DIY kayak cart builders--heavy boat?

For anyone who’s put together a kayak cart: My boys and I want to build something like that for my husband for Father’s Day. The hitch is, the boat’s not a 40-pound kayak; it’s a heavier old sailing rig. I’m not sure what it weighs, but I think it’s a bit more than our old Ram X 17’ Coleman. So, a fair bit heavier than any kayak.

It’s wide and flat and has a great carry handle on one end and nothing on the other. Portages will be short–from car to beach, maybe 30 yards across grass and river sand.

If anyone can point to a workable plan I can modify, I’d appreciate it. Suggestions welcome, also. I can work up a plan from a good photo. My biggest concern is that, having never even used a cart for my kayak, I won’t know what’s important in making a heavier-duty cart for this old sailboat, and that I will choose materials or an arrangement that can’t handle the load or will be too awkward to use.

make it as wide as you need, maybe like this:


The kids and I just finished Brett’s Father’s Day present, which we are calling the Proa Towah. It’s a two-wheeled dolly to go under one end of the sailboat (proa) so that he can lift the other end and pull it from the truck to the beach.

I designed it and we were planning on building it ourselves, except I needed holes drilled in an axle and just don’t have the tools. So I asked neighbor Ed, who offered to cut the wood, too. I let him because our table saw is kind of buried behind–well, the proa, and the motorcycle and some other heavy stuff.

Ed had asked if I had a plan, so I took my exploded drawing to him, too, to show him what we were making. I thought I was REALLY clear about what I wanted done–JUST drill the axle, and okay, yeah, go ahead and cut the wood pieces.

Well, when I went back the dang thing was ALMOST FINISHED!

So the boys and Anna and I put the wheels on the axles, screwed in two eyescrews, and put the carpet hull-guard on the contact surfaces…We’re still going to put on the card, “Thanks for being the kind of Dad who shows us how to build stuff,” but it won’t have as much impact as if we’d actually built the Proa Towah! (That’s towah as in “tow-er,” as in “thing that tows…”

Still, we put it under the Proa and tested it out, and it works like a charm. :^ )

Thanks for the help and the pics on the webpage–they saved me from one fairly significant mistake and made things a bit easier to work out.

Commend you on a creative gift
that you and the kids took part in making. Your husband will appreciate it greatly. More importantly, our children will learn that time and consideration are worth far more than money and expensive gifts with little thought.

Good job mom!

Thanks! :^ )
Handmade gifts are fairly common around our house. This isn’t the first time the kids and I (or the kids and their Dad) have collaborated on something like this. They also enjoy getting handmade gifts, which is no small thing, especially for the 15 and 17 year old boys. The super-easy fleece PJ pants I’ve made for them the last three years are their FAVORITE, and some days I have to inform them that I will NOT take them to the mall until they put on some real pants…

wood is best
I am poor so make most of my own gear.

What I doscovered is that a lot of the plans yopu find don’t work well.

For example, PVC breaks easily. High Karts tip over easily. Collapsable Karts aren’t very sturdy and wobble.

So I did a Kart similar to the first wood kart on the list.

The wheels are bolted to a 2x4 chunk that is screwed to the cross-bar, then the runners go from there.

It is low to prevent tipping, strong for all the gear I carry but not very portable.

Also, advice… put the Kart under your center of balance. Like any trailer, 60% of the weight should be just before the wheels. A paddle-buddy has his Kart at the stern and he spends al his energy picking the bow off the ground and holding it up as he pulls.

I keep my Kart under the cockpit and it balances so well I use my energy pulling.