How To Lock A Kayak – Guide To Keeping Your Kayak Safe At Home Or When Traveling

​Knowing how to lock a kayak can be a particularly useful skill. The last thing you want after you’ve spent your hard earned cash on a new kayak is to have someone steal it because you haven’t locked it properly.

Unfortunately, thieves can strike anywhere and a loose kayak can be an appealing target for a thief. Whether you’re traveling or you want to keep your kayak safe at home, we can show you how to secure it and what you might to get the job done.

How To Lock A Kayak -- safelty and security to prevent boat theft Pinterest Image

​How To Safely Lock Up Your Kayak

​Locking Up At Home

One of the best ways to keep your kayak safe and secure is to make sure it is kept inside in a locked shed, garage or your home. This can mean it’s out of sight of any would-be thieves. But as we know, this is not always an option.

If you have to lock your kayak outside you should make sure it is close to your house as possible. You may even want to install a wall rack to one of the exterior walls of your home, as this can help keep your vessel off the ground.

In order to lock it, you would need to find something permanent to loop a cable through. A bolt loop or eye bolt secured into your wall might work. Alternatively you could build your own outdoor wooden rack which could give you a more secure place to loop a lock cable through.

How To Build A Kayak Rack

Remember, if your yak is being stored outside you might want to consider a tarp or cover to keep it protected from the elements.

​Locking When On The Road

​When you’re taking your kayak on the road, it may mean you’re having to leave it in locations that you’re not used to. When you’re going camping or on an overnight trip, locking up your kayak can be even more important.

A cable lock can be ideal for locking your kayak and securing it onto your roof rack. With sit-on-tops you will probably have scupper holes where you can thread the cable, allowing you to then secure it to your roof rack.

> How to transporting without a roof rack

​How ​To Lock ​A Kayak ​To ​The Roof Rack ​Of ​A Vehicle

With a sit-inside you may need to drill a hole into your kayak. However, in order for your kayak to remain watertight, you may want to think about the best location on your vessel for this. If there’s a storage deck or cup holder within your cockpit, this could be a good place to drill a hole, as long as it doesn’t go through the hull.

You can also use the same method to secure it to a truck or trailer, using the tie down points located inside the truck bed or trailer.

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During camping trips, you may not always have your vehicle with you, so securing your vessel to your car might not be an option. But the last thing you want is for you to wake up to find your mode of transportation is no longer where you left it.

Similarly, though, you can use the same methods as you would for securing your craft to your roof rack, using a cable lock. But instead of a roof rack you will need to find a permanent structure near your campsite.

Well, Here's One Way To Lock A Yak!

This can be a tree or a dock or any other permanent structure that you can find close to your campsite. It can also be a good idea to lock it up as close as possible to where you’ll be camping and not down by the water on its own.

​What Else Can I Do To Prevent My Kayak Or Canoe From Being Stolen?

Keep It Out Of Sight

Some thieves are opportunistic and if they see your kayak out there by itself it could give them the idea to take it. So it’s important not to provide them with any opportunities. If they can see that your vessel is locked, they might not attempt to take it, as it could take too much time and they risk being caught red-handed.

It can be best to keep your vessel hidden from view and inside a garage or shed but if you can’t do this, keeping it covered with a tarp can mean it’s not as identifiable.

​Make A Note Of Your Hull Identification Number (HIN)

Just in case your kayak does get stolen, it can be a good idea to keep a record of its Hull Identification Number. You’ll usually find it somewhere near the stern of your vessel, even though it might be tricky to find.

This means you should be able to give the information to the authorities, which can make it easier for them to identify it if a stolen one turns up.

However, some thieves may attempt to get rid of the HIN for this reason, so consider adding the number elsewhere on the craft, where thieves may not look.

​Always Lock It Up

No matter where you’re going with your yak, make sure you lock it up when you leave it. Even if you’re just paddling up to what seems like a secluded rest stop for a picnic. If you lock it to a tree or dock or post, at least you know it should still be there after you’ve enjoyed your lunch.

It can be a good idea to make sure your yak is always locked while on the roof of your vehicle, in the back of your truck or in your trailer. Even if you’re just stopping for gas. If you remember to lock it securely before you set off on your journey, it will save time while you’re on the road.

​Get It Insured

Having insurance for your kayak can be the little bit of reassurance that you need if you’ve spent a significant amount of money on your craft.

Sometimes home insurance policies can cover kayaks and canoes, so it might be worth checking your policy details before you buy specific cover.


Whether you’re at home, on the road or off on a multi-day paddling adventure, knowing how to lock your kayak can be important if you want to keep your vessel safe.

And now that you know how easy it can be, you should also remember to keep your yak locked at all times when you’re not using it. If you think your fellow paddlers could benefit from this guide, share it with them. And remember to leave us a comment if you have any tips or suggestions.

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