Introduction: Kayak Lock (Simple and Strong)

About: Instagram: withered_perception
I was looking for kayak locks in multiple sporting goods stores and online.

I get that $30-$40 isn't much to spend on the security of your kayak. Me being me I thought I'd go home and do some research to pick the best one for my aplication.

No im not a burglar/ robber but personally know first hand how easy it is to pick locks, shim combo locks, stretch security cable, cut braded steel cable etc....

With that being said non of these locks really stood up to the specifications I was looking for!

So of course, yet again I have to make my own to my specifications.

Step 1: Right Cable, Right Lock, Right Job (Narrowed Down to 3)

After about a week of research on tensile strength, shear strength, yield strength, material failure rates, compressive strength, ductility strength of different cables and cable clamps

I researched the same for the locks plus I looked in to the tumblers, shim proofing and internal slack.

With that being said had to take into account the thought process behind someone who would steal a Kayak...

The main reasons I would assume would be:

-Theft for personal use or to sell
-Kids messing around
-Crime of opportunity

With that being said, If sombody wants somthing their gonna get it!

Locks are only a visual and physical deterrent.

This is only to keep honest people honest, no lock can be fully theft proof, but we can do several things to make stealing it more difficult and riskier to the thief.

Don't forget about weight...

Step 2: Decision Made

The Pet Champion Dog (Areial Run)Trolley System is made from galvanized steel aircraft cable with vinyl coating. It's light weight and unbelivable strong for its size.

It comes with hardware as well. If your looking to do this on the cheap, just use the hardware it comes with.

If you want it to be stronger Home Depot is the place!

Step 3: Measuring

This is simple.

Remember your working backwards here. You want to retain the eyelet that comes with the cable.

About a foot from the end of your kayak wrap the cable around making sure it overlaps the eyelet that comes on the cable.

Leave plenty of slack from one end of your kayak to the other. I left about 2 feet from the kayak. This makes the cable about 35 feet total length.

Wrap it around the other end and mark a few inches down from where the cable crosses.

Leave plenty of slack for the loop you will see in step 5 . I left about 4 inches off the kayak. (You can always cut more off later)

Cut the cable on that mark.


Step 4: Cable Lock

Home Depot sells great stainless steel cable locks.

I went with two 3/8" and two 3/16" cable locks.

There are two reasons for this.

1.) A 3/8" has more surface area and will hold onto the cable better. A 3/16 will dig into the cable.

2.) They both have 2 different sizes of nuts. I get that the cable will most likely be cut but if they do go for the nuts, they will need just 1 more tool...

Step 5: Loop X2

Form a loop around the kayak. Do this again about a foot from the end and lock it down.

On the section you cut do the same. The loops should be about the same size as you can see in the image.

With the excess you left, make a second loop and lock it down.

Cut any remaining cable off.

Step 6: Quick Check

Loop one end of your kayak.

Place the second loop over the other end and slip the remaining cable threw the loop you made in step 5.

You should have a sufficient amount of cable left. This will be what you use to loop around your car rack or any fixed object.

Step 7: Heat, Grind, Solder or Weld

First let me I appoligise for not taking pictures durring 2 sub steps. (had to come back and redo)

Missed sub step 1.) Heat cable locks on the cable to melt threw the vinyl coating. Then retighten nuts. I also did this on the loop that came with the cable. Just use a vice after heating it and make sure that it is metal on metal.

This will ensure that the cable lock makes it to the cable it's self (metal on metal). This will prevent stretching and thining of the vinyl coating over time, due to use, vibration or by force.

Missed sub step (Optional) 2.) Weld and/ or solder nut to cable lock.

Solder: To solder use small torch. Make sure the cable is protected from flame to prevent coating from melting. Point flame at cable nut and hole solder agenst where the cable lock and nut meet. Once hot the solder will be pulled into the threads.

Weld: I used a wire feed mig welder to weld the wire clamp to the nut all the way around.

This will ensure that the nuts have a hard time moving even with the best of tools.

Then grind the bolt off flush with the nut.

Step 8: PlastiDip

Use PlastiDip to coat all metal ends to prevent scratching.

This will also make it hard to get a ratchet or wrench onto the nuts without some time taken and some noise made.

Step 9: Dry

I hung my cable from a curtain rod to dry for 72 hours... Just make sure it's not touching anything.

Step 10: Pick a Safe Spot

Find a nice safe spot out of the way and tie it up.