The shopping clock is ticking and if you are still short a holiday gift for the boat owner in your life, here’s something I hope I find under the tree: a BOLT lock.
Introduced just last year by Strattec, a Milwaukee-based firm that is the world’s largest supplier of locks and keys for the automotive industry, BOLT locks have a patented cylinder that adapts itself to the ignition key of almost any Ford, GM, or Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep car or truck. You buy the lock, insert your personal car or truck key, turn it once, and the lock is set. And you can buy multiple BOLT locks and set them all to function with your key and only your key. Which means almost everything related to your boat could be unlocked with the same key that starts your truck. Initially offered just in a padlock style ($27.49), the BOLT lock is now also available as trailer hitch receiver lock (½-inch and 5/8-inch size, $38.99), a cable lock ($44.29), and one designed to secure spare trailer wheels ($44.29).
Right now I’m toting around separate keys for the locking pin for my fancy stainless steel hitch receiver and ball, a lock for the latch on my trailer coupler, and one to open my storage facility. And if I’m hitching up the trailer, it’s going to be to my truck. So with a few BOLT locks I’d be carrying around three fewer keys (or not forgetting one of them). Other boat owners I know could use a BOLT lock on a tool box, a rod locker, a dock box, and lots of other places a padlock is in use. And then unlock them all with the one key they almost always have along.
The only catch for me is that I drive a Honda Ridgeline, and so far there isn’t a BOLT lock to be used with Honda or Toyota keys. That’s coming, according to Strattec, which adds that BOLT locks can be used with 70 percent of Ford, GM and Chrysler vehicles, including 90 percent of light trucks on the road.
The BOLT website has a chart to help you figure out if the locks will work with your vehicle key, a video that shows how the BOLT locks work, and a search function to help find a retailer. You can also buy the locks directly from the BOLT site.
Sure seems like a good way to lock down the gifting chores. And while you're at it, get yourself one too.