind that while you’re not using your boat, you should keep it locked at all times. Share this guide with your fellow paddlers if you believe they’d benefit from it. Also, if you have any tips or recommendations, please leave a remark.

I hope you found this essay informative and entertaining. If you discover something incorrect or obsolete (pricing not mentioned, as it is always changing :), please leave a remark below and I will correct it as soon as possible. Thanks for reading this article.

Enjoy Kayaking! 🎣🚣🏻


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