canoe cart - center or end?

I’d like to get a canoe cart to be used primarily for hauling a canoe relatively short distances between parking areas and put-ins or take-outs. The cart would need to work with my big heavy OT tripper and hopefully also with a smaller solo canoe. Which would be better, a center cart or the kind that slips over the end of the canoe? The end carts seem like they would be easier to get the canoe on and off, but the center carts look like they would be easier for moving the canoe once it is on the cart. Any advise from those who have used either type of cart would be appreciated. Thanks.

Same Question
For kayaks. I bought one for kayaks and haven’t used it yet and was debating (with myself) the proper placement. Mine is a Seattle Sports model and the box contained no directions on how to use it and I am a mechanical illiterate.

easy to balance, and effortless after.

I made carts for my kayaks that attach just behind the cickpit coaming. I found that the closer the cart is to the center that the taller it has to be. If the carts were any taller they wouldn’t fit into my hatches. If you have the room to store a larger cart then placeing it in the center would be the easiest to pull.

Thanks for the replies
Hadn’t thought about the advantage of easier pivoting with a center cart. I’m wondering about the ease of loading a canoe on a center cart though. Haven’t seen either kind in use, but it seems to me I could spend more time struggling to get the canoe centered and strapped tightly enough that the advantage of making only one trip with a center cart would be lost in the time it would take to prepare for that one trip. Are the other center carts any easier to center and fasten than the Primex that ericnyre describes? Maybe the end carts don’t go on as easily as I picture, but it seems they would take a lot less time to use. The paddleboy fat boy end model has the same wheels as the heavy lifter, so I’m guessing it would work okay on relatively uneven terrain.

The answer is…

bruce, it if is really narrow with small
wheels it goes at the end. If it has bigger wheels and is wide it goes in the center. Ask the folks who sold you or post the model. If it’s a pop cart send it back, and get a yedo or something, If it’s not, I’ll buy it off you for half what you paid for it >;-).

How much weight do you want to lug?
With a center cart, you can carry virtually no weight, depending where you balance the boat.

This is great for portaging any distance. And, you probably will not even need to secure the boat to the cart if you’re only going a short distance. For a longer distance, you can wheel it right into the water, then release any ties then.

Use it on the very end, and you always carry about half the weight. This could be a drag, even with a light kayak, if it were loaded down at all.

Center mounted cart with bicycle wheels
First the physics. If the cart is end mounted, it holds up half the load, you must pick up and carry the other half. You describe a big heavy canoe and lots of gear. No fun to drag the load and support half the weight.

The sellers of end mounted carts will knock the loading of a center mounted cart, but it is a simple procedure. My female paddling partner and i can load and strap a 17’ Jensen in under a minute and last Sunday over a 1 1/4 mile carry from Upper Saranac Lake to Stoney Creek Ponds the cart did not have to be readjusted once in spite of hitting many rocks and roots at race speed. We have used this cart to haul a 20 foot Grumman War canoe and all the paddle gear for 6 people. The trick is to set the cart next to the canoe at the midpoint and lift one end of the canoe and swing it onto the cart while the other person steadies the cart. By yourself you use the kickstand to hold the cart in place and swing the canoe into place above the cart and lower it onto the cart, no sliding on the cart which can easily move it off the stand.

I much favor the Swedish style bike wheeled cart for its great ground clearance and weight hauling capability. The Canadian copy that i use has the same design but with a less adjustable steel frame. It does fold flat for storage in the bottom of the canoe or truck.

Again on Sunday i saw the failure of another small wheeled cart with a very lightweight aluminum frame. The frame bent when the wheel hit a large rock. No idea of the brand, we were passing them on a very narrow trail and had to watch our step.

For sand or relatively smooth roadways, the small diameter wheels will work, but on rough surfaces they are like hitting a curb on roller skates

I posted hear about a month ago
about a cart I just made.

I am using it as a center mount, but I guess the canoe could be end mounted on it.

My two comments are;

  1. It wheels much easier then I expected. Amost by itself. I just steer it
  2. It would be a pain to get on by myself. I have “the bride” to hold the cart while I put it on.



We own a green cart made from steel tube, with small diamiter spoked “bicycle” tire. This thing is heavy (12lbs) so I often opt for the yoke. One time we used the cart to our great advantage was on the Rideau Canal in Ontario. The locks were expensive, and portaging involved lawns and pavement. We team lifted the loaded boats onto the cart (center) and rolled them over the portage with almost no effort. Rolled them right down the ramp into the water, and fished out the cart. This was so fast/easy/cool, it blew my mind.

I use a Rolleez and I’ve used it under the center of a canoe, but find it difficult to get it centered if I’m paddling solo. I usually put it on one end and it does fine. My 12 year old son can move that old canoe around easily with it. For my kayak I put it just forward of the cockpit, or centered under the forward hatch.

making cart
does anyone know of any plans for making a cart ?

I made one years ago that was a front load worked pretty good a couple of large golf cart wheels hooked to a peice of 2x4 oak with lag bolts for axles and a ratchieing tie down strap.

Its been missplaced over the years and I am now getting back into canoeing and need something to help move my 17’ aluminum barge

I have looked at some of the commercial carts and while they seem nice I am big on DIY and cheap I have a couple of large lawnmower wheels I salvaged and I have a rough Idea for a design

any thoughts would be appreciated

I am tending tword the center design it seems more versitile

the front design I had previosly still put a fair amount of weight for the person lifting and pushing from the rear

like a previos poster said I am moving not just the canoe but a bunch of gear also

making a cart
stopped by a grage sale this morning and picked up a small girls bike for 2.00 so I guess I have the wheels

now to design a frame around them :slight_smile:

still would apprecitiate any pointers to plans or building discussions

Cart design
Here’s one: