Kayak Step Cart




Introduction: Kayak Step Cart

An alternative to the DIY PVC cart - easy to make, doubles as a step for loading / unloading and folds for convenient transportation / storage.  It doesn't get much easier than this.

Step 1: Folding Step Stool

Needing a kayak cart, I was looking for alternatives to measuring / cutting / gluing (cursing*&$#! / re-measuring / re-cutting / re-gluing) a PVC cart.  In the process, I came across this folding step stool.  (ranging in price from $10 - $15 online or local store)

Step 2: Axle

Cut a 3/8" threaded rod to 17" in length - grab a few nuts and washers along with a couple of 8" wheels.

Step 3: Drill

Drill out the center of the hinge with a 3/8" bit.

Step 4: Insert Axle

Slide the threaded rod through the hinge and center it.

Step 5: Lock in Axle

A washer on either side of the step, double nut to lock in place (it also gives proper spacing/clearance for the wheels).

Step 6: Add Wheels

A washer on either side of the wheel and another double nut set on the outside (end cap optional).

Step 7: Ready to Roll

Done - ready for use as a step to help load and unload.

Step 8: Fold

Collapses for convenient transportation and storage.

Step 9: Flipped to Position

Flipped into position.

Step 10: Add Padding

Your basic foam noodle padding - slits cut to slip over stool feet / edges. (foam held in place with Velcro cable ties found in any office supply store)

Step 11: Good to Go



    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest

    20 Discussions

    I made 2, but the hooks on my strap kept pulling out the side hinge so i drilled a couple holes on each side to attach a loop for the tie down. I used a 5/8 rod instead of 3/8 and also used that sticky shelf liner stuff and ponytail holders on the legs as the noodle was too slide-y. I wanted to use nyloc nuts on the ends but couldn't find any.

    1 reply

    maybe a dumb question, but what supports the center of the sponge pieces?

    thanx looks like a super idea



    6 months ago

    What a great simple idea & design, for what could easily be a ~50 to $150 buy from the canoe shop.

    i have one of thoes colapsable steps for the kids, but now they are growing up and somewhat taller, i can now see a good reuse for it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    This was a great cart. I definitly pushed it to it's limits though. I tried to stack both my kayaks on top of each other on it and it ended up breaking. My own fault. I'm gonna see if I can find a step with a higher weight limit next.

    2 replies

    Glad you like the project. The limit for the stool I used is allegedly 300 lbs., but since the hinge is compromised and I'm sure the weight is not being distributed as intended/designed - that 300 number pretty much goes out the window. Just curious - what is the approx. combined weight of your kayaks and where did the cart fail/break?

    I'd guess and say each kayak is around 50lbs so total would be around 100lbs. I wasn't expecting the stand to still hold 300lbs but I was curious to test it's limit. I think the hinge was still intact but one of the sides of the top broke.

    Thanks for posting this. I love the idea of using a folding step stool. It would give me the extra height I need to strap the kayak on the roof of my vehicle. BUT, can you use it as a step stool with the foam padding on there ?

    1 reply

    Glad you like the concept. I slip the foam padding off of the stool before I flip it over to use as a step, a seat or to store it. As mentioned, I use a couple of Velcro cable ties (similar to: http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/369220/VELCRO-Brand-GET-A-GRIP-Straps/) to hold the foam in place when using it as a cart. Hope that helps.


    3 years ago

    This was super easy. 15 minutes at most for building 2 of them. Would have been faster if we hadn't stopped to admire our work and grab more beers.

    1 reply

    Thank you for a great and easy alternative to $150 boat carts


    4 years ago

    wow, great idea. so simple. I'm going to use some old lawn mower wheels I have laying around. all I have to buy is a stool.

    Thanks so much! Built one this weekend and it works great. Found the stool and a pair of 7" wheels at Kmart, got all the hardware at Lowes. Cost all together around $25 to complete.

    I'm going to use this idea. Me and my boys are going to build a canoe this summer. I'll use this for that thank you

    That's a pretty good idea. I like it a lot. The only thing that I would change would be to swap out the threaded rod with a solid rod that I tapped the ends on for the bolts. It would eliminate the need for a second set of nuts to lock the first and be much stronger.

    By the way, what is the load rating on the stool that you purchased?

    1 reply

    The step I found at Kmart looks to be identical to the one found on Amazon (Kikkerland Rhino Easy Fold Step Stool). Rated up to 300 lbs.