Portage Cart for Canoes and Kayaks

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Introduction: Portage Cart for Canoes and Kayaks

About: Jack-of-all trades, master of some. I would probably be much more modest if it wasn't for these delusions of granduer that I suffer from.

I have a large canoe (approx 17 feet long and 4 feet wide at the middle) and more often than not I am the only one physically able to move it (at least until the wee ones get bigger MUH HAHAhahahaha).

It probably weighs close to 100 lbs empty.  I can pick it up and carry it but it is really awkward due to its size.  add in the paddles, trolling motor and battery, fishing gear, etc etc. and it gets tough to portage without risking damage to the bottom.

This instructable is geared towards making a cart to handle my canoe.  For a Kayak or smaller canoe you could scale it back to 3/4 inch PVC to make it lighter and smaller.

Step 1: Tools Needed

-fine toothed saw, or PVC pipe cutter
I originally started with the Hacksaw but it was taking forever.  I switched to the miter saw and it made the cuts drastically faster and the cleanup of the cut ends was not to bad.
I Do not recommend using any type of powered saw to cut the pipe

-utility knife or file to remove any burrs from the PVC after cutting it

-Drill and assorted bits ranging up to a 1/2 inch bit

-PVC Primer

-PVC cement

-rubber Mallet (not pictured)

-Hot glue gun and glue sticks

-Fine grit Sand Paper or 00 Steel wool to rough up the PVC surface before painting

-Spray paint designed for plastic

Step 2: Gathering Parts

- (2) 10 inch solid tires

- (1) 10 foot section of 1.5 inch PVC pipe

- (4) 1.5 inch Tee connector

- (2) 1.5 inch clean-out plug

- (2) 1.5 inch female adapter

- (4) 1.5 inch end cap

- (2) 1/2-13 x 4 Hex cap screw

- (4) 1/2-13 hex nut

- (6) 1/2 hardened flat washer


Step 3: Measure Twice, Cut Once

If you are using a ratcheting PVC pipe cutter realize that the cut is not going to be straight so you will need to square the cut for maximum hold when you cement it

decide what the dimensions of your cart are going to be before you start cutting.

remember to take into account not only the length of the adapters you are using but also the amount of the pipe that fits inside the adapter when you cut you pipes to length.

A good rule of thumb is that whatever the diameter of your pipe is, that is roughly how deep the pipe will seat into the adapter.  But that is not always the case.  The female adapter will only seat .75 inch of pipe, not 1.5 inches. 



Step 4: Wheel Assembly

Originally the reason I chose to assemble the wheels this way instead of using a single axle through the body of the cart is that the home improvement store i went to did not have a threaded rod shorter than 5 feet. 

A nice side effect of building it this way is that if I need to use a different set of wheels (for instance: Fat pneumatic tire for crossing sand ), I can take off the entire assembly and screw on a new set of wheels to the cart. 

Use a straight edge and draw lines from corner to corner diagonally.  Where the lines intersect is the center of the square.

Start with a small bit and work your way up progressively until you Drill a 1/2 inch hole into the square of each of the clean-out  plugs.
The smaller the increments you increase the bits by the smoother the drilling process will be.  If you try to jump up too much at once you will gouge out too big of a piece and it will jam up possibly shattering your clean-out plug

Assemble the Wheel assembly

Bolt
Washer
Wheel (apply grease to the bolt at this point if you opt to use it)
Washer
Clean-out plug
Hot glue filler ( to help waterproof the assembly)
Washer
Nut
Nut

I added teflon tape to the threads for smoother mounting.

Step 5: Body Assembly

Dry fit all parts to make sure no adjustments need to be made.

once you are satisfied pull it all apart and start to prime and cement it together.

When working with smaller length parts it Helps to have a rubber mallet to get the part fully seated before the cement fuses the parts together.

(yes that is a tub buried in my back yard ... no I didn't put it there)


Step 6: Time to Make It Puuuuuurty

rough up the PVC with the steel wool or sandpaper

apply paint.

another perk of the detachable wheels .. easy to hang up the assembled parts for painting.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

A pool noodle added to the construction serves two purposes. 

1) it makes a nice padding
2) it offers an added degree of floatation should your cart find a way out of the boat (thanks kids)

I was fortunate to find a pool noodle with and 1.5 inch inner bore so i didn't have to cut it to attach it to the cart.

A few bungee cords ( not pictured) to keep the cart firmly attached to the bottom of you canoe or kayak and you are good to go.

Watersports Summer Challenge

Runner Up in the
Watersports Summer Challenge

2nd Annual Krylon Summer Contest

Participated in the
2nd Annual Krylon Summer Contest

3 People Made This Project!

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65 Comments

0
missplumeau
missplumeau

10 years ago on Introduction

We have been going to a really cool lake in Vermont for the past couple of summer. The owner of the house has this big ol' canoe that's getting damaged because even if we lift it, it sags in the middle and dragging it is not much better. Your contraption is just what we need! Thanks for posting your very clear 'Ible!!

0
Lorddrake
Lorddrake

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

glad to be of help. I hope that the canoe your friend has does not sag too badly, that sounds dangerous.

0
eranox
eranox

10 years ago on Introduction

This is great! A cheap, simple way to cart around my kayak. I'll build one of these this weekend, and maybe bolt some nylon straps to the endcaps of the supports that can adjust and then buckle together. Well done!

0
etanol
etanol

10 years ago on Introduction

Really nice!
Have you thought of using golf bag trolley wheels? They are very lightweight and have a wide "footprint" which helps in loose sand and soft soils.

0
Lorddrake
Lorddrake

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Any idea where I can go to get golf bag trolley wheels? I made my wheel decision based mostly off of what was available on the shelves at harbor freight when I went on an impulse shopping trip to build my cart. :)

0
etanol
etanol

Reply 26 days ago

Late reply…
I found a trashed golf bag trolley with nice wheels.
In Europe you can buy these wheels as a spare part at for example at Declathlon but in the US site they are not listed as spare part for this one https://www.decathlon.com/products/golf-2-wheel-tr...

0
dwoj
dwoj

8 months ago

I built mine pretty much exactly as you did, which is probably overkill for my primary floatable (12 ft aluminum canoe), but it gives me some flexibility to tote something a bit heavier. I should have waited to get the wheels on sale or looked around for some freebies, but the water beckons and I wanted to "get 'er done". I'm still looking for pool noodles, but it is a bit early here in Michigan and most places don't stock summer items yet. I did have problems getting a straight cut so I went to my chop saw and it was awesome. Straight cuts with no burred edges. I also used lock nuts instead of double nutting the stub axle. I also haven't painted it yet. I'll post pics when finished. The best part it that if I want to change anything, it is pretty easy. Thank you for posting great instructions!

0
Lorddrake
Lorddrake

Reply 8 months ago

So glad you found it helpful :)

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dwoj
dwoj

Reply 7 months ago

Couldn't find any noodles with an inside diameter to fit, so I got these things that make a noodle pugil stick and the fit perfect. No doubt that if the cart falls overboard that it will float! LOL

20210408_121534.jpg20210408_121543.jpg
0
Khrysinwythe
Khrysinwythe

1 year ago on Step 7

I wish you had a photo to show it attached to the canoe or Kayak.

0
MariaE23
MariaE23

Question 1 year ago

Hi LordDrake, I have a question about your fabulous Kayak wheels, I live on the beach in Australia however, I do not feel that I could leave the wheels just by themselves on the sand while I head out into the water. I can pretty much guarantee that someone would take them, any suggestions as to where to stow them? and PS thanks for your fabulous plans. Maria

0
Lorddrake
Lorddrake

Answer 1 year ago

The wheels do not weigh that much so you can just bungie them on top of your kayak. And if you seal the tubes properly then the whole assembly is watertight and it will float if you drop it

0
Tangski
Tangski

Question 3 years ago on Step 7

Silly q...but, I have a couple of small bike wheels, for rougher ground...I could use those instead, yes? NICE project...thanks!!!

0
Lorddrake
Lorddrake

Answer 3 years ago

as long as you can figure out a solid way to attach them to the cart, they should work just fine. For portaging it is not crucial that you use bearings or an axle since your rate of travel will be a slow walk pace. If you are going to pull the cart at anything faster than a moderate walking pace I would Highly recommend bearings to reduce friction and an axle for stability.

I built another version of this cart using the wheels from a jogging stroller.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Bicycle-Canoe-Car...

that worked great (until it accidentally encountered a curb at a decent rate of speed ... I will be making an instructable about repairing/rebuilding cart 2.0 once I have the time and spare change for parts)

0
DebbieD128
DebbieD128

Question 3 years ago on Step 3

Hi, just out of curiosity has anyone, made this cart, with the kayak sitting in a craddle? Example, like the roof rack cradles. If so please share. Thanks

0
dogsaw
dogsaw

3 years ago

very inspiring, will be on tools tomorrow to make this fine kayak cart, love the "less is more style of it"& your superb instructions .. measure twice cut once, right on ,Lord Drake beam mine in on completion ,many thanks from Dog-saw uk.

0
Lorddrake
Lorddrake

Reply 3 years ago

I'm glad you found this IBLE helpful. Don't forget to share of a picture of your cart once you complete it. :)

0
mrcanoehead224
mrcanoehead224

4 years ago

This looks great. I have a bunch of old PVC that I used to make a ladder golf game and was looking to repurpose it.I'm going to give this a try.

0
Lorddrake
Lorddrake

Reply 4 years ago

Awesome. Make sure to post pics of your finished product.