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Knock-down portage cart

Apr 30, 2023
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I'm keen not to shoot myself in the foot going to try a big chunk of the NFCT if not all of it, so I spent today making a PVC portage cart for myself. Bomb-proof? Probably not. Will it get me a hundred or so walking miles? I bet it will. (In fact I bet about seventy bucks it will.)
With a skin-on-frame, I needed a cart that supported the canoe perpindicular to its length, which ruled out buying a conventional portage cart, where the padding is invariably parallel to the length of the boat.
Knocked down. The longest part is the all-thread for the axel, probably 30 inches or so. Duct tape for scale.
Assembled. Already thinking I need zip-ties, not duct tape, to keep the pool noodle padding on securely.

Sacrified a cargo strap, tied it around the uprights for the wheels, and it works like a charm, at least on the relatively smooth concrete of our shop floor.
The 'handle' is for adjusting the position of the padding without too much fuss, and worth the extra three or four ounces of PVC.

Went with a cotter-pin-in-hole capture, rather than wanting to fuss with bolts, so drilled a few holes in the allthread axel and it works well enough.
All in it ran me about seventy bucks, including a full can of PVC glue and several extra, discarded options for joints and such, so let's say $60 and a few hours in the shop. It's bulky, and I need to figure out some way to bag it up and carry it on non-wheelie portages, but it's at least another arrow in my quiver for now.
Nice DIY, MKH, but could you explain in more detail why a SOF would need perpendicular rather than parallel bunks?
I'm sure we can work some more TLAs into this thread!

The bent ribs in the frame are tied together with long, horizontal stringers down the length of the boat. There was too much chance that a portage cart with supports parallel to those stringers (but probably not actually UNDER them) would either dig into the fabric of the skin and abraid it, or push one of the stringers out of position. By supporting the boat perpindicular to its length, three stringers rest on the portage cart simultaneously, which in turn spreads the stress out through the whole boat.

Who knows, it may be a non-issue, but to me it made sense to do it that way, and assure myself I wouldn't accidentally damage the boat. God knows there's gonna be enough chances to damage it without me trying to.
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Already thinking I need zip-ties, not duct tape, to keep the pool noodle padding on securely.
I wouldn't use zip-ties because they'll just cut through the foam as it compresses. (Ask me how I know this. ;-)

I'd get a piece of closed cell (Minicel) foam that you can attach using glue. You could cut a piece lengthwise and wrap them around your bars using glue to keep them in place. Here's an example: 12x24x1" Minicel closed cell foam
I have a similar one that I bought on Ebay years ago. While I have pulled a boat farther than 100 yards on it, it hasn't failed in many uses. I added planks to mine for a wooden canoe.
Looks like you put quite a bit thought into it. I like how it packs down. Very creative. What does weigh?
A whopping ten pounds. But you gotta do what you gotta do. If it saves me trebling all my portage mileage, it'll have been very worth it.

@tketcham - thanks for the heads up! I'll stick with the tape.
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Closed cell polyurethane pipe insulation. Comes with adhesive and pull off strip. (Looks like some fall it "rubber" insulation.)