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A trailer dolly is awfully nice, especially for moving heavy boats.

John Kohnen


Kayak/Canoe Trolley Revised

Having acquired a nice set of large, wide wheels from a discarded child's toy I recalled a trolley article that I liked. I built one with two changes: the kickstand which serves to hold the trolley upright while I load the boat, and the wooden fittings through which the tie down strap passes. As with the trolley featured in the previous article, this one comes apart for storage.

Bare trolley

1/2" PVC pipe is used for the kickstand and the pipe that is covered by pool noodle foam, which in my case perfectly fits over the 1/2" pipe. The rest is 3/4" PVC. All is glued together except the extreme ends of the horizontal kickstand pipe that fit into the lower T-connection. This horizontal pipe can be replaced by another shorter or longer pipe to accommodate a boat of another width.

With Strap and foam on trolley

Make sure any clasp used on the end of the tie down strap is small enough to fit between the dowel and the upper T-connection, or attach the strap in such a way that one end of the strap is free and can fit through this location, as I did. If not, the strap can't be removed.

Wood strap attachment on trolley

After some testing with my 50 lb. canoe I found some issues related to boat weight. The horizontal pipe which holds the kickstand tended to separate from the lower T-connection when the boat was on the trolley, so I drilled two holes and put two removable bolts/nuts through those locations, making sure to put the holes at the midpoint of the space which the 1/2" pipe occupies within the T-connection. The angle of the kickstand is fixed once the bolt holes are drilled.

Next I found that the top of the unit spread apart due to boat weight, so I added a removable red strap between the upper T-connections to help keep the sides of the unit parallel. My single wheels tended to angle inward when the boat was loaded and the upper T-connections moved apart, at least given the dimensions of pipe, axle, and wheels that I used. Using a dual wheel set as shown in the original article might avoid these two problems. Any wheel used between the uprights (singly or as part of a set) would have to be shorter than the height of the horizontal kickstand pipe above the ground.

Bolts and red straps added

In practice I position the trolley nearer the stern with the kickstand facing forward and lift the boat from the bow. The stand thus does not interfere with forward movement as the bow is higher than the stern when moving the boat. My trolley is taller than the one shown in the previous article. This lets the boat be moved without dragging the stern when the bow is lifted.

Canoe on the trolley

Steve Lansdowne


I also like bamboo for masts and spars. A grower here in Florida near
West Palm Beach cuts and cures pieces for me to a specified diameter so
the stems fit in a 4' long x 1 7/8" diameter aluminum base (military
surplus radio tower sections with 1/8" thick walls). The bamboo variety
I use is generically called Seacoast or maligensis, as I recall. It's
thick walled and relatively straight with long stems between nodes.
There's not much work to do to prepare a mast and spars. I used some of these pieces for the matching biplane sprit rigs I built for my PDRacer
Dangerous Duck. Photos are posted in an album called "Bamboo".

Dave Gray

Boat Covers

Taking the Cortez Melonseed he made for his daughter up to Ohio next week so Steve showed him how to make a boat cover from Tyvek. This stuff is great. It's water proof but still breathes, is tough as nails and easy to work with. Took them about two hours to make this one. We all went in together and bought a whole roll of it from Lowes, it's good for lots of things.

David Lucas

Lucas Boatworks and Happy Hour Club


Non-ferrous metals such as copper, stainless steel, silicon bronze, and brass are not magnetic. Collectors of miscellaneous bolts, screws, etc. will find this comes in handy when figuring out what not to use in your boat.


Tie Downs

I carry an 18' Alden Ocean shell and a 13' peapod on the roofs of our two vehicles. A VW Golf TDI wagon and a MINI Cooper S. I suspect that each car model will require some creativity. Attached are my solutions. The MINI does have a removable towing eye but that attaches way off center. However it does have an very solid perforated aluminum panel just behind the grille so that's what I used to thread the rubber wrap n' strap through. For the TDI I just made a short piece of webbing with two grommets and attached it to one of the bolts that holds the hood latch mechanism on. When not in use, it just tucks in out of sight.

For years I used to tie down all kinds of stuff on the roofs of our (original) MINI's and then our VW GTI with good quality 3/8" shock cord. Just buy 20 ft or so, tie one end to the crossbar and then stretch it to provide some tension while wrapping around given object and roof rack crossbars a couple of times and then tie a bowline so it will be easy to undo. Works like a charm. Think it might be less problematic than a webbing cam which can inadvertently squish items like SOF boats. A piece of ethafoam or a towel would avoid point loading. The tension keeps everything nice and tight. Don't use it for the painter!

George Kruzynski

North Saanich - Vancouver Island, BC, CANADA

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