You have a kayak cart right?
Maybe you are lucky and your favorite fishing hole has a paved ramp you can drive right up to and unload your kayak. Owls Creek is very convenient in that there are multiple ramps that can handle a large number of boats and/or kayaks. However, I also enjoy fishing Stumpy Lake which has a very nice kayak launch but the launch is 75 yards away from the parking lot down a narrow walkway. The average fishing kayak can run anywhere from 50lbs to 120lbs, but that is just the fitted kayak!
You start loading your rods and reels, tackle, safety gear, snacks, water and anything else you bring with you and the weight gets up there pretty fast. A kayak cart allows you to load your kayak up as you want while next to your parked vehicle and then roll it all to your launch point without having to set up your kayak when you get to the water. Even better, once you get in the water the cart is designed with easily removable wheels so the whole thing collapses and can be stored inside your kayak while out on the water!
Now, for something with maybe 4 moving parts you wouldn’t think an extensive user’s manual would be necessary. However, it took me quite a bit of trial and error and YouTube videos to figure out exactly how to use the thing!
This is what a typical kayak cart looks like. Some have plastic wheels, some have pneumatic wheels and some have inflatable beach wheels but the basic design remains the same. There are two arms with padding that open and close to accommodate the kayak and then a kickstand attached to one of the arms to keep it in an upright position while loading the kayak. You can get them on Amazon or any other retailer for around $50 for the pneumatic tires you can see above like THIS ONE.
Or this cart with beach tires is designed to roll over sand and loose soil with ease thanks to it’s extra-wide tires to displace the weight. I have tried dragging my fully rigged Trident 15 down a 150 yard beach from the nearest roadway and it was frankly easier to just drag the kayak on the sand! These carts are an answer to your prayers if you plan on regularly launching from the beach!!
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!
As you can see, one of these arms also acts as the axle the wheels are connected to. The same arm provides the axle for both wheels and this is the important part: you MUST attach the cart to your kayak by the arm the wheels are attached to!!!
Because the cart collapses, if you attach your strap connecting the cart to the kayak to the wrong arm the cart will collapse on itself the moment you roll over rough terrain or the wheels strike a rock. If you attach one side to the primary arm and the other side to the secondary arm, as soon as you start pulling your kayak the wheels will start crab-walking sideways until your kayak falls off with all your gear.
I spent several hours of trial and error combined with cursing and the cart might have been thrown a few times before I Google’d how to use this thing! Since I found the trick, I haven’t had any more issues and can roll my kayak over curbs or rocks or roots or whatever without worrying about it falling off or collapsing itself.
To use the cart, open the arms and make sure the kickstand is down and set it up next to your kayak with the kayak at an angle to your intended direction of travel.
If you angle the bow correctly, when you pick up the stern and place it on the cart your kayak will be facing forward sitting squarely on the cart with the wheels inline with you direction of travel.
Most kayak carts come with a cloth strap to secure the kayak, however mine was lost on a recent trip so I use a rubber bungee strap which works well. Again, the most important detail is to hook your strap to the arm the wheels are connected to on both sides!
Once your strap is connected to the correct arm on both sides you are ready to load up your kayak and roll off to the launching spot of your choice! Once you get there, your kayak cart will collapse and the wheels are removable with a cotter pin to allow storage within your kayak hull or tankwell. When you are done for the day and arrive back at your launch point, you already have your cart with you to be reassembled and you can be on your way back to your vehicle without extra trips to retrieve your cart.
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