Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight

Hey All,
I'm new to kayaking & after a few months am on the home stretch of completing a build of a Chesapeake 17LT kayak--was hoping to finish at the beginning of summer, but oh well.  With that said, I have a hiking trip to Glacier National Park in a couple of weeks.  If my kayak is done by then, I was wondering if it would be advisable to take my kayak.  

I have a permit to stay at a chalet in the park so plan to park at Logan Pass (a big/usually-packed visitor parking lot) on a Fri morning.  Hike to Granite Park Chalet & stay their overnight and return to my car on Sat afternoon.  

If I take my kayak (will transport via Subaru Crosstrek w/ Yakima Sweetroll rack), would my kayak be safe leaving in this type of parking lot overnight?  I've seen security cable locks such as the Lasso.  

I'm just wondering about thoughts.  I definitely wouldn't want my new kayak swiped!  

Best Regards,  Corey

8 replies:

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RE: Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight

My two cents on the topic is that i don't think homebuilt kayaks make a very attractive target for theft...they are big so not easy to 'run off with', they are hard to sell (if you were stealing to raise cash) and unique (so hard to claim that it's your when it's not).

i have taken my boat on camping trips before and have not locked it and never had a problem.  during the summer, i even leave it on my car top all day at a marina here in washington DC so that i can go kayaking right after work.   

if i did have some concern, i would make sure that my rack (a thule) had locks on it to prevent it from being removed from the car.  i might use a long simple bike cable lock to secure it to the rack.  for a boat like a chesapeake, you can run the lock around one of the cheek plates, which goes from below the coaming to the hull/floor and secure another side of the cable to the rack.

fwiw, i have been kayaking for over 30 years and know a lot of kayakers and have never personally experienced theft of a kayak nor heard from any of my kayaking friends about theft and i don't see a lot of folks who i kayak with taking effort to lock stuff up.   my sense is that that kayak theft is exceedingly rare.   to the extent it has happened, it was probably oportunistic and a cable lock will be just fine to discourage anybody.

the bigger challenge with a nice home built kayak is making time to talk to the folks who will stop to admire it and ask you all about what it was like to build it.


RE: Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight

@hspira:  Thank you for your words!  This makes me feel better. I'm just looking for data points (being a total newbie) and this helps for sure!     I've put a lot of epoxy, sweat, & tears into this boat, so I hope we have a long relationship together!  
With regards to my rack equipment:  I have rails & crossbars on my vehicle which came from Subaru.  The Sweetroll looks like it doesn't have locks. So maybe a cable lock for piece of mind?  (Ques:  what's a cheek plate?  Is that on my kayak?)

Oh, and I'm excited to share my story about the kayak and building it!!  It's been a total rollercoaster journey for sure!!  (Already thinking of a sequel!)  ;)

RE: Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight


the cheek plates are the pieces of wood on either side of the seat.  in the  chesapeake kit they call them  'thigh braces'.  (you can look at the website for the chesapeake kayaks and wood kit contents to see exactly what i am talking about).

so you could wrap a cable between the thigh plate and the side of hull....to secure the boat into the cable.

i move my boat around on a subaru as well.  great combination.





RE: Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight

@hspira:  Ohhhhh.  Gotcha (re: cheek/thigh plates)....didn't come up when I searched...also known as "hip braces".  :)  So are you saying one can take a (security) cable and weave it around/thru the gap between the brace plate & inner side hull?  

(I'm bad at looking ahead---but now it looks like I can start getting these braces ready...I'm currently getting ready for 2nd coat of varnish...so I have time!)  

And very cool to know you also use a subaru for hauling!  I'm getting excited!

RE: Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight

+1 on everything that hspira said above.  I have also hauled my wooden boats all over with no theft.  Over that last six months, I have started using the Suspenz kayak lock.  No lock is fullproof but it will keep an honest man honest.

My biggest concern hauling the boats is vandalism.  Never had a problem but I always imagine some drunk teenagers up to no good.  I doubt this would be an issue at a National Park but I frequently overnight in hotels next to the freeway.

One serious suggestion is to always hang a flag down from any stern overhang.  I once watched a truch drive under my ski very narrowly missing it.


RE: Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight

   Yes on how you could weave the cable.

RE: Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight

   Thank you so much for the info here ya'll!  If I am able to finish the boat in time for GNP, I'll take it, but if not, have plenty of spots here I can christen it!  :)  Thanks @hspira & @Mark N for the great ideas!!

RE: Kayak Security @Glacier Nat Park (or any place really) Overnight

   I have close to 40k miles in my travel trailer. Kayaks were on top of the truck most of those miles. Usually they are not locked. If course they would require some effort to remove. Often at RV camp sites I leave them on the ground unlocked. No problems. If we do lock them at is with, https://www.rei.com/c/kayak-locks....... I do back then truck in parking spaces so the boats over hand the grass. ..... On a side note it makes the truck easy to find in parking lots.

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