Swedish boat cart for $71 at Cabelas

I’ve been researching so-called “Swedish” canoe carts but have balked at the price.

The Swedish/Canadian Boat Walker/Pacific Outdoors/Instep/Cabelas steel cart is really the Paddleboy All-Terrain Center Cart from Seattle Sports. The new ones sold at Bean, EMS and Campmor since February 2012 are now gray (not green) and no longer come with an included pump and tube patch kit.

However, Cabelas still has the older green model, with included pump and patch kit, and they dropped their price today from $130 to $91. That got me to drive to the CT store, where I was offered another $20 off if I signed up for a Cabelas credit card, which they issue on the spot.

So … thanks to helpful posts on Pnet and elsewhere, I now own a the cart most highly recommended by many wheelies … and one already-cut-up credit card.

Raquette Falls and Indian Carry, here I come.

Make sure
.you CANCEL the card…you cut it up but it will show as an open line of credit on your credit report, and may impact your credit score…lenders see open lines of credit as a risk factor in certain cases…

Now go sweat on those portages!

Raquette Falls

You now have the best cart for this carry, BUT nothing is perfect over Raquette Falls. Depending on the canoe, and the strength of your partner, you may wheel it all the way from the top of the stone stairs to the put in below the falls. There are patches you will need to lift and carry over; some narrow water bars, some single track stone steps, and a few dips where a longer canoe grounds at either end even with the other end held just above the ground. I stopped trying to wheel the Minnesota IV over this carry, too many place to lift over. A 17’ can be done with a few short lifts. There is also one ugly spot going around a bare bedrock outcropping on a right hand turn. You need to pick your path very carefully and be able to control the canoe from the rear as the front will be high and off the trail leaving the bow person with nothing to hold onto.

A solo would be a different story. But who lifts the other end for you over the single track water bars?

A great deal on the cart nontheless.


I’m waiting for the IKEA version

Chinese boat cart. Problems.
The cart is made in China. I just got a message from Harry Reid that I must burn it.

Which is what I felt like yesterday when I found out that one of the wheels was lopsided – that is, not vertical but angled, which made it rub against the padded load bar at one of the hull width positions. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the problem was other than some sort of warp in the wheel or cart frame.

So I just got back from another long drive to Cabela’s to replace the Chinese boat cart with another one. This one has wobbly wheels – they all did – but at least it’s not warped.

With one exception, I think this style boat cart is the most strongly constructed I’ve seen in person or from studying pictures and reviews, but that’s relative and must be taken with a grain of salt. The level of engineering and quality of the Chinese boat cart is about that of a tricyle you would buy for a three-year old at K-Mart. It’s just that all the other carts are built like toy tricycles from the Five and Dime store with plastic, aluminum and cheap bolts instead of welds.

The one better and more solidly constructed exception is this one sold by CastleCraft, Spring Creek and SailboatsToGo, which is however too expensive for me:


All my boating is solo. I used to portage 85 lb. tandems in the Dacks 30 years ago, but I can only last about 100 yards with my SRT and 150 yards with my Bell Wildfire these days. I much prefer to trip in the SRT because it is much more capacious and seaworthy in lake waves and whitewater.

Even if I have to struggle in spots with a cart on a quasi-wheelable trail, that’s still better to me than triple portaging – or not taking the trip at all, which is now the usual case.

wobbly wheels

The wobbly wheels are probably from poor adjustment of the wheel bearings when the cart was assembled in China. You want to disassemble them anyway and regrease them with some good American wheel bearing grease and then properly adjust them. The alternative is to buy a couple 16" bicycle front wheels. It will up the cost of your cart, but make it stronger. The early Swedish carts were much better built and more adjustable. Over the years the various imitations were all price driven and the adjustability and quality went down. No wonder Cabelas dumped them; they were tired of the low quality. Maybe the color change was to make it easy to identify the problem carts.

My 10+ year old cart is green, does not have the telescoping width adjustment of the early carts, and does not have the U shaped loading stand. The kick stand on mine was pretty useless and i took it off several years ago. It has carried the Minnesota IV loaded over many carries, even the Indian Carry and Browns Tract. I put good quality bike tubes in it, use Valvoline marine wheel bearing grease and it has been very reliable. And i pinned the load bars; one flopped over against the tire carrying a Grumman War Canoe over Brown’s Tract in 2003. Not the place to have to retighten the two bolts with 120# of load on the cart.