Does anyone have any insight on the typical strength of carry handles at the bow and stern of a kayak? I have a Wilderness Tsunami 145 and a Delta 15S and am working a way to more easily portage. It would involve using the handles (two people) to lift and carry the boats, loaded with camping gear, over distances of up to a few miles.
I’ve been told in the past that those handles shouldn’t really be used with loaded boats, and rather only for transporting empty boats short distances (e.g. to/from the car to the put-in or take-out). But I wonder how robust they really are…? Taking a close look the handles, it appears that the weakness is most likely in the knots in the nylon rope inside the handle. If that’s the case, I could figure out a way to hook into the actual strap eyes bolted onto the deck, rather than attaching to the handle rope. Are the bolts holding these fittings strong enough to support a loaded kayak without ripping out of the deck?
Here are pictures of the carry handles. I popped the cover off the one on the Tsunami to see what the inside knots look like. I am thinking the actual strap eye and bolt going through deck have to be much more robust than the rubbery handle.