After forever and a day, the metal cart writeup is finished. My goal was to design a very rugged, bolt together cart that would work well with the 2012 Ride 135's pontoon style hull. This design carries my fully loaded kayak (100+ lbs) with ease. The previous Palmetto Kayak Fishing PVC cart works great, but I wanted to design and build a cart that better mimicked some of the commercially available options. The new model had to be super strong, lightweight, easy to disassemble/reassemble and somewhat aesthetically pleasing.
Let me start by saying this project is a little on the expensive side as compared to some of the other PKF builds due to the initial cost of a few items. For example, the SuperStrut metal framing channel costs around $15 for a 10' section, but the build only requires 15.5 inches of material. Same goes for the thick $10 professional dense poly cutting board from Sam's Club. One board is large enough to make 3 pairs of the bunks that the kayak rides on. The build also requires drilling out thick metal and two flat washers to accommodate the 3/4" axle. Many machine shops will drill the required holes on the cheap if you don't have a step bit available.
With all this being said, take one look at similar commercially available offerings that cost north of $150 and in the grand scheme of things, this cart isn't so bad on the wallet. Most importantly, it fits my Ride 135 like a glove and can handle many different types of terrain with a heavy payload. The cart weighs in right at 11 pounds - that is just one pound heavier than the popular C-tug cart.
For me, it's not always about the destination, but more about the journey getting there. I find these DIY projects to be very fulfilling and enjoy sharing the process. Round up a friend or 3 that are interested pursuing this project and the per-cart costs go down significantly. Lastly, for the steel axle, call a metal or scrap shop that will sell you a small section of the 3/4in. x 1/16in. in plain steel tube and pay less than HD's price of $10. If you can find a stainless steel tube in the same size, even better.
Parts List: (click red text for links and pictures)
10' SuperStrut metal framing channel - (only 15.5" is needed per cart), Home Depot - $15.57
3/4in. x 1/16in. in plain steel tube - cut to 25.5", holes drilled in each end to accept the linch pins, Home Depot - $9.32
Bakers & Chefs Commercial Cutting Board 1/2" thick, 15" x 20" - cut two 3" x 15" sections per cart (1 board is enough to build 3 carts) Sam's Club $11
2 - 10" Low Speed Tires - Northern Tool - $9.99 each.
NOTE: I chose these over the cheaper Harbor Freight wheels b/c of the reduction of weight and simplicity of design. They look very similar - if not the same - to the wheels that come on Hobie's Universal Kayak Cart or the pneumatic C-Tug wheels.
2 - Superstrut 2-Hole 90-Degree Angle Brackets - $1.34 each
1 package of Crown Bolt Inc. 1/2" Create-A-Bolt - Home Depot - $3
2 - Crown Bolt Zinc Plated 1/2 in.-13 x 1-3/4 in. Rod Coupling Nut (the only link is for a 25 pack, HD sells them in single bags, HD part no. 030699191567, at $1.31 each) - Home Depot - $1.31
2 - Crown Bolt 3/16 in. x 1-1/2 in. Zinc Plated Linch Pins - Home Depot, $1.73 each
2 - Crown Bolt Zinc Plated 1/2 in. - 13 x 1-1/2 in. (the only link is for a 50 pack, HD sells them individually)- Home Depot, >$1 for two
2 - Crown Bolt Zinc Plated 5/8 in. Flat Washers & 2 additional 1/2" Flat Washers (the only link is for a 65 pack, HD sells them individually) - Bore out the center hole of the 5/8" washer to 3/4" to fit over axle - this size is modified b/c the outside diameter fits the wheel profile perfectly, Home Depot, >$1 for two. The additional 1/2" washers do not need to be modified.
1 Crown Bolt 1/2 in. x 12 in. Zinc Threaded Rod - Cut into two 6" sections, Home Depot, $1.57
2 - 1/2" stop nuts
6 - 1/2" PVC couplings
2 - 3" sections of 1/2" PVC
Outdoor Carpet scraps and padding of choice to cover the cutting board bunks
11" zip ties
Loctite thread locker
Lashing strap to hold the cart to the kayak
Foam tubing to cover the vertical PVC arms.
U bolt and 1/2" PVC parts to fabricate a tube to accommodate a push pole of some sort to get the cart in place under the kayak (see video). I use a stake out pole for this, but just about any rigid tube will do.
Automotive 15 oz. Truck Bed Coating - Home Depot, $8
The video pretty much explains the process but here are some tips. I cut the SuperStrut to 15.5" for my application, leaving 8 of the oval cutouts. If the build is for a different model kayak, adjust the length of the SuperStut, axle and kayak bunk placement for a custom fit. Make sure to measure and cut the axle at the end of the entire processes to ensure proper fitment.
Enjoy! - Paul