Kayak Cart




This tutorial will list all the steps needed to make a simple, slip on kayak cart. It's a simple design where the boat sits inside of the loop and stays on by being pushed forward. I designed the cart to carry my Dagger Spector 15' touring kayak, but could be adjusted to fit most other shaped hulls. Total budget for this pice was $40 made from all new parts found at a big box hardware store and a small town hardware store. Planning as I went, it took about 2 hours to complete the whole thing.

The only tools needed are a drill and bits, hammer, nail set, tape measure, pencil and hacksaw.

Parts needed: 2 tires with bearings for axel 10" diameter 5/8" hole, 5/8" by 36" zinc plated steel rod (or aluminum), 3' vinyl braided tubing 1" inside diameter, 4 - 3/4" washers, 2 - 1/8" cotter pins, 3/4" inside diameter conduit, 3/4" foam insulation, 2 - T fittings for vinyl tubing and 4 zip ties.

Step 1: Step 1: Measure for Your Fit

First thing to do is measure the size of your boat's hull. Think of where you are going to be placing the cart on the boat. 1/5 of the way from the bow seemed optimum so the stern can still be lifted without putting the bow into the ground, but with some of the weight being transferred to the cart.

The axel needs to allow enough room for the beam, or width of the boat, but not overly wide. 30" is what I measured for mine, BUT added another inch for the cotter pins!

The tubing needs to be long enough to fit around the boat, but not move to far. 36" wrapped around the top and sides of my boat.

Step 2: Step 2: Cut and Drill Axel

Cut the axel to length with hack saw, mine was 31" long.

Clean up the edges with a grinder to smooth of the burs.

Use a nail set to make a small hole to start the drill bit.

Drill the holes for the cotter pins on the edge of the axel. The pins I used were 1/8, so I used a 5/32" bit. A touch of motor oil in the hole stopped the squealing from the bit.

Step 3: Step 3: Connect the Vinyl

Next, take you t connectors and lop off the sides, leaving just the fitting perpendicular to the main section.

Warm up the tubing to make it more flexible to fit around the fitting. Warm water works well, or i used the radiant heat form a kerosene heater.

Fit the vinyl to the firing, to make the natural curve of the tubing match the fittings so the holes face one another.

Step 4: Step 4: Fit the Axel Covers

The tires I used were 3" at the axle, a piece, so some simple calculations told me how short to make the conduit wrapped in foam pieces to be when also subtracting the boat roller and vinyl tubbing fittings. 31" axle -1" for pins -3" wheel -3" wheel -5" boat roller -1.25" tubing -1.25" tubing =16.5" for conduit spacers. 2, 8.25" pieces are made from the conduit and foam insulation.

Cut two sets of foam and PVC to 8.25" and place on one another.

Step 5: Step 5: Final Assembly

Assemble all the pieces together. Place the cotter pins through the axle, washer, tire, washer, vinyl tubing, conduit, boat roller, conduit, vinyl tubing, washer, tire, washer cotter pin.

The cart fits easily around the bow of the boat, and went on by simply by lifting on the handle of the boat and sliding the cart around the boat.

This cart will work great moving forward in front of the boat, and could be pulled behind if attached to the boat by a simple rope.



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    14 Discussions


    Reply 1 year ago

    Totally different style of trolley. Many people (including myself) find the 'foldable cradle' style quite a pain to use. I've used all three styles. I personally find this style as well as the 'scupper hole' style much more convenient.


    Reply 2 years ago

    This instructable one seems easier & SMALLER when you want to fit it INSIDE THE KAYAK. :-)


    Reply 2 years ago

    That is cool and everything but instructables in not a place for ads.


    3 years ago

    that's cool thanks new to instruct ables cool site


    3 years ago

    Good plans. thanks.


    3 years ago

    This looks like a great design... thanks for sharing! I like the simplicity, yet strength of the overall build. After using it for a while do you prefer to push or pull your kayak around? Does the cart stay secured when you are pulling the kayak? How would you attach the rope you mentioned?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi Schorte, To tell the truth, I bought another kayak at half the weight (thank you Carbon Fiber) so I haven't used it a lot. But, pulling it is much easier, that way you don't have to steer it. You can attach a rope around the combing of the cockpit, and tie that to the cart. Thanks for looking at it!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank u VERY much for sharing your cart. Question, how do you keep the tubing from coming out/popping out of the T-connection? On your pic you don't seem to use nothing. I'm thinking I might have to purchase a pair of stainless steel ring clamps to hold it in. Any suggestions? Thanks again :)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi jjim1971

    Your observations are correct, I didn't use anything to connect the tubing to the t's except the ribbed edges of the ts themselves.

    I have a few of the stainless hose clamps as you described just in case the tubing pops off, but since it adds another place that could scratch the boat i decided not to use them.

    Glad you like the cart, good luck and thank you!


    4 years ago

    Love the simplicity of the design and build...looks as though it could be flipped topside if one were inclined to take it along on the paddle for the take-out or portage...

    Ooo looks like it's going to work really well! Awesome design job! Welcome to instructables, I hope we get to see more of your awesome ideas in the future!