Side Carry Handles on Tandem Kayak

Hi folks - I just bought a Perception Cove 145T and I’m thinking about installing a side carry handle to help me get it up some stairs by myself - I currently just grab it by the cockpit, but I’ve got my eye on a side handle that has a built in paddle stay bungee, which would be nice.

However, the boat weighs just over 70lbs, which seems like a lot to put on a handle, even for a short distance. Has anyone done this? Last thing I want to do is crack my boat due to too much weight on a few screw holes…


if you do it put in a backing plate

If you google “carrying straps” you’ll find a lot of options. If the boat is flexible where you want to install a handle then it may well tear out. Maybe something like this?

Go to a store that sells tock climbing gear, like Eastern Mountain Sports or REi, and buy about 10’ of 1” tubular webbing or 6 mm perlon cord. Then tie ends together to make a long sling that you can cinch around the boat to make a grab strap. A long sling like that is handy for lots of other things as well. I have several from my youthful mountaineering days and have found them useful for all sorts of tasks, from hanging my food sack in trees to keep the grub from the varmints during camping trips to towing a car out of a ditch (the force ratings on climbing gear are substantial).

You could also use hollow poly braid rope to make slings. Put some vinyl tubing on the rope before making the loops. You could also use that tubing to make a handle for a shoulder carry.

The idea of some sort of carrying sling with a shoulder strap might be useful since the OP wants to make it easier to carry the kayak up some stairs. With the sling in the right position and a shoulder carrying some weight, angling the kayak up the stairs might be easier.

Thanks for the thoughts so far - there’s definitely a fair amount of flex in the boat where I’d be putting the handle. Thanks for the thoughts about making a carry sling - I’ve actually got one and it works pretty well, but I was kinda just trying to simplify things a bit. With that said, breaking a handle out of a boat isn’t going to simplify anything…