What is a Lock Pit&Reg;?

Mary McMahon

A Lock Pit® is a sailing accessory designed to turn an open cockpit into a storage locker. This piece of equipment was designed with the laser — a small class of sailing boat — in mind, although it can fit into cockpits on several other types of sailing and motor boats. In addition to the brand name version, there are a number of similar products manufactured by various sailing equipment companies and people can also make their own or order a custom version from a ship builder.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

The Lock Pit® is a piece of tough, UV-resistant plastic that is designed to slide over the cockpit. It has cutouts to leave room for fixed equipment, and locks down so that it cannot be removed without the use of a key. Essentially, it acts as a lid that can lock down a cockpit, making the space inaccessible.

These devices can be useful for people who leave their boats docked in a public location. Generally, personal possessions cannot be left in the cockpit because they may be stolen or damaged by the elements, requiring people to carry their belongings with them while traveling or to load them up for each sailing trip when they sail out of a home port. Using a Lock Pit® allows people to keep the supplies they need for sailing in their boats. It also means that people can stop while on a sailing trip, dock or anchor, and lock the boat up while they explore.

Sailing supply companies that carry equipment for people who sail with small craft may carry Lock Pit® products or be able to order them by request. The manufacturer produces several colors and design variations to meet different needs. The device and locking mechanisms are designed to resist tampering and make the cockpit as challenging as possible to break into. Presumably passerby would notice a thief before the thief could successfully remove the Lock Pit® to access the gear inside the cockpit.

Like other sailing equipment, this device benefits from regular maintenance. People should always make sure that everything in the cockpit is stowed properly, and the Lock Pit® should not be forced on. If it snags or catches, there may be something in the way that needs to be moved or cleared. The device should be periodically wiped down and checked for cracks and other signs of damage. People may also want to attach a waterproof card with contact information to the Lock Pit® so that in the event there is a problem and the boat's owner is not around, authorities can get in touch quickly.

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