Thanks! 4 kayak cart ideas

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Miklos, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    I think it's all 1 1/2" stuff that they used (I'm using the same for my neoprene boot / glove dryer :wink: ).

    I used small-diameter irrigation-grade pipe (1"?) for my cart, which is perhaps a little less beefy but folds up very small to fit inside my 9.5" round hatches, and it takes up very little room when stowed in the kayak.

    I've reinforced the cart with 1/2" aluminum rod inside, which makes for a strong axle and support stays. The support arms (which the kayak rests on) are the same 1 1/2" PVC as Dan's cart. I've had my loaded Romany on it quite a few times - weight must be easily over 100 lbs - and while I have to be a bit careful due to the solid (non-pneumatic) wheels, it's fared very well so far. It took a few design improvements, but the current one has been in active duty for well over a year with no problems at all.
     
  2. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Wow - lots of stuff you can make with PVC! Some ideas are better than others... :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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  4. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Wow - you're right! That site has some VERY cool stuff on it! Alas, I have too many projects already... but the sound from that '3-STRING FRETLESS BANJO MADE FROM A COOKIE-TIN' is pretty cool!

    Sorry for straying ever so slightly off topic... :? :p
     
  5. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    topic?? topic?? its ALL on topic!

    anyway, sometime i gotta just put together that 4 string fretless bass that uses the yak as its sounding board.

    and a pvc cart upside down straddling the cockpit just might be the framework to setup such an animal! (how's that for topical - in both word senses!)
     
  6. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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  7. rider

    rider Paddler

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    What's with all the metal wheels? The cheap Home Depot wheels have same pneumatic tires, but weight WAY less because theyre made of plastic. May not last quite AS long, but they'll never rust either. Golf-bag cart wheels also work great, and are lighter yet.
     
  8. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Mark and I met this fellow at the Vancouver Island Paddlefest in Ladysmith last year. We talked to him a bit but he was very busy selling carts -- they were quite popular. We did talk a bit about carts and we showed him the cart that Steve and I built. He said that he'd worked on quite a few designs before arriving at the one on his website and it showed -- the cart looked very sturdy.

    I can't remember how much he was selling the carts for and I don't see a price on his website.

    *****
     
  9. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I'm with you on this one but I have to admit that if the place that I bought my wheels from only had metal wheels, I would have bought them anyway. My hubs are plastic and the axle is stainless steel, but the nuts and washers are not stainless and are showing signs of salt water corrosion. I agree, the plastic or nylon hubs would last and look better longer.

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  10. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

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    That's a pretty slick design he's come up with. I'm going to have to study those pictures a bit more closely for version 2... 8)
     
  11. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I've been giving a lot of thought lately to a redesign of my cart so I'm glad this topic has come up again and will motivate me to get working on it. It will basically be the same with some structural improvements.

    The major weakness that I see is that the short axles cause unnecessary stress to the uprights on the cart. I think putting an axle on my cart that goes from one side to the other will correct this.

    The only thing that I didn't like about the low carts is that they place the kayak a lot lower to the ground than I personally prefer. I find it much more comfortable with the boat substantially higher at about waist height when I'm pulling it. When the walk with the kayak is long to the put-in location (as it sometimes is when hopping around the Gulf Islands, etc) stooping down to pull your boat can be hard on the back.

    The low height can also be a problem when going up or down steep ramps at the ferry terminals -- even with my cart as high as it is, I've scraped the stern on the ferry deck a couple of times.

    I think low carts are great for getting from the car to most put-ins, but any long walks with the cart and they're just too low for comfort.

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  12. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    I seem to remember his price as being somewhere in the $230 range (I could be wrong). They seemed to be good, solidly built carts, and I did notice that he used stainless steel parts wherever possible. But one aspect that I think most carts overlooks is their bulk when taken apart. As Dan noted, we've used our carts around the Gulf Islands a fair bit. So, if you're taking a ferry to one island and paddling to another, especially with all the gear required for an overnight trip, the wheels have to fold down to a small package to fit in the boat - unless there's somewhere to stash them. That assumes that you're coming back the same way you're going though, and there's a certain risk that they'll be found and stolen while you're gone. Not a very attractive surprise to look forward to - you'd really be stuck if that happened!

    So, my cart design is very minimalist - even more so than most would deem neccessary, as my hatches are very small (about 9 1/2" round) so the wheels and each piece have to be very small to fit inside.

    Dan's point of having a low cart is valid, but so far there hasn't been anywhere that I haven't been able to get to with my low cart. Ferries have never been a problem - if a car can drive off without bottoming out, it's no problem for my cart. I lift the bow to a comfortable height, and only have to lower it to get over steep ramps - a few feet at a time, so it's not a major inconvenience. Occasionally my kayak will bottom out on a steep wharf ramp at low tide, but repositioning the wheels farther back, or just dragging the kayak a couple of feet (at most) along a wooden ramp is a small price to pay for a cart that stows to very little room, fits in my small hatches, and has proven to be very tough over the years (granted, I've improved it structurally a couple of times, but the current design has been in 'active duty' for over two years and shows no signs of weakness).

    I guess any cart is going to have its advantages and disadvantages - be it in bulk, height, or strength. I guess you just have to figure out what features are most important to you, and go with the appropriate design.
     
  13. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    i agree that well designed carts balance different aspects. I think your cart is just great for minimalism and am amazed that the aluminum axle doesn't bend.

    however i sure do come down on the side of a higher cart as it is not a big design modification

    look at the 2 guys pulling the nani cart and how the guy in the background has to sorta crouch to pull his whatever it is:
    http://www.nanikakaddy.com/

    the other aspect (than the metal wheels) of this cart is that it does not break down - however using dan's method would change that fairly quickly.

    so for total minimalism, i'd go with no pvc axle(redundant- just use clips ea side of vert leg), higher vert leg (filled at bottom for the axle), and take apart with dan's clips, and a good smaller wheel or at least plastic.

    so what are the wheels and their load rating that you use, mark?
     
  14. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I may be wrong, but it looks to me that the fellow in the background is pushing his boat. It's difficult to tell if his cart is located at the middle of his boat or at the lower end. I suspect it's near the centre. He's definitely bending down to control the boat.

    Also note that the double being pulled by the two runners is on quite an angle. I'll bet that the stern is very close to the ground. Combine that with the up and down motion of walking (which is increased when walking fast or running), and there's a definite risk of the boat sometimes hitting the ground.

    Back to the guy in the background -- if the cart is attached at one end of the kayak instead of a balanced spot near the centre, there is an issue of the cart being more difficult to use because now you're not only pushing or pulling, but also lifting. This might not be a big deal with an empty boat, but it would make moving the boat a very tiring experience with the weight of a weekend's worth of gear. It would also make the boat more difficult to manoeuver. By placing the cart in the middle of my double kayak and balancing out the load, my 11 year old daughter has no problem moving the boat around by herself.

    I agree that the minimalist approach that Mark takes is good when space is at a premium, but for comfort while pulling or pushing your boat around, a higher cart height makes it much easier. Unfortunately, because the lengthened dimensions of the materials increase to make the cart higher, the overall strength decreases (using the same diameter pvc pipe).

    I mentioned in my post above that my current cart failed due to a structural failure (I'll take a picture of the break tomorrow), it brings up a question of how strong does the cart need to be? I broke my cart by having a double and single kayak, each with 4 days worth of gear on top of it. That's quite a bit of weight and I'm not surprised that the cart failed (especially after bouncing it across a railroad crossing). I would like my cart to be sturdy enough that in an emergency situation that it would be able to support two loaded single boats (you and I had such a situation not too long ago on our trip to South Pender Island when weather conditions forced Mark to take an unplanned ferry back and he didn't have a cart -- he used your cart and we put both of our kayaks on my cart).

    Back to the drawing board...

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  15. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    so along that line, take a little from a few of the carts you've seen and apply to your approach:

    -use a solid one pc axle - then no side(splay) moment on the legs. this has gotta be a primary step.

    - just possibly use an elbow etc. at the bottom like miklos to give max side bracing to the whole pvc ass'y

    -keep the upper crosspc just as high as possible without touching the keel.

    - from the very end of ea upper arm of the 'T', run a 1/4" line of spectra down to the lowest part of the leg of the same 'T' and back up to the other end of the other arm. That will stop excessive moment forces in the crook of the 'T' when major holes/train tracks/rocks are hit. spectra b/c of low stretch. probably can just make it a quick hook attach so breaks down easily.

    any way that's one method. the upper and lower cross pcs keep the frame braced transversely rather than just relying on the lower leg axle holes being tight.
     
  16. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Sorry to tell you Mark, but the price you remember is incorrect. The price of the Nanika Kaddy cart is $150 -- doesn't seem too terribly pricey considering the price of other carts on the market.

    btw: There's an article by Alex Mathews about the cart in the Dec05/Jan 06 issue of Wavelength Magazine (available online in pdf format).

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  17. keabird

    keabird Paddler

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    Sorry to revive an old thread, but I was inspired to build my own cart based on what I have seen here. I wanted to thank you guys for sharing your great ideas.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Robert_Meier

    Robert_Meier Paddler

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    Interesting. Very similar to what I'm working on too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Robert_Meier

    Robert_Meier Paddler

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    Wow, almost a year since I posted the pics to the cart I was working on. With the camping trip sneaking up on me I decided it was time to finish the cart so I can use it this Friday. The cart is pretty solid and can take my full weight on it without any appearance of stress. The kayak (40lbs empty) fully loaded should pose no problem to it. My first attempt at this was to get a design that was strong. My next attempt will be one that can be taken apart and stored easily.

    Below are the pics:

    Initial design:
    [​IMG]

    The cart:
    [​IMG]

    Left view:
    [​IMG]

    Right view:
    [​IMG]

    Rear view: (kayak is backwards on the cart)
    [​IMG]

    P.S. No comments on my deck lines. :wink:
     
  20. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Nice work! what deck lines? :wink:

    this game is going to give me a heart attack!