I have used the portage cart many times without any issues, but those previous uses were always moving at walking speed.
What I failed to take into account was the speed I would be traveling at. For the first short trip down to the river it did well. On a longer trek to a different launch there was a catastrophic meltdown .. literally.
The clean out plugs used for the wheel mounts melted as a result of the friction generated by the wheels since they do not contain bearings.
I carefully got the canoe back home and sat down to assess the extent of the damage. I initially designed this cart to be able to have interchangeable wheels for different terrains, so I was able to pop the wheels off the cart easily just by unscrewing the clean out plugs that the wheels are mounted into.
The wheels were still in good shape. The clean out plug took the brunt of the damage and they can be replaced.
two things have to happen:
1) the portage cart is getting repaired to resume it's job as a portage cart ... and only a portage cart.
2) Bicycle canoe cart 2.0 has to be designed and built .. stay tuned .. I have an Instructable coming soon. This one will be able to handle the speeds much better.
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Step 1: Tools
Assorted sized bits (man I gotta remember to get a step bit)
Ruler ( I was originally just going to use my tape measure but I ended up using a small steel ruler) and a sharpie
Piece of scrap wood to drill on so I don't ding the table.
Step 2: Taking It Apart
after struggling to fit the vice grips into the clean out plug to grip the bottom nut so I could twist off the top nut that locks the bottom nut in place. I realized I could just grip the bolt and loosen the nuts in order.
Don't laugh ... Like Edison said .. "I have not failed, I just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Once the nuts were off I was able to remove the damaged clean out plugs and scrape the bits of melted PVC off the bolt.
Step 3: Drilling New Wheel Mounts
Using a straight edge draw lines from opposite corners to find the center of the clean out plugs.
Start out using a small drill bit and work up to the 1/2 inch bit gradually. If you try to drill a 1/2 inch hole in the clean out plug in one shot I can guarantee it will not end well. Then you will have to go back to the hardware store for another clean out plug .. one without big chunks missing from it.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
The wheel are now once again perpendicular .. Time to give it a well deserved face lift.
The pool noodle I used to pad the arms that support the canoe have earned a much needed retirement.
I know .. I know .. the noodle is the wrong color. The Dollar General didn't have any teal noodles so I had to get lime green instead.
In the 5 years since I made the cart, apparently Dollar General changed their brand of large pool noodle from "super wacky noodle" to the "Inno-wave large noodle" and this new brand has a smaller inner diameter.
I had to cut the noodle to fit on the arms of the cart.
Once I had them in place I realized how easy the cut noodles were to knock off so I grabbed the zip ties.
Two zip ties on each arm keeps the noodles firmly in place.