Several years ago I built a Portage Cart for my canoe. It works great for getting my canoe from one body of water to another.
In the past I have put my canoe up on top of my van and drove to whatever body of water I wanted to explore.
Now that I live only a few blocks from a major river, I wanted a quick way to get my canoe out onto the water.
Step 1: What I Used
2 U bolts
1 Eye Bolt
1 Shackle Bolt
1 4 foot oak dowel 1.25 inch diameter
1 Bike rack left over from a Baby Bike Seat
1 Canoe ( with a carabiner attached at the bow)
Step 2: Putting It Together
On one end of the dowel I notched the end to fit over the lip of the Bike rack to keep the dowel from twisting.
On the other end of the dowel I drilled a pilot hole then screwed in the eye bolt. To the eye bolt I attached the shackle bolt.
For the U bolts on the bike rack I tried to get as close to the places that the rack attached to the supports. Closer to the seat I was able to put the U bolt through the steel plate that attaches the rack to the bike frame just below the seat post. At the rear of the rack there was nothing I could use to reinforce the attachment so I put the U bolt as close to the mounting point of the original rack.
once the U bolts are loosely bolted in the Dowel can be slid into place and the U bolts can be tightened down.
Step 3: Insert Tab a Into Slot B
Now that the modifications to the bike are complete, It is time to turn my attention to the cart.
For walking the canoe across portages, bungee cords work fine. For towing the canoe several blocks I wanted to make sure the cart was going to stay put.
Time to raid my stash of tie down straps.
I attached two tie downs (the blue ones) to the outside of the cart uprights and crossed them under the canoe before attaching them to the carabiners in the stern gunwale to prevent any side to side shifting.
The other tie downs (red ones) are placed to the inside of the cart uprights and then go up and over on the same side. I wrapped the tie down over the thwart and then secured them to the seat supports.
Step 4: Set Sail
Because of the minimalist design there was enough room in the canoe for the cart and both bikes, so that we don't have to return to the same launch.
Some days you don't want to paddle, you just want to go where the river takes you before you head home.