Canoe Cart

G

Guest

Guest
I want to buy one of these evil things. Any suggestions?

I'd like large diameter wheels. They roll over stuff easier. I haven't thought about it much more than that.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thanks Pete. I'd seen that one and it had piqued my interest.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I have one meant for kayaks that goes on one end of my solo canoes, You have to carry one end,but it goes practically anywhere, and if you put the weight in the wheeled end and use a shoulder strap,it beets carrying. I'll try to find the brand,it has big plastic spoke wheels.
Turtle
 
G

Guest

Guest
It's a Trailtreker cart. In the rough stuff you just drag it through. I tried several center mounted carts and the were useless unless the carry is almost as smooth as a road.
Turtle
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,820
Location
Schenectady, NY
l'o,
I have a Rolleez cart, now called a Wheelez. Large, low pressure polyurethane tires roll over any rocks, roots, mud and soft sand you'll find. I used it to cart in the 5 miles to Cedar Lakes. Take a look here to see it in action, mine in the lead ahead of my nephew and his hard tired clunker.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Wow Stripperguy, your center mount works way better than the ones I tried! How do you fasten it to the canoe so well? That was a big problem for me.
Turtle
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Messages
210
Location
Scituate, RI
If all you want is a cart that will transport an empty boat over a portage (or a nearly empty boat), then nearly any cart will do. A center mount cart will be easier and keep the frustration factor low. If you need it to carry a load, something heavier duty is in order. On a recent trip I did that involved over 20 miles of portaging (mostly easily wheeled), one of my companions had a C-Tug cart as noted by mamaquoy above, and it did not do well. The wheels are essentially plastic hubs on a metal axle, with no bearings, and the wheel melted under the strain. If we hadn't had the good fortune of contacting a friend with a better cart, he would have had to leave the trip.

I use an Inskip canoe cart (aka Canadian Boat Walker) that has foldable 16" bicycle wheels, no axle, a kick stand and has taken all kinds of punishment. It is not infallible, but with proper care and no excessive abuse it will provide long service. The negative is that it is heavy.

-rs
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,389
Location
Raymond, ME
We use a cart primarily to move the fleet to the lakeside racks from our house down the street. The path has rocks roots and stairs. I use the same cart I think as Riverstrider. The downside to the cart is that it is too bulky to fit into a narrow solo canoe. I have had mine for several years. Reading around P net there seem to be some cheaper knockoffs. I got mine at Cabelas but they seemed to run into some low quality problems.

Glenn had a thread a couple of years ago. http://www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=advice&tid=1536648.
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,000
Location
Connecticut
Two years ago, based on the majority of recommendations from experienced Adirondack wheelers, I bought a Cabela's steel cart at a bargain $71--also known over the years as Swedish Boat Cart/Canadian Boat Walker/Pacific Outdoors/Instep/LL Bean/Paddleboy All-Terrain Center Cart. I got it specifically to do a 70 miler from Blue Mountain Lake to Tupper Lake, which includes the steep 1.5 mile carry around Raquette Falls.

It worked, but was tough work on the mountain goat trails in the high 80's heat.

The center position is necessary because you are sometimes going up hill, sometimes down; sometimes pulling, sometimes pushing; sometimes at the side of the cart to prevent it from tipping over. Reposition the load so it's over the wheels. This model has a kickstand, which is very helpful to keep the cart steady when loading it. Angle the straps fore and aft, even more than I have on this easy carry trail.

IMGP0014.JPG


Having slotted inwales, as all tripping canoes should, helps to angle, position and hold the straps in multiple locations.
IMGP0113.JPG


On steep goat trails the heavy load can get away from you. Here, I've lost control going down a steep trail and the canoe is wedged sideways. It takes muscle and planning to get it out of jams.
IMGP0068.JPG



Technique improves. I went from a class 1 wheeler (dumping on an easy trail) to a class 4 wheeler (never dumping again) over the course of the trip. Nevertheless, on the Raquette Falls carry there are many gullies, washes and boulder blockades--which a shoulder carrier would simply step over or around--that completely stymie forward progress when wheeling. This simply requires brute strength pulling or pushing to get out of the ditch. If necessary, you would have to remove gear to lighten the load.
IMGP0114.JPG


This model cart has a small pump and patch kit, which I taped to the frame. Flats are a real issue. In fact, the cheap tires go flat in two weeks in the garage. Before using the cart again I would probably get high quality tubes from a bike shop and whatever type of tube sealer that is available.

The wheels fold inward, so it can easily fit low in the bow of the deep Hemlock SRT. My daypack is aft of it in this configuration.
IMGP0012.JPG


Later on, I got too lazy to keep folding the cart, so I just put it in the bow with the wheels locked in position. I put my daypack on top of the frame in between the wheels. That worked well.
IMGP0083.JPG
 
Last edited:
G

Guest

Guest
Excellent responses. Thanks.

I've been a bit up in the air whether to go the route Glenn has went (and I think RS and YC are similar if not the same) or what SG has. Those are the two main designs I've seen. The others seem to me that they wouldn't work well unless you were on pavement or the like.

I think I'd wear my pack and keep the cart setup as light as possible. It looks like what SG Mike had done with his with success.

I had also initially thought that Turtles method of just supporting the end would be the best, but now I'm starting to reconsider.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Messages
210
Location
Scituate, RI
The cart Glenn has is the same as I and probably YC has. They are almost, but not quite, bomb proof. When a couple pals of mine were wheeling their admittedly over-loaded canoe with one of those carts, and not paying attention to the orientation of the wheels while horsing it up a steep grade on the portage from Lake Umbagog to Lower Richardson Lake in Maine, this is what happened:

One wanked wheel!.jpg

Fortunately, we were able to fix it with some cursing and a hatchet.

-rs
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,820
Location
Schenectady, NY
I'm guessing you watched the video...there was about 2 miles of similar terrain, and a substantial amount of decrepit corduroy. The Rolleez took it all in stride, my nephew's borrowed carrier, not so much. Hard tires are not a viable option, IMHO. And being a cyclist, I know not to trust pneumatic tubes any farther than I can throw them! Those polyurethane tires are thick and conform to all sorts of terrain.
And to answer Turtle's question: I simply use the Ancra straps same as I do to tie my boats to my racks on a car. The way I see Glenn's straps through those scuppers screams excess friction, the buckles should be outside of the scuppers...I bet you had them loosen as you banged along?
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,000
Location
Connecticut
The way I see Glenn's straps through those scuppers screams excess friction, the buckles should be outside of the scuppers...I bet you had them loosen as you banged along?

Stripperguy, I don't understand your point about friction or the buckles at all. Maybe you could explain.

The straps didn't loosen. But the canoe would sometimes shift slightly toward the end I was tugging hard on, as when trying to pull out of a ditch. If the straps weren't threaded through the scupper slots, the canoe could have come right off the cart. In that case, I would have had to extend the straps to wrap around the thwarts.

Carrying the heaviest pack on your back would certainly lighten the load in the canoe. In fact, the first half mile of the Raquette Falls portage (the "stadium steps") is so steep that it's not wheelable. I had to triple portage up to a certain elevation.

Probably the best thing to do with the pneumatic tires is to get them foam filled.

Another important point is ground clearance. You need as much as possible under the frame so as to go over as many rocks as possible without hitting them. The model I have has 13" clearance, I think.

This model looks rugged and has good clearance with the 16" wheels, but it's expensive. Spring Creek sells this model also.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,820
Location
Schenectady, NY
Glenn,

When you thread the straps through your scuppers, the straps have to make a couple severe bends, concentrating the loads and resulting in high friction at those points. When you tighten the straps, they resist sliding in the scuppers, and will eventually slide as the boat and carrier shake and rattle and equalize the tension on the straps. If the buckles were outside of the scuppers, then the short distance between scuppers would lose tension. However, the sections of strap outside of the scuppers (assuming the buckle was outside too) could have been pretensioned more than enough to overcome the inevitable loosening between the scuppers.
Did you ever see some guys' methods of strapping a boat to a rack? Some guys wrap their straps several times around the bars, then wonder why they can't maintain a tight strap. The straps need to be able to slide, whether on a roof rack or a canoe cart, to allow for the strap tension to equilibrate. Did you notice how straps have a tendency to loosen up after just a few miles? The buckles generally don't slip, but the friction between strap and hull, strap and load bar prevents the straps from sliding, and distributing their tension all along their length. So, tug all you want, only a small portion of the strap is actually pretensioned, the rest is trapped by the friction forces hull to strap and/or strap to rack. After some vibration (just a few miles) the tension in the strap equilibrates and lo and behold...the boat is loose!!

Ultimately, the laws of physics are just that, not guidelines. We can take advantage of the various phenomena to help reach our goals...a secure boat and an easier trip around Raquette Falls for you, and an easier 5 mile trip to Cedar Lakes for me!!

Advance apologies for the OT stray...
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,000
Location
Connecticut
Stripperguy, I think I understand your general point about bends creating friction points, and certainly agree with the example of wrapping straps around car racks before tensioning.

However, I simply do not have that experience, except possibly trivially, when looping the straps through the scupper slots in my cnaoe. I can tension the straps very well by pushing down on the strap while tightening. There is still enough slippage through the scuppers to get the straps tight enough. Now, it may be that that there was some trivial equilibration during a long portage, and maybe I had to re-tighten a little. (I don't actually remember.) But I consider that a small tradeoff for the benefit of having the straps going through the slots to prevent fore/aft slippage and sideways twisting.

I experimented quite a bit with different strap arrangements with loads at home before my trip, and the method in my photos seemed to result in the most stable configuration. Just wrapping the straps around the outside of the hull, parallel to each other, was clearly less stable. The loaded canoe would tend to twist sideways off the cart frame when a torquing force was put on it.

Anyway, different carts have different frames and hence different available attachment points. So also canoes. It's probably good for everyone to experiment with different strap techniques on their own canoes and carts. I can't remember how to tie knots on my tarp and clothes lines from trip to trip, yet I always manage to figure out something that works.
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,820
Location
Schenectady, NY
Anyway, different carts have different frames and hence different available attachment points. So also canoes. It's probably good for everyone to experiment with different strap techniques on their own canoes and carts.


Oh, I'm in full agreement..every cart, rack, strap and canoe combination is different. There could be dozens of workable solutions for any specific combo.
What works for you may not work for me.
I guess we're all just trying to relate our experiences as completely as possible so l'o (or others) can make informed decisions without having to buy an endless stream of unsuitable (for their needs) product.

So l'o, did you decide on a cart? Or just invest in a weight set?
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
1,550
I have always wondered whether a travois style cart might not work better. 20 feet long triangular shape with smallish wheels, maybe tundra tire style, at the ends. Some sort of harness or handles at the point? Load the canoe and gear on and away you go.
 
G

Guest

Guest
So l'o, did you decide on a cart? Or just invest in a weight set?

Haha... no not yet. I don't think I need it this year but maybe next.

I think I've just decided to do my daily walk with the canoe overhead instead of wasting my money on steel discs.
 
Top