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wheeleezThe Wheeleez & Similar Canoe and Kayak Carts
By Tom Holtey (Now available in our shop)

The Wheeleez & similar canoe and kayak carts are some of the best portage devices ever built for a kayak or canoe. I have been using this type of cart for many years; my personal cart is about ten years old. This cart was first produced under the names of Primex and Deluge.

Any cart that mounts in the middle of the kayak, so that the weight of the bow and the stern are in balance, is the easiest cart to use. A cart configured this way will require no lifting, simply just pulling it behind like a wagon. A cart, or skates as they are sometimes called, that mount on the very end of a kayak require that you lift ½ the weight of the kayak and pull as well. Mid wheel carts are by far the best for any longer distances.

Wheeleez Kayak CartThe Kayak Canoe Cart is simple to use and works very well on hard surfaces. The cart performs best on pavement, dirt roads, grass and hard pack sand or gravel. The cart can be come hard to pull on soft ground like mud, sand and loose stones. When you encounter soft, safe surfaces it is often possible to simply drag your kayak without the wheels.

Obstacles such as some bumps, logs, curb stones and stair steps can be negotiated using the cart, but care must be used to go slowly and deliberately as well as having a good tie down to the cart to start with.

Securing a kayak to the cart is easy, but for best results it must be done in a certain way, otherwise the cart may fold up in transit and/or the kayak may fall. First unfold the cart to open it up in a V pattern. (you may also need to put the wheels on the axels if it has been in storage.)

wheeleez Set the cart down along side the kayak so that it is directly adjacent to the seat. This will put the cart at the balance point. Angle the cart so the centerline is pointing at the stern. This will align the kart and kayak for an easy lift up and onto it.

Lift the kayak at the bow leaving the stern as a pivot point. Lower the cart onto the padded crossbars.

wheeleez wheeleez The cart comes with two tie down straps, just like one would use for car topping. Configure the two straps as shown in the diagrams. It is important to use one strap for each bar. A single strap on one bar, or around both bars will leave the cart vulnerable to folding up. Make the straps as tight as you would for a roof rack, but not so tight as to crush the kayak.



Fold up the kickstand. Preferably the kickstand will be behind the wheels when in use.

You may also load the kayak with a reasonable amount of cargo, such as your paddle, life vest, accessories and trip gear (not to exceed 176 pounds).


The cart can be folded and the wheels can come off for loading into larger cargo hatches of some kayaks. Not all kayak hatches can accommodate the cart. An actual test load of the cart will be required to see if it will fit into your kayak. A kayak cart can also be locked to a pole or tree with a bike lock if needed.

If you live near the beach, have to portage your kayak from a parking lot to the put-in, or need a cart to tote your kayak to the storage place this is the one to get.

© 2010, Tom Holtey

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