It is officially summertime! Let's load up those Kayaks and head out to the water! The only challenge is that it seems like everyone else seems to be at the paddling spots sometimes. This could mean that you will have to carry your kayak quite a ways! Our Pelican Mustang's are some of the lightest kayaks in the industry at only 39 pounds, but it will still tire you out if you need to carry it half a mile or more. I don't know about you, but we would rather save our energy for paddling.
We started looking into Kayak carts and we were pretty surprised to find out that pretty much any half-decent cart runs between $59-$175. That seems pretty pricey for a couple of tubes and 2 tires. We decided to look into some DIY options. There are a ton of great designs out there and we took the bits and pieces of what we liked and put them together. Here is a quick video of the build.
The great thing about this design is that it doesn't take a lot of mechanical skill and it isn't super time-consuming. You can probably finish the cart in about an hour. Here is what we will need to make our cart.
1 ten-foot section piece of schedule 40 pic pipe - $3 (Make sure its schedule 40 it is way more durable)
7 1 inch tee fittings - 3.50
3 1 inch PVC caps. - $1.20
Pvc glue - $3
The glue, pipe and all of the fittings should be on the same aisle at the hardware store.
A 3-foot section of 5/8’s threaded rod - $4
A 5/8’s inch create-a-bolt kit that comes with the nuts, washers and lock washers. - $3.80
This should be on the same aisle as the threaded rod
One jumbo fun noodle from target or the 99 cent store - $3.88
2 ten inch tires from harbor freight - $12
This brings us to a grand total of 34.38 before tax. One thing that I really like about the design is the rubber tires. They do weigh more but it also delivers a much smoother and quieter ride than the pre-built kits with the hard power wheels types of tires.
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Step 1: Cut the Pipes
Once you have everything that you need for your cart, it is time to cut the PVC pipe into the sections that you will need. There are a bunch of different ways to cut the pipe. Pipe cutters are obviously the best, a chop saw is also a great option. If you don't have either of those you can also use a hack saw. The great thing is that all of your cuts will be going into either tee's or end caps, so the cuts don't need to be super pretty.
You are going to need the following lengths of pipe:
1x 18 inches
1x 10 1/2 inches
4x 8 inches
2x 4 1/2 inches
4x 3 inches
2x 1 3/4 inches
Step 2: Drill 2 Caps
Next, we need to take the end caps and drill a 5/8’s inch hole in the center. If you want to make your life way easier, pre-drill it with a smaller size first. Do your best to drill the hole in the center of the cap. Otherwise, your cart is going to be a little bit lopsided.
Step 3: Build Time!
It is now time to assemble the bottom portion of the cart
Take 2 of the end caps and glue them into the 1 3/4 pieces
Step 4: More Assembly
Take those and glue them into one side of the 2 tee’s
Now Glue those into the 4.5-inch pieces
Step 5: Join the Halfs
And finally, glue both sides into one tee. This part is pretty important because the center hole of the tee that you are gluing both sides into will be used for the kickstand. I stuck the 8-inch pipes into all of the tee's just so I could see the angle that my kickstand would be at. I found that and angle just slightly past 90 degrees seems to work pretty good. It is super important to glue this joint. Otherwise, the kickstand will collapse under the weight of the kayak.
Step 6: Cut the Threaded Shaft
I glued all of mine together, but I don’t intend to take my cart apart to stow on the boat. I will get into that a little bit later
Now that we have the bottom section assembled it is time to take our threaded shaft and turn slide it on through. It will need to be cut, but we will need to figure out how much. You can do that by measuring the lower section of your cart and then adding 8 inches. This will give you enough room for the wheels and hardware. We are going to cut ours to be 26 inches long. Having a grinding wheel here will make things a lot easier!
Step 7: Insert the Threaded Shaft and Its Tire Time!
Now that out threaded shaft is cut to length we are going to slide it through again. Be careful if you used a grinding wheel because the end of the shaft can be quite hot. Take a quick measurement to make sure that the threaded shaft is sticking out both sides equally. Once it is centered, lock it into place with a lock washer and a nut.
Now we slide the wheels on and lock them into place with the other nut.
The bottom section is now complete! It is all pretty smooth sailing from here. See what I did there. It's a boat pun.
Step 8: Build the Top of the Cart
Next, we will take 2 tee’s and put them on both ends of our 10 1/2 inch pipe. That’s pretty much it for the top section
Step 9: Insert the Top
Now connect the top section and bottom section with 2 of the 3-inch pieces with glue
Step 10: Make the Rails
Now its time to make the two railings that the kayak will rest on.
Take the 4 8 inch lengths and attach them with 2 t’s and take the other 3 inch pieces and place them into the bottom of the tee
Those pieces slip right into the top of the cart. This is one of the joints that I don't glue. The reason that I don't glue them is that I want the rails to be able to swivel to conform to the bottom of my kayak.
Step 11: Insert the Kickstand
You should at this point only have one piece of pipe, a cap, and a fun noodle left. This piece is going to be your kickstand. Just slide the cap on and stick it right here. I don't glue the kickstand in because I like to be able to remove it to make the cart just a little bit more portable.
Step 12: File the Edges and Slip the Fun Noodles On
The last thing that you need to do is slide on the fun noodles and you are all set! I found that taking a file or sandpaper to the edges of the pipe will help a lot. Otherwise, there is a good chance that the sharp edges will tear your fun noodle.
Step 13: Enjoy!!!
Enjoy your new cart!!!
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