This is simple homemade portage yoke that is inexpensive and simple to construct. It works well with no slippage and is quick and easy to attach.
When I carry my kayak from my car top to the lake I can usually just rest the lip of the cockpit on my shoulder with my head inside and carry it the short distance.
Step 1: Concept
It slides onto the lip of the cockpit, trapping the lip between the yoke and the lipped spacer. It is then held in place with a bungii cord.
Step 2: List of materials:
1 – ¾ in. plywood (6 in. X 21in.) for yoke
2 - hardwood blocks (3/4 X 1-1/4 X 8) for spacers
2 – ½ in. plywood blocks (1-3/4 X 8) for spacer lips
2 – ½ in. plywood blocks (3 X 3-1/2) for padding base
2 – blocks (3 X 3-1/2 X 2-1/2)of high density foam
2 – pieces of vinyl fabric
1 – length of bungi cord
2 – short pieces of parachute cord
16 – 1-1/4” #8 flathead screws
Step 3: Assembling the yoke and spacers
The dimensions are approximate. You will want to customize the yoke to best fit your kayak. The thickness of the spacer will probably vary for your kayak, but you want a fairly tight fit. I found the balance point of the kayak over the cockpit and planned for the yoke to mount just aft of that. You want to have the weight slightly biased toward your rear when you carry it. I cut the shape of the yoke from the ¾ in. plywood, making it sort of a shallow “C” shape to fit around my neck. I mounted the spacer lip blocks and spacers together with glue and screws then placed them on kayak where I wanted them positioned.
Step 4: Making the pads
Next I glued the foam blocks to the plywood bases with contact cement and covered them entirely with vinyl fabric. The fabric was held in place with staples. The blocks are screwed to the yoke in a position such that they would rest on your shoulders.