Dinghy Lock-up Cable

Dinghy Lock-up Cable – I find that most lock up cables and chains are too short. On a Caribbean island, you may pull your dinghy up on a beach and the nearest tree or objects to lock it to are 15 feet away or more. I have also been annoyed by the dinghy banging the stern of the boat at night when it’s on a short cable.
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My solution is an old life line. The one I have is 25 feet long with an eyed swaged on one end. I make a small loop on the other end. It’s made from some pretty heavy stainless wire, and has the white vinyl covering on it. When not in use, I coil it up and hang it on the stern rail.

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To make the loop in the one end, here’s what I did. Have a sharp coal chisel and a hammer. Use the hammer and chisel to cut off the one end. A sharp chisel does a good job, and it’s pretty fast. It also leaves the ends of the wires in pretty good shape. I’ve also seen where you can drill a hole in a block of wood, insert the cable, then hack saw down through the cable. By having the cable in the wood, it keeps it in place and the ends also come out well.


Next, buy a cable sleeve at the hardware store that is the correct size for your cable. Make the loop as small as you can get it, just big enough for the swaged end to fit through. Use the chisel and hammer to smash the sleeve onto the cable, and lock it in place. There you have it.

Run the swaged end through things and back through the loop you created, then to something secure. At night, sometimes I’ll run mine through the motor handle, the gas tank, the dinghy, and up to my back stay where I lock the swaged end to the boat. I have a smaller one too to lock my Honda 2000 generator to the stern rail. That one is maybe 5 feet long.

If you don’t want to make your own, consider buying a 30 foot vinyl covered cable from Lowes. They have them near the locks and door hardware, the cost is about $21. Amazon also carries it.

And remember, all you are trying to do is make your dinghy a little harder to steal than your neighbors.

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