An Easy Canoe/Kayak Cart  
By Steve Lansdowne - Austin, Texas - USA

I made this a few years back for my small canoe. Here are 3 views of it assembled.

The wooden cart stays fixed under the bottom of the boat when it is in the water, as it tries to float. This makes it easy to remove the cart from the canoe (and later reinstall it) while the boat is in the water. Launching and retrieving at a ramp is thus very easy. The first time I put a boat in the water with such a cart, I got worried since I couldn’t find the cart anywhere and worried that it had sunk or floated off and would be lost under water somewhere, then a child watching the launch pointed out that it was stuck up against the hull. Boy, did I feel stupid!

The two ‘kickstands’ are important, as otherwise you have an awful time trying to put the boat on the cart when it is out of the water. The kickstands should be toward the bow so that when you lift the bow to roll/pull the boat, they are clear of the ground.

On my cart, the plastic, and thus rustproof, wheels are held to the wooden axle by lag screws that go through the two sets of uprights before reaching the axle. (If your wheels have large holes through them, then they’ll need a large screw through them which will in turn require that you have a fairly large axle.) My wheels are recycled from a child’s tricycle that was about to be thrown out.

The wooden uprights are connected to cross bars. The white shock cord holds the foam noodle boat supports to these crossbars. These supports are notched to go onto the crossbars, and the crossbars are in turn notched to receive them. The foam noodle supports are also notched where the shock cord goes across them. The shock cord continues back to the axle, back to the other crossbar, and finally back to the axle where it is secured to itself using an S hook.

It is important to strap the boat to the cart, as it can easily fall off.

The whole thing folds up fairly compactly.

I often stick my collapsed cart in my canoe when paddling, thus saving a trip to the car to drop it off before I launch and another trip back to the car to retrieve it when I’m done paddling. Also, having wheels sticking up out of your canoe is an interesting conversation starter when folks ask or comment about it. Little kids, especially, wonder out loud, “Why does that canoe have wheels?”

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