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 Post subject: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:24 am 
I spent a few hours this weekend putting together a caddy that I will hopefully be able to use to haul my kayaks from the car down to the beach. I say "hopefully", because I built it from scrap wood I had in the garage, and the basic square frame is made out of pine. Not sure how this will handle weight, but I'm thinking it should be fine for 40 to 50lbs. I guess if it breaks, then I can use these pieces as a template for some harder wood. The rails that will make contact with the kayak are cut from an old wooden TV tray stand that my wife was throwing away. I cut pieces of old "water logs" my son used for the pool, and pushed them over these rails to create a cushion between the caddy and the kayak. The tires are from Northern Tool, and I have had them over 10 years in the garage. I intended to put them on a wheelbarrel that I had planned to build, but had never gotten around to doing. The caddy is 24" between the rails, but I used spacers that can be re-arranged to reduce the width to 18". The only thing I need to do now is figure out where I will put some mounting points for bungee cords, or synch straps. If it works, then it will save me $100 to $150 that I would have to spend on a new one.

Portability wasn't my intention when I built this thing, but it does have wing-nuts attaching the rails, so these can easily be removed. The wheels would take a cresent wrench (maybe two if the bolt spins while trying to loosen) to remove. So I guess it could be considered portable if I wanted to take it with me. But for now, I only plan to use it for transporting a kayak from the parking lot down to the beach.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:31 am 
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Location: Astoria, OR
JCB, Your workmanship looks excellent.

I might suggest some gussets or angled pieces of wood to support the "T" joint connecting the vertical member with the rails the kayak sits on. Carts of that design outline typically are weak at that joint, as all the stresses are concentrated on a small area.

You may find worthwhile some of the views on cart design here: http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/communi ... sc&start=0

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Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:25 pm 
Thanks Dave. Your suggestion is much appreciated, and I think you are right. The rails will need support as you described. I just have to figure out how to do that, since the "T" section is bolted on to the frame with wing-nuts, and can be removed. I'll come up with something, though.

Also, as I was looking at the picture, it occured to me that I probably need to add cross-members to the inside of the frame. Otherwise, it might have a tendency to rock (lean) over to the left or right under weight, putting pressure on the two horizontal braces. Hmmm.... ok, so it's definitely not done yet. I'll re-submit pictures of the modified caddy after I make the changes.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:02 pm 
Dave, thanks for the link to Westcoast Paddler. I guess mick_allen really doesn't care for the T-Designed cart. I read with interest, his post on the subject. I was trying to figure out what design he actually liked until I saw a picture of the cart you were using (ok, I think it was you - apologies if I am incorrect). A nice, simple design that I would guess could handle much more weight than what I put together. However, I wanted my kayak to ride a little higher in the hopes I can go down some concrete steps from the parking lot at Dana Point to moon beach. Not very many steps (I think about 3 or 4), but enought to require that the kayak sit a little higher. All the more reason to put on those supporting braces you mentioned. If all the wood cracks and comes apart while I'm trying to wheel the kayak down these steps, at least I'll be comic relief for any spectators nearby. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:43 pm 
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Location: Astoria, OR
JCB,

A couple of 1 x 3 braces on each side, cut with 45 degree ends, should suffice. Run a quarter-inch SS carriage bolt from the top, through each end of each brace (counterbored on the top piece), and secure with a wingnut below. If the carriage bolt is angled at 45 degrees to the top piece, it will come out perpendicular to the brace, and you will still have an easily disassembled cart.

It should be fine for what you have in mind.

Mick, from that site, is a bit of a compulsive on design, but he has a good understanding of it, perhaps from his architect background.

If you search that WCP site, you should find a lot of different DIY designs, few as nicely done as yours. There are a couple from PVC pipe which are simple to construct, and break down for carrying inside the boat.

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:51 pm 
couple of comments:

1) It looks unnecessarily tall. I load a cart by lifting up the bow of the boat and pivoting the hull about the stern over the cart which was pre-placed alongside the centre of the boat. This is easily done by one person, but the bow must be lifted twice as high as the cart plus a bit. Hence: tall cart = harder work.

2) I don't see any kind of kick-stand. How are you planning on holding it upright while you load the boat? For single-handed operation the cart needs to hold itself upright while you manhandle the boat onto it. and steady enough not to fall over at the first touch of the boat.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:19 pm 
Quote:
1) It looks unnecessarily tall.


That could quite possibly be the case. I consider this a prototype as I haven't used one before (let alone, built one). Not only might it be too high, but too wide as well. The nice thing about using cheap wood, is that I can easily cut it down and redrill any necessary holes with just a little bit of work. Of course, if I add the support braces, then there's some added work, but it still shouldn't be too big of a deal to change. I'd like to try it at the height I selected though, due to some stairs I need to go down in order to get to a specific beach I have in mind.

Anyway, I've just got to use it a couple of times to see what problems arise, and then I'll make the necessary mods.

Quote:
2) I don't see any kind of kick-stand.


Well, I thought that I could just lay kayak over it while the cart is on it's side. I would then lift up the cart and sort of push/slide it under the kayak until I reach the point where it's basically centered, and apply the straps. Btw, I was only planning on using this with an empty kayak (other than maybe having a bottle of water, paddles, spray-skirt, etc. inside the boat). I'm not sure if this cart could handle anything too heavy since I used pine for the frame.

Quote:
If you search that WCP site, you should find a lot of different DIY designs, few as nicely done as yours. There are a couple from PVC pipe which are simple to construct, and break down for carrying inside the boat.


Thanks for the compliment. Hopefully it will function as well too.

As far as the carriage bolt recommendation goes, are you referring to something like this? If so, I guess I am not understanding how to mount it to the 1x3 brace.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:53 pm 
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Location: Astoria, OR
Re: placement of the carriage bolt: no, it needs to be run at 90 degrees to the orientation shown, viz: "... the carriage bolt is angled at 45 degrees to the top piece, [so] it will come out perpendicular to the brace ..." IOW, angle it down from the left to the right. That will place the wing nut against the lower right surface of the brace, and when you tighten it down, it will pull the carriage bolt into position. Probably you will need to counter bore the place where the carriage bolt enters the horizontal piece so the head does not stick out.

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:36 am 
Dave,

Oops! That was simple. Now I understand what you are talking about.

That's a good idea, and I am going to mount the braces that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:28 pm 
As Henry mentioned, it is unnecessarily tall. This will result in loss of stability - it may suddenly fall to one side, together with precious kayak, when you hit some bump or just sway a little on soft soil.

Quote:
I thought that I could just lay kayak over it while the cart is on it's side. I would then lift up the cart and sort of push/slide it under the kayak until I reach the point where it's basically centered, and apply the straps.

Ok, but what you’re going to do when you pull the kayak ashore, with half of the hull still on water? Laying it over to one side wouldn’t be a good idea then. And there is no need. Kickstand is easy to make. Tie short pieces of ½” tubing or some wooden sticks if this is easier, to the ends of horizontal T-legs. I’ve done this on my cart http://www.geocities.com/alexm221100/cart.html (the end of 1/8” OD brown line can be seen on one of the photos). You may get away with one kickstand only (i.e. on one T-leg only), but 2 will work better. My cart has only one lateral axle (yours has 2), so each T-leg on my cart must have its own kickstand. While having 2 kickstands might look inconvenient, in practice it is not. They naturally find the ground, you only have to touch them a little to correct their position. They must be short enough to keep the horizontal tubes at approximately 30-40 degrees. Then, when you load the kayak on and level it up parallel to the ground, the kickstands will just dangle, not reaching the ground.

As Dave mentioned, there are many good ideas implementing PVC pipes and joints. If you look at the original drawing by A. Ferguson shown in the link above, it suggests joining 1” aluminum tubes by either PVC Tees or by welding the aluminum. I took it to welder, because wanted it to be very heavy-duty. And heavy-duty it is. I can carry over 200 lbs on this cart without much efforts, either in “kayak” or “luggage” mode. Another reason to weld, rather than use PVC joints, was that I wanted to have as fewer separate parts as possible, because I'm using it in wilderness trips and don't want to look around for parts and assemble them in inclement weather and/or unprotected shore, when I need to get away from the shoreline fast. Welded T-legs, joined together by hammock straps, are essentially "one" part, and it is compact - 12" x 7" (compact cart frame is invaluable in narrow kayaks like Kahuna, K1 or Cooper, in multiday trips). The only other part of the cart frame is narrow stainless axle - it doesn't take any room in a kayak. For daytrips you can afford less compact frame, of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:08 pm 
Alm,

Thanks for the suggestions regarding the kickstand. I might just try that after I get all the braces setup and installed. I also liked the link to the carts you provided. I just might swap out the wheels I currently have for the smaller/wider wheels shown (Northern Tools) in your link. However, the two places that I am thinking of using this cart are at Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) and Dana Point. Both of these places have pretty hard-packed sand, so I am not expecting a problem with the thinner wheels. If so, those smaller wheels from NT look like they might do the job, and they are cheap to boot.

As far as the height goes, you have to realize I intend to use this cart primarily for moving the kayak around a parking lot, and then on to a very short stretch of beach (no deep sand). I don't see having stability problems, but I will modify this cart if I do. Also, this cart is not going to be going along with me in the kayak. If I planned to use it for that kind of purpose, I would have built it to be much more compact. However, I do want to be able to partially disassemble this cart so I can hang it on the wall in my garage. Anyway, it's still a work-in-process, and I foresee making mods after I use it a couple of times.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Kayak Caddy
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:14 am 
12"x2.5" NT wheels that I'm using are the biggest that fit in narrow FC hull already filled with tons of gear. There are some smaller yet wheels on NT website (including solid-rubber ones), I don't remember now, as my cart had to be really "all-terrain" one. Wheels smaller than 10" or with thread skinnier than 1.5" wouldn't work for me with heavily loaded kayak on sand and small pebbles. Keep in mind that ball bearings in my NT wheels (and similar smaller ones by NT) are NOT stainless. They still work after 4 years, but not as smoothly as new, and couple times a year I have to rinse them with Varsol (mineral spirit) and lubricate with Boshield or WD-40. Still, better than no bearings at all.


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