(not armored) are a joke - don't use for dinghies or bikes. Not only will an inexpensive cable cutter
instantly and quietly cut through them, they will also yield in short order to a thief with a small pair of diagonal cutters "nibbling" through them. A cable won't even slow down a thief.
For when I lock my bikes to the rack on my car I use an armored cable. Not only are they resistant to diagonal cutters, they are too fat to fit in a cable cutter
and tend to jam them. What I use: https://www.onguardlock.com/armoredcables
Regular chain can be cut with bolt cutters but hardened chain presents a more difficult challenge. I used 15' of C4 chain to lock my dinghy
Nothing will defend against a thief with a battery-powered grinder with a cut-off blade. If the dinghy is locked in an out-of-the-way spot then there will be nothing to stop the theft. In a public place thieves will be a bit more reluctant due to the noise
attracting attention, but if they can cut through in a few seconds they may just do so and speed off. I have seen a locked dinghy stolen off the beach in front of a very busy outdoor cafe, with the owners watching - it happened too fast to stop.
I had a SS fitting made to fit through the pivot tube of my 15hp outboard
, where a remote steering
system can be mounted. One end has a hole for a padlock. Using 2 padlocks, one at the end of the chain to the outboard and one to one of the lifting points in the dinghy, and looping the chain around something fixed and back to the 2nd padlock, or even a 3rd padlock for an end loop, was my daily method.
Most importantly, at the end of the day: LIFT
AND LOCK OR LOSE IT! Lifting alone, or locking alone, is not sufficient. Lift
clear of the water
and chain it to the bulwarks or secure point.
Edit: Buy a set of high quality, keyed-alike padlocks. They are useful for securing all manner of things, and having a single
key is a great convenience.