-- Last Updated: Feb-05-13 7:05 PM EST --
Using tie down straps & painters as deterrents to boat theft is only slightly better than using nothing at all.
A well sharpened sheath knife will go through tie down straps & painters like hot butter.
A couple of guys, working together, can get out of their pickup, cut through 4 tie down straps & 2 painters, throw a small boat in the back of a pickup, and be back on the road in about a minute.
Steel cables locking a boat to a roof rack will certainly slow them down, but steel cables can be cut with bolt cutters. I'll bet bolt cutters wouldn't have too much problem cutting through roof racks either.
My solution is to use 2 tie down straps, 2 painters, and 2 steel cables (on each boat)if I'm concerned about security.
I always park in a well lit, high traffic area.
If it's a very expensive boat that I really don't want to lose; I'll take it to my room. Did so with a 13 foot Bell Flashfire in Jackson, Mississippi. The inconvenience of having the boat in my room was much less than finding my boat gone the next morning. Jackson, Mississippi police are either overwhelmed with pimps, whores, and crack dealers,or just ignore them. Motels & restaurant parking lots along the I-55 corridor in Jackson, Mississippi was teeming with them; thus boat was moved indoors.
Not a place I'll ever willingly stop again.
P.S. Crack is Missouri's #1 cash crop; the tweakers have to pay for it somehow. The sale of a stolen Loon 111 probably kept some tweaker stoned for the best part of a day.