Best kayak cart for rocky tidal zone

I spend a few weeks every summer in Cobscook Bay area, Maine. The rocky tidal zone can be quite wide due to 25’ tides. My new NDK Romany Surf is a bit heavy compared to my light Epic 18X. Also, I am going to bring my canoe, which my wife prefers. What cart would go over the slippery, rockweed covered, rock covered intertidal zone? My wife has knee issues and can’t help me carry the canoe. I am looking at the Paddlebay ATE carts

A center loader like:

Or a cart which attaches to the end?



My research for an NFCT cart leans
toward the first, center cart, as it allows the load to be balanced even if a bit more work to attach to the boat. The end carts put most of the weight (boat and gear) on the person towing the cart. With a very light boat and minimum gear, may be ok. The center cart also has tallest wheels to get over at least some of the obstacles easier, but may be harder to get boat on. Bit heavy in steel though and may rust quicker than alu styles. Concerned about flats in the tires too, so probably carry extra heavy duty tube(s) and bike pump. Just thoughts. Other adventurers may have better ideas. R

Having paddled there a bunch of times myself, I’d go with the center cart, myself. The intertidal zone is just too rough and uneven there for an end cart, IMO.

The center cart is more like carrying the kayak/canoe, except that it takes the weight, and allows the users to still carry if the wheels aren’t able to traverse a piece of ground.

I threw out my end loader
Paddleboy because of the rotten clearance and it was no easier than carrying the boat without a cart. Most all of the weight is on the carrying person.

I have a center loader with larger diameter wheels than Paddleboy. Though I have been to Cobscook many times I have not used it there. It does not hang up on rocks and stairs at home, where I do use it.

Larger wheels than paddleboy?
Where did you get your cart?

Load distribution, tall wheels, etc.
A cart that attaches to the end of the boat does not put most of the load on the person who does the towing. Load distribution is closer to half if the wheels are at the very tip of the boat, but since they are likely a couple feet “in” from the end of the boat, the person will be lifting less than half the weight. With the canoe, the cargo can be placed at the same end as the cart to keep the hand-carried end nice and light. However, the wheels are much easier to pull over obstacles when they carry less weight.

It’s very hard to find carts with wheels that are any good at all for rough ground. The best ones I’ve seen mentioned on this site have wheels that are still much smaller than those of any real off-road cart that you might see used for other purposes (I think that’s to make the cart fit inside a canoe). Small wheels can contribute to another problem, which is clearance of the boat ends when using a center-mounted cart. The carts with the biggest wheels I’ve seen don’t get the boat high enough off the ground to keep the ends from dragging in situations such as where a steep slope meets level ground. In places like that, having the wheels at one end would be an advantage.