Do Kayaks Get Stolen Off Cars? Simple Ways To Keep Your Kayak Safe

Do kayaks get stolen off cars? Unfortunately, it’s a common question.

You’ve seen them before. Parked cars with a kayak or two strapped to the roof. It seems convenient to get your boat from point A to point B, but there’s a significant risk you’re taking if you don’t properly secure your kayak.

It’s essential to take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips on properly securing your kayak so that you can rest assured that it will be there when you need it.

Do Kayaks Get Stolen Off Cars?

Yes, it can happen, and kayaks can get stolen from cars, but there are some things you can do to prevent it from happening. First, always lock your kayak to your car. A simple cable lock will deter most thieves and make your kayak much more challenging to steal. Also, register your kayak with the local police department; this will make it easier for them to track down a stolen boat and return it to its rightful owner. By taking these simple precautions, you can help protect your kayak from thieves.

How To Prevent Your Kayak From Being Stolen

Depending on the size of your kayak, a thief needs to be well-prepared to steal your beloved boat.

First, a would-be thief needs a way to transport the kayak that is ready to go, whether a pickup or a vehicle with a roof rack. If we are talking about a long kayak, like a 16-foot sea kayak, it’s not likely someone will just walk off with it.

But, if your kayak catches a robber’s eye, you should be prepared.

For example, if you’re planning to leave your kayak unattended overnight at a hotel, it’s essential to take steps to prevent it from being stolen.

The first thing you should do is to park in a well-lit area. Then, choose a spot where you can see your car and kayak from your hotel room. This will deter would-be thieves and make it easier for you to keep an eye on your belongings.

Another good idea is to remove the hatch covers and other gear from the kayak, making it less attractive to thieves. It’s more difficult to sell a kayak that is missing critical parts. But removing hatch covers also leaves you vulnerable to rain and other weather conditions.

Of course, the best way to prevent your kayak from being stolen is to never leave it unattended in the first place. Take the kayak inside or keep it in a secure storage area.

Taking these precautions allows you to enjoy your kayaking trip without worrying about someone stealing your kayak.

Lock Your Kayak

Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to deter thieves and help prevent your kayak from being stolen. First, invest in a good quality cable lock, or two or three.

Cable locks are easy to use and can be looped through the scupper holes of a sit-on-top kayak and your roof rack, making it much more difficult for a thief to make off with your boat.

It’s best to you a cable lock through the scuppers on the bow and stern of the kayak, and you can also use another lock to lock the two locks together.

Wind the locks everywhere, around the crossbars and cradles, and try not to leave much slack. Make it as difficult as possible for someone to walk away with your kayak.

Now that’s some serious locking, but it will make a thief think twice before trying to steal your ‘yak.

If you have a sit-inside kayak, you can use a lasso lock which is a cable with loops on each end to fit over the bow and stern of the kayak. The middle portion of the cable lock goes under your roof rack. Again, make sure the lock is tight with little slack.

This will make it more difficult for a thief to simply throw your kayak into the back of their truck and drive away. These simple precautions can help ensure your kayak stays safe and sound.

What To Do if Your Kayak Is Stolen

Losing your kayak can be a heartbreaking experience, and it’s important to know what to do if your kayak is stolen.

The first step is to report the theft to the authorities. Your kayak should have an ID number on the hull. Be sure to provide that information to the police.

You should also check local classifieds and online auction sites to see if your kayak is being offered for sale. If you find your kayak, you should contact the authorities and file a report.

By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your kayak is returned to you as quickly as possible.


If you are a kayaker, it’s essential to take steps to prevent your kayak from being stolen. Cable locks and lasso locks can help make it more difficult for thieves to steal your boat. It’s also important to report the theft to the authorities and check classifieds and online auction sites for any sign of your kayak.

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.