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Thread: Canoe Security

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    Default Canoe Security

    So, now that I think about it, canoes are pretty easy to steal. (well duh). My current storage situation gives me pause, not to mention leaving it in a parking lot on the trailer, etc etc. I mean, it's only held to the trailer by a ratchet strap. Two guys could literally walk off with it.

    I'm looking at ways to at least make a potential thief work for it. Trying to figure the best way to secure it to the trailer and to secue the trailer to a building, tree, something. I'm currently looking at bike cables to lock the boat to the trailer and perhaps the trailer to something else. Also, how theft-proof is a trailer when it's locked to a hitch? Seems to me a pair of bolt cutters would defeat a padlock. On that same note, when you park a trailer not attached to a hitch, would it be useful to shove a spare hitch ball into the coupling and lock it?

    This comes about after a recent discussion with an APD officer about property crimes (his ATV was recently swiped) and the near impossibility of recovery after a theft. His recommendation was to engrave your SSN onto the boat, but that is easily ground off. Bottom line was with no way to prove the boat was once yours, no way to recover it, and prevention is the best cure.

    With Alaska's lax registration requirements, it is TOOOOOO easy for a thief to steal your canoe and re register it as his

    Any ideas?

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    On my driftboat I bought a coated master lock cable. I also bought a good master lock.
    I cable it to a large tree or something like that.
    The way I see it most thieves are thieves of opportunity. If they have to spend a bunch of time working at it they are not going to bother.
    I don't think we have a lot of professional thieves up here like you see in the movies stealing jewels and artwork.
    Mostly its pot/meth heads looking to make a quick buck for another high.
    Cable it good with a good quality lock to a good solid tree or something similar and they will leave it alone. You would do well to lock your motor up as well.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    cable through the oar locks. Think if they really want it, they will take it......A lock keeps an honest man honest!

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    I make my own 12' aircraft cables. Swage nicopress sleeves/thimbles on as thick as cable as you can do with hand tools (3/8). Run the cable around as many thwarts/yokes, whatever as you can....make em work for it.

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    There are several hitch security locks on the market that will provide a low level of security. What you are mainly trying to prevent is the quick look and grab. For the canoe I use a long kyptonite bike cable with a robust lock. For boat trailers a hitch lock that encloses the trailer hitch. When on the truck the ball lock lever is locked with a locking pin and the receiver bar is locked with a locking pin. For storage all my hitches are locked closed along with the hitch security lock that blocks the ball portion. I once had to break into my own stuff and it took me an hour and power tools. No theif is going to spend that kind of time.

    Most bolt cutters struggle with any lock with a shank 3/8" or greater. If you put the lock in a hard to get to spot then using bolt cutters is futile and they will move on. Kyptonite cables are really hard to cut with saws or bolt cutters. The lock will be the weak point. Do not use a cheap eye-bolt on the trailer to route the cable around/through. Always route the cable around solid things that are hard to cut. Destroy the boat or the trailer which makes people re think what they are planning. If you are going to secure the trailer to something do not use a cable. Stick to thick 1/2" chain.

    Also for HIN or SSN etched into the boat. Don't put it into an easy to get to spot. The boating rules require a visible tag from the maker as well as a HIN stamped or pressed into the hull in a hard to get to spot. Old boats don't have HINs like this, or do the ones I make for myself. I have crawled up into the bow area and slowed carved a HIN into a part of the hull. You would not know its there unles I told you where to look. Same idea for SSN under the butt pad or barrel channel of your rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    I make my own 12' aircraft cables. Swage nicopress sleeves/thimbles on as thick as cable as you can do with hand tools (3/8). Run the cable around as many thwarts/yokes, whatever as you can....make em work for it.
    I've made a few of those in my day, LOL. But now that I'm out of the aviation field, I don't have access to all of that stuff anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    There are several hitch security locks on the market that will provide a low level of security. What you are mainly trying to prevent is the quick look and grab. For the canoe I use a long kyptonite bike cable with a robust lock. For boat trailers a hitch lock that encloses the trailer hitch. When on the truck the ball lock lever is locked with a locking pin and the receiver bar is locked with a locking pin. For storage all my hitches are locked closed along with the hitch security lock that blocks the ball portion. I once had to break into my own stuff and it took me an hour and power tools. No theif is going to spend that kind of time.

    Most bolt cutters struggle with any lock with a shank 3/8" or greater. If you put the lock in a hard to get to spot then using bolt cutters is futile and they will move on. Kyptonite cables are really hard to cut with saws or bolt cutters. The lock will be the weak point. Do not use a cheap eye-bolt on the trailer to route the cable around/through. Always route the cable around solid things that are hard to cut. Destroy the boat or the trailer which makes people re think what they are planning. If you are going to secure the trailer to something do not use a cable. Stick to thick 1/2" chain.

    Also for HIN or SSN etched into the boat. Don't put it into an easy to get to spot. The boating rules require a visible tag from the maker as well as a HIN stamped or pressed into the hull in a hard to get to spot. Old boats don't have HINs like this, or do the ones I make for myself. I have crawled up into the bow area and slowed carved a HIN into a part of the hull. You would not know its there unles I told you where to look. Same idea for SSN under the butt pad or barrel channel of your rifle.
    I have a Kryptonite bike cable with its own, built-in, keyed lock, and that was sort of the way I was thinking. My problem is I have a shortage of attachment points. There are two braces in the stern corners I could go through and the bow eye, and that is all. My boat has only one thwart, up close to the bow (it's for securing a sail mast), but that is held on with three small screws on each side. Oarlocks are the same way-remove four screws and the oarlocks come right off.

    As far as my outboards are concerned, those are stored in my garage when not on the boat, and that is at a separate location from where the boat is stored.

    Funny you should mention the rifle...this thought has me thinking about this issue for a LOT of things, and one of those thoughts was, if someone grabbed my rifle out of the boat while my back was turned...how would I prove it was mine? I couldn't. (No 4473 on my guns, no bills of sale.) Do you engrave right on to the barrel/receiver? If so, what do you do about the blueing and corrosion control?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    I've made a few of those in my day, LOL. But now that I'm out of the aviation field, I don't have access to all of that stuff anymore.



    I have a Kryptonite bike cable with its own, built-in, keyed lock, and that was sort of the way I was thinking. My problem is I have a shortage of attachment points. There are two braces in the stern corners I could go through and the bow eye, and that is all. My boat has only one thwart, up close to the bow (it's for securing a sail mast), but that is held on with three small screws on each side. Oarlocks are the same way-remove four screws and the oarlocks come right off.

    As far as my outboards are concerned, those are stored in my garage when not on the boat, and that is at a separate location from where the boat is stored.

    Funny you should mention the rifle...this thought has me thinking about this issue for a LOT of things, and one of those thoughts was, if someone grabbed my rifle out of the boat while my back was turned...how would I prove it was mine? I couldn't. (No 4473 on my guns, no bills of sale.) Do you engrave right on to the barrel/receiver? If so, what do you do about the blueing and corrosion control?
    after having Ravn air (ERA at time) send my bag to a coastal village with my handgun in it, I started writing my serial numbers of all my guns down. I placed them in a sealed envelope along with a picture with my name and date on it. Not perfect but it should work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    after having Ravn air (ERA at time) send my bag to a coastal village with my handgun in it, I started writing my serial numbers of all my guns down. I placed them in a sealed envelope along with a picture with my name and date on it. Not perfect but it should work.
    As far as canoe...my situation is totally different. I had planned on leaving the canoe down at the beach tied off. I was advised not to. Was told it's be to easy to become a joy ride. However boats are left there. Lol. Canoes are viewed totally differently out here.

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    I am guessing that you are discussing your sport boat recently rebuilt. It has seats built in, so you can wrap the cable around those. Keep in mind that many thefts are crimes of opportunity. They are not likely to have tools on them, so taking things apart is rare. Its nearly all grab and go, which is very simple to prevent by adding features that slow them down.

    As for the firearms you just need to use a sharpie. The folks that take guns are not going to take the weapon apart and look at it. The are going to stick it in their home or buddies home and then trade it for gear or stuff or sell it to a pawn shop. No one in this chain has the wherewithal or presence of mind to inspect the weapon for PII.

    Photo document everything you value. Use the LED lighted feature on your modern digital camera to collect detailed photos of your stuff. SN, marks, scratches, model numers, PII marks you put on it. Copy to CD/DVD and thumb drive. Keep in a secure place and provide a copy to your home insurance company in a sealed envelope.

  10. #10

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    Like others have said, a hitch lock would be better than bothering with an extra hitch/ball to lock it onto.

    As far as securing the canoe to the trailer, the cable-style lock is a good way to go. You may want to look at drilling two holes in the deck of the trailer, one on each side of a main frame member, at the point where you can loop the cable through some part (such as the seat mounts) of the canoe. Having the cable looped through the boat and then down through the trailer deck and around a frame member and back up the other side should be pretty secure.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I think AK Ray nailed it.
    A professional thief will get it no matter what you do.
    You are looking to protect it from the thieves looking for an easy target. Grab n go type thieves.
    They are not carrying power tools or looking to make a lot of noise trying to get it.
    Master lock makes a good coated cable with looped ends for locking stuff like this. I bought mine at Trustworthy and it wasn't that expensive.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    here is an old way , PAINT IT DAY GLOW RED OR ORANGE still wil steal it but easy to "" ID " an hard to cover it up SIUD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid View Post
    here is an old way , PAINT IT DAY GLOW RED OR ORANGE still wil steal it but easy to "" ID " an hard to cover it up SIUD
    Paint it orange!? I just spent the last two months painting it tan!!! (Didn't you see the pics over in the duck hunt forum?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I think AK Ray nailed it.
    A professional thief will get it no matter what you do.
    You are looking to protect it from the thieves looking for an easy target. Grab n go type thieves.
    They are not carrying power tools or looking to make a lot of noise trying to get it.
    Master lock makes a good coated cable with looped ends for locking stuff like this. I bought mine at Trustworthy and it wasn't that expensive.
    Yeah I think you guys are all correct. Least ways, I hope you are. I know those boats have a sort of cult following, but it's not like I have to guard against Sean Connery in "Entrapment."

    Was in Bass Pro today and saw a trailer lock that covers the entire trailer tongue as well as a padlock that doesn't expose the shank for cutting when on the trailer. They also had locking pins for receiver hitches. All three items would be $50-75 dollars. Those three items plus a cable lock on the boat itself is probably as good as gets as far as theft deterrent.

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