build your own canoe/yak cart?

I have noticed that there are quite a few do-it-yourselfers on this site. Have any of you built your own canoe or kayak cart? Can you refer me to a good source for plans, or just provide some good ideas? Thanks.


There’s Some In the Archives
With plans and pictures. I’m not sure what the titles of the threads were, but I’d try Carts and go back about a year.


Here’s one that I bookmarked…

I’m in the middle of making two, one for me and one for a friend. I’m making a non-portable one right now with a pair of 20" bike wheels and another pair of 18" bike wheels, much like the one in that link above.

But I also found an old lawnmower so I’m going to make a portable one next… Hey, it’s not like it’s really costing me anything. I can make as many as I want, I would just need to find donor wheels which are aplenty.


I did search archives, but only the message and just got one hit. Searching “Carts” and subject produces many hits. Thanks! I should have been more thorough. I have a couple of young kids so finding used wheels is definitely not a problem.

Hey, at least give me credit! 8>)

try “dolly”

I made one that’ll fit in the rear hatch of my Avocet. All parts from Lowes. Base was a 1x4 with a small V-support for the stern made of more 1x4. Slots for a tiedown strap. 1/2" steel rod U-bolted to the base as a axle. Ends drilled for cotter pins. 8" garden cart wheels with stainless fender washers epoxyed on to minimize rubbing. I sized it so it just fits in the rear hatch with the wheels removed. The small wheels aren’t good for soft surfaces but it’s a great backsaver on grass/dirt/pavement.

got 2
i built 1 for my kayak an 1 for my canoe.both where built from scratch an didn’t pay only for center axle rod, an to buy a neighborhood chlid icream in exchange for his old bike for the wheels.with parental permission of course. i could up load some pictures to webshots if you,d like.

good luck,Bob

PVC pipe
I did it in one evening, and had a good time to boot. It breaks down and fits in a hatch. Mine’s overbuilt. First time, I tried to put pipe up through scupper holes on SOTS, but it was troublesome. What I came up with, using 2 inch pipe, was an axle section that’s capped on each end. The caps are drilled, and inside of them are large washers, to give the axle something to bear against that’s not plastic. Axle is threaded rod. Wheels are the wheelbarrow type available from Harbor Freight or Home Depot. I drilled a hole through each axle near the end to hold a removable pin, so the wheels come on and off easily. From the pvc pipe, I added two T’s, short (8") risers to another set of T’s, and perhaps 2 feet of pipe from the upper T’s. The risers are not glued, so are removable. I put holes at the end of the upper lengths of pipe to hold the heavy rubber bungies that are available anywhere. I put the upper sections in the axle section with the pipes parallel to the boat. Roll the boat to one side, put the cart underneath and roll it all up. Pull the bungies over the boat, secure to the other side’s riser, pick up one end and go. It goes fine over sand and makes moving boats a breeze.

Confused yet? It’s hard to describe and easy to see, but I don’t have any digital pix. My suggestion, go to the spare parts bin and start inventing. What works for one doesn’t work for another, but – for me – my cart is the best I’ve ever seen, home crafted or store bought.

Great Info, as usual…
My main concern was how to connect the wheels and axle to the rest. I have been enlightened, and will be off to the plumb supply store this weekend. PVC seems to be the way to go. I want light, and I want to be able to stow it in the hatch - I have an older Carolina 14.5, with the smaller hatches.

Thanks to everyone for their ideas and suggestions.


Afican handcart for my Yak!

– Last Updated: Apr-23-04 12:14 PM EST –

I needed a cart to roll my 17ft fiberglass kayak down to the waterfront a few blocks away. The commercial ones were expensive and don't hold up that well. I found a design intented for third world farm use and built one in a few hours. The end product worked great!. Rolls effortlessly over grass and curbs.

Do a Google search for "Malawi handcart project" for details on the basic design. I used 20" bicycle wheels (thrift store bike $2.00) attached to a simple 1"x4" frame. The frame was assembled with dry wall screws. Don't want to bore everyone with details. I'd be happy to discuss specifics via email for anyone interested.


bicycles and conduit

– Last Updated: Apr-23-04 3:05 PM EST –

I made mine from scrap last year ... I have walked/pushed it 2.5 miles with yak on it (took 45 minutes) ... and towed the yak by bicycle 7 miles with it.

It weighs 16 pounds .. the top frame is about 26" x 36" .. the kayak on it sits at a perfect 'waist high' for comfortable near effortless pushing.

I used a pair of front forks/wheels off a pair of kids bicycles (16" wheels) fished from the garbage ... those forks are welded to the (mostly 3/4") conduit frame.
It is strong and stable and surprisingly 'untippy' ... and rolls well over bumpy or soft ground.

It also has a quick-detach tow 'handle' ... which can be attached to a bicycle back rack ... but is mostly for using it as a yard cart to one-handed pull/carry stuff (other than kayaks) around the yard ... and down to the boats.

edit> ... oh and .. if I have one complaint .. its that it is a bit large to strap it on the yak to take with me ... but that largeness pays off in its great versatility and strength and ease of useage.

I’ll gi ve you credit…
I have book marked your site too for future cart building activity. Thanks for doing the homework.