How Does A Kayak Cart Work? (And How To Buy Or DIY One?)

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 26, 2022
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A kayak cart is a very important tool because it will help you easily get the kayak down to the sea. Besides, the kayak cart permits you to pull your kayak along with other mechanisms from the lorry to the beach effortlessly without getting tired or straining yourself. Moreover, the kayak cart saves you the energy and the hustle of having to load your boat on top of the vehicle.

Key Takeaways

  • If you are planning to buy a kayak cart, then you have to consider the weight and type of the kayak that you own
  • Kayak cart is available in two types: strap-style cart and plug-style cart
  • A kayak cart is the best option to carry your kayak on hard surfaces like pavements, dirt roads, grass, and gravel
  • A kayak cart has two types of attachment methods: fold-out strap model and scupper drain hole model

How Does a Kayak Cart Work?

Kayak carts work differently depending on the type purchased. They come in two different types, and below we have discussed how each of them is used.

Strap Style Cart

The strap-style cart has a padded platform to gather where your kayak can sit. Also, it has straps that are versatile and can fit a range of vessels to secure the boat to the cart and for transporting canons.

Below Are The Steps To Follow When Using A Strap Style Kayak Cart:

Step 1: Set the cart next to your kayak by ensuring that it is well-suited for loading

Step 2:Start at the stern by positioning yourself at the back of your kayak, then lift the stern and slide it to the top of your cart to rest on the padded platform.

Step 3: Bring the bow into line by lifting the bow of your kayak to be placed in line with the stern and the cart. However, you can adjust the angle a little if one side of the boat is closer to the edge than the other.

Step 4: Check the balance to ensure that the weight is uniformly distributed over the cart.

Step 5: After the boat is well placed on the platform of the kayak cart, secure the straps

Plug Style Cart

This cart features two long plugs and is intended to be used with kayaks that have scupper holes. It helps in keeping the kayak in a secure place on the cart; thus, there is no need for additional straps.

Below are the steps to follow when using a plug-style kayak cart:

Step 1: Grab your cart and prepare to load it.

Step 2: Tip your kayak on its side to access the bottom of the hull.

Step 3: To ensure that the kayak is on its side, lift your cart and lock the plug poles into the relevant scupper holes on the bottom of the hull.

Step 4: After the plug poles from your cart is securely in the scrapper holes, carefully turn the kayak back upright

Step 5:Inspect if there is a correct balance and ensure that you’re able to lift the bow safely to pull it.

How Do You Secure a Kayak To A Cart?

A kayak cart is easy to use and works well on hard surfaces like pavements, dirt roads, grass, and gravel. Nonetheless, the cart can become difficult to pull because they are soft like mud, sand, and loose stones. Though, you can opt to drag your kayak without wheels if you come across soft, safe surfaces.

Moreover, securing a kayak to the cart is simple, though, it needs to be done in a certain way to avoid the cart from folding up in transit. Here are the steps to follow when securing a cart.

Step 1: Firstly, you need to unfold the cart to open it up in a V pattern. Also, if the cart is in storage, you may need to put the wheels on the axles.

Step 2: Subsequently, set the cart down alongside the kayak to be adjacent to the seat. Also, angle the cart so that the centerline is pointing at the stern to enable a simple lift up to it.

Step 3: After, lift the kayak at the bow to leave the stern as a pivot point, and then lower the cart onto the padded crossbars.

Step 4: Since the cart has two tie-down straps, you should configure the two straps. However, you should use one strap for each bar.

Step 5: Finally, you should fold up the kickstand and ensure that the kickstand is behind the wheels when in use.

However, it is very crucial to ensure that you use one strap for each bar since, a single strap on one bar, or around both bars will make the cart vulnerable to folding up. Therefore, you should ensure that the straps are as tight as possible but not tight to crush the kayak.

How Do I Choose A Kayak Cart?

How Do I Choose A Kayak Cart

Even though kayak carts commonly work in an equal manner and provide you with the same outcome, there are several factors to look at when choosing a kayak cart. These factors enable you to purchase the best kayak cart, and we have discussed them further for you.

Attachment Method

The attachment method for the production model kayak cart is of two types, as discussed below.

Fold-out Strap model

The kayak carts with this strap version can be expanded when you set them up under the kayaks and tend to fold up whenever you are not using them. However, to maintain the entire apparatus collectively, employ the clinch belt or ratchet belt because it is almost suitable with all kayak models.

Scupper Drain Hole Model

This model is limited to function on devices that have an opening in the bottom where the boat self-drains. During selection, choose a cart that is adjustable to ensure proper fitting to the width of your boat’s drain holes.

Tire Types

The tire type exists in two categories; plastic wheels and inflated wheels.

Plastic Wheels

The plastic wheels are small in diameter, thin, and cheap; therefore, you can opt for them if you have a limited budget. However, it would help if you did not go for them unless you plan to use them on a hard surface because they tend to get stuck on soft surfaces and even sink on the sand.

Thicker And Larger Wheels

These are ordinarily inflatable, and the generously proportion breadth enables the rolling of the wheel over the knock-on substance, thus preventing it from getting jammed. Also, its width allows the wheels to float on soft surfaces.

Frame Material

Choose a kayak cart that has a frame made of aluminum since it is not heavy as compared to steel and is very durable than plastic.

Strap Types

You should opt for upgraded ratchet straps through the quick straps that can just serve you well. Still, the ratchet straps are ideal if you are undertaking a heavy-duty work

How Do You Make a Kayak Cart?

Although kayaking is the most excellent way to get outside, it is expensive since you need to add to the boat all the essential accessories. A kayak cart can be designed and made using the necessary tools and materials by following the steps below.

Step 1: Measure your boat beneath the cockpit approximately 16-24″. If your kayak is 16″, this cart size will fit in most recreational kayaks and paddleboards as well as some coolers.

Step 2: Cut PVC pieces using the two lengths of 3/4″ PVC; cut the following parts with a hacksaw or a PVC cutter: three 14″ pieces of crossbars, two 23″ pieces of top bars, eight 5″ pieces, and four 2″ pieces.

Step 3: Layout your lengths of PVC to produce the two sides of the cart. It would be best if you did this by ensuring that you maintain the T joints facing the same direction. Subsequently, Clockwise from the 23” top bar, lay out the pieces as follows: 90 joint, 4″ length, 45 joint, 2″ length, T joint, 4″ length, 45 joint, 4″ length, cross joint, 4″ length, 45 joint, 4″ length, T joint, 2″ length, 45 joint and 4″ length, 90 joint.

Step 4: Working one piece at a time, apply cement to the outside ends of all straight PVC pieces, then insert firmly into joints and ensure that your connections stay straight as they dry. However, it would help if you had your joint piece ready since the cement sets quickly

Step 5: Join the two cart sidesmen to one end of the three 14″ by applying cement to one end of the three PVC crossbar pieces and insert into the two T joints and the cross joint of one cart side. Then repeat this on the other side to join the two sides together and insert the PVC bushings into the outside openings of the cross joints.

Step 6: Measure the axle by putting a cut washer, a nut, a wheel, a lock washer, and a second nut on one side of the threaded rod and leave the two threads uncovered in the end. After, slide the axle through the cross joints and repeat on the other side, maintaining the hardware snug against the cross joint on both sides.

Step 7: Cut and assemble the axle by marking where the outside nut is on the side with extra length and then take off all the hardware and take out the axle from the cart. Subsequently, cut the axle to size at your mark with the help of a hacksaw. You should put the hardware and wheels back on the cart in the same order as in Step 6.

Step 8: Following these cut the two pieces of the pool noodles to fit the length of the top bars; 22″. Then Cut one side open lengthwise like a hot dog bun on each length and slide the noodles over the top bars; in addition to this, use three zip ties per side to secure them to the cart. However, you should ensure that the anchor points are beneath so they don’t scratch your boat, and snip any tails that stick out.

Step 9: Finally, it is time to go kayaking and enjoy the benefits of your hard work. Nevertheless, it would be best if you did not forget to use tie-down straps to secure your boat to the cart.

Final Take

A kayak cart comes in handy when getting your boat to and from the water edge. It offers more padding freedom, therefore, enabling you to go out kayaking alone.
Hopefully, this article will help and guide you to try out and purchase or build the best kayak cart that is suitable for your unique needs.



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