Kayak Cart ?

It’s funny. In the gym 60 pounds does not seem like too much weight. Now convert that weight into a kayak and it’s a whole different story. I found it very difficult to carry my kayak ( actually a demo) from the truck to the beach. I have seen a couple of different dollys for kayaks.

I am wondering which is a better set up, the one that attaches to the end of the kayak or the one which is placed more in the middle. I’m thinking on the end it’s a matter of just lifting the front by the handle and away we go. Any downside to this option?

Now at the truck hoisting a 60 pound kayak was a bit unwieldy as well.

The best I could figure out was to place a towel under the stern and lever up the yak till the bow contacted the truck rack rear bar. At that point slide it on the rack, flip it over and strap it down. How do you all do it?

Lastly, on the topic of racks after seeing the high prices for racks (and if you have the money, great), I made one.

Most of the posts I see about home made racks are wood. I used line posts typically used for chain link fence. Cost $8 each. 4 in the stake holes on the bed rails and four cross pieces. Add some stainless bolts,washers and lock nuts and it’s done. Total cost under $100.

I was looking
at kayak carts and there are a bunch of homemade versions on the internet. Everything I saw was too big and bulky for my purposes. If I purchased or made one it would be the kind that mounts closer to the middle of the kayak if I wanted or needed to carry gear of significant weight in the kayak. If just a some snacks and water then I would have one that goes closer to the end.

I have a 17’ kayak that weighs 62 lbs. I put it on top of my car. The car is shorter than the kayak. I just pick up the kayak at the cockpit and set it on top of the car and roll it on to the foam blocks that it rides on. I find carrying or moving long items much easier to do from the center or more specically the balance point.


Unfortunately (or not) I have a truck so it’s a bit of a chore. As a temporary fix i have pipe insulation for the demo to protect hull. I am going to get heater hose from auto parts store.

I did look at a bunch of carts in the buyers guide section. Looks like I can get a decent end cart for about $75. And it collapses so no need to go back and forth to the truck!! BTW: what are you paddling?


a truck is a good thing. Kind of wish I still had my pickup truck.

I have a Prijon Kodiak. 17’ long 62lbs. I’m looking into buying or making a portage yolk for it.

Made my own from some salvaged wheels and PVC pipe. If you do it correctly the whole thing costs less than $20, is waterproof, and works like a charm. Mine works best on my lighter, shorter kayak nearer to the back of the cockpit than to the back end, BTW. YMMV…

Make rack bar extensions
I bought the Thule accessories that is a half-round bar that can be pulled out of or retracted into the Thule square bars.

To unload a kayak you pull this thing out of the Thule bars, and you have a 3-4 foot extension of the bar over the side of vehicle. Now you slide one end of the kayak out on the bar so it holds 1/2 of kayak weight and then drop the other end. There is a minimal stop at the end the bar to keep the kayak on the extended bar–its barely enough. Also it gets frozen inside the bar every winter due to salt.

It was very pricey, probably because of welding used to strengthen the half-round bar without making it even more pricey.

However, you could always go to Home Depot or some metal distributor and find some round stock which you can stick into (or rectangular stock you can slide over) the thule bar and then remove it, and put it in the trunk instead of inside the Thule bar.

I also have a 60 + lb kayak and use
a new set of Wheeleez (sp) that i just purchased about 2 months ago. Prior to that i had smaller wheels that just went at the stern.I might as well have been dragging it on the ground. I can’t believe how easy it is with the proper wheels. I can load it with camping gear and it hardly feels like there is anything in it. You can also flip them over and put on the back of your vehicle to roll your kayak up onto your tall truck. I have not tried this yet, but saw it on UTube. I recommend them.

Oh yeh, i paddle a P+H Scorpio and am only 5’2" so it can be a real challenge at times.

On the end or in the middle
With the cart on the end of the boat you have to carry most of the weight of the boat, and with the cart in the middle the cart carries most of the weight. If the boat’s full of gear and\or it’s a long way from the car to the launch site having the cart in the middle is a big help.

I have Yakima racks, with one load bar longer than the other so that one sticks out on the passenger side, and I have blocks in the middle of the bars to keep the boat from sliding sideways on the racks. I pick up the stern of the boat and put it on the longer bar–with the boat sticking out at a 45-degree angle from the car–then pick up the bow and slide the boat up onto the long bar, and then push the bow onto the short bar. (I’m sure someone has posted a video at youtube showing this.)

I made loading bar from 1/2" galv
pipe that fit good into my Yakima bars and may work on Thule/others. Made it long enough to extend past the roof tower about 1’ for strength. Handles 55# boats ok so far. Slide a swim noodle on it so boat doesn’t slip. R

Bought a couple of folding carts
off Ebay new for $50-60 w/shipping, but have to shop a bit. I like the ones with two prop legs for loading stability, and an arched axle bar to get over rocky areas more easily. Keep them out of the sun when you can though as the removable Chinese tires seem to rot pretty quick. Good strong bungees seem to work better for me than the friction straps that come with them. R

My hubby made 1 for me like that…PVC pipe and the wheels from his old air compressor. Works like a charm…of course I still have to hoist it into the truck, no way around that, but the cart sure helps getting it there.

Boats are unweildy things
Worst part for me has always been carrying mine up and over the dunes when I want to paddle on the Gulf side of the island. The wind would really push it around, even an otherwise mild breeze. Hurricane Ike took care of those dunes, though.

I’m shocked by the cost of most
kayak/canoe carts, considering how simple they are. I am planning on making one, using parts from and old dolly in my garage.

Get a cart with fat tires. mine has
skinny tires that bog in sand and hang on roots.

Hard or soft surface?

– Last Updated: Jul-06-12 11:58 AM EST –

If it's mostly soft sand or similar material you need to roll over, a fat-tired middish-support cart will be easiest to handle. A really good one is Sea To Summit's version, available from REI as well as some kayak shops. My husband uses this cart.

We had tried a C-Tug before that and found it was both heavier and bulkier than we wanted to deal with. Even when completely disassembled, the pieces would not fit in my hatch compartments. Because my husband's Tempest 170 has a huge oval rear hatch, the largest (frame) parts could go in there. However, it took a lot of space and we simply don't need a cart that can support 300 lbs of loaded boat. Our heaviest loads so far have been about 90 lbs of gear and water plus about 57-58 lbs of kayak--about HALF the payload of the C-Tug.

So he bought the Sea To Summit kayak cart instead. It does everything he needs and is well-made (unlike the chintzy Seattle Sports lookalike cart of the same price).

I decided to give up the soft-sand rollability in favor of very small size, so I bought a Quantum Engineering kayak cart. This one has small, hard wheels (7") but when disassembled, all the parts can fit into my front or rear hatch; everything but the black scoopy holder part fits into my little day hatch. Or I can put the whole cart, still assembled, in front of my feet inside the cockpit. This is strictly for daytripping, because it supports the kayak at the stern so is more of a load to pull. It is light enough that you might be able to keep it on the kayak to aid in rooftop loading. I paid $80 for it at REI.

Freya’s cart
Some Google searching will turn up the cart that was formerly sold by Freya Hoffmeister, which can be disassembled to put in a hatch. Not that hard to copy. There are others out there readily copied by you DIY folks. Can’t see spending big bucks for something so easy to do.

somtimes a truck is a good thing
somtimes it is not

big bucks is a bummer
but having Wheelez is nice


– Last Updated: Jul-06-12 6:21 PM EST –

I sling a 75 lb tandem around I know the feeling.

Carrying short distances around launch site I roll it up on knee and get it onto my shoulder. The shoulder carries the weight pretty good.

I have pickup truck too. I have a Thule water slide mat but any bath mat would do. Rest mat over tailgate. Get kayak front resting on tail gate go to back of kayak and walk it up to roof. My slides right into saddles and I just keep pushing it up until its level. Then I go to side of truck for final adjustment and stapping to rack.

For longer hauls like portage or long hike to water we use cart. Had a small cart that fit into hatch but just got the c-tug. It doesn't fit in my hatch but it breaks down into pieces which helps.

there should be a video