How To Create Your Own DIY Kayak Cart

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You have some time on your hands and are wondering what constructive things you could do with that time.

One of the projects that you could tackle is to construct a do-it-yourself kayak cart to move your kayak on. It is simple, inexpensive and easy to do.

It is a project that is pretty straightforward. Watching this Homemade PVC Kayak Cart video on YouTube made me anxious to get back on the water with my kayak!

With this handy cart, I will be ready when the time comes!

Not all of the components are glued together on this cart. That makes it easy to disassemble for storing.

If you so choose, you can glue the entire cart together if disassembly is not a factor for you.

The dimensions used in this project are also a general guideline. You may need to adjust the dimensions according to the size of your kayak.

List of Supplies for DIY Kayak Cart

Gather the materials that you will need for the project. You will need:

(2) 10″ Wheels with 5/8″ bore:…
(1) 5/8″ Threaded Rod cut to 26″
(1) 5/8″ Nut & Washer kit
This kit includes (4) Hex nuts, (4) lock washers, (4) flat washers all ⅝”
(7) 1″ Tee Fittings
(1) 1″ x 10ft PVC pipe
(3) 1″ PVC caps
(1) Large Kids Pool Noodle
(1) PVC Cement & Primer
(optional) Bondo Rubberized Undercoating Spray Can

drill with 5/8″ drill bit
ratcheting pvc cutter
hacksaw (fine teeth for metal)
tape measure

Once you have all of your items assembled, set up an area to work in, either in your basement, garage or outside.

You will be painting and using glue, so make sure that the area has good ventilation.
Here is the step-by-step process for creating your own kayak cart.


Paint first or last?

Before you cut the pvc pipe, decide if you want to paint it before or after you cut the pieces you need, and before or after the cart is assembled.

The advantage of painting it beforehand is that you will not have a lot of small pieces to paint, and you will not have to protect the tires from the paint once the cart is assembled.

The disadvantage is that once painted, you will have a hard time seeing any measurement making that you make on the pipe. It might also make the parts a bit harder to slip into each other if a coating of paint is on the inside of the pipe.

In the video, the painting was the last step in the process. That may have been so that the viewer could see the measurements on the pvc, so use your own judgement as to whether you want to paint before or after the cart is assembled.

If you decide to paint beforehand, induce the T joints and end caps in the process.  Let the pieces dry thoroughly before proceeding.


Cut the PVC

The handle for the kayak cart can be either 20” or 24” long. This handle also acts as a stand for the cart.

Know that when the kayak is on the cart, this handle is not what is used to maneuver the cart.

Instead, you will wrap a strap around the kayak, sinch it tight and use the strap to maneuver the kayak.

Start by using the ratcheting pvc cutter to cut the PVC pipe into the appropriate size pieces.

You will need:

  • One piece that is 20” or 24” long
  • One piece that is 10” long
  • Two pieces that are 3” long
  • Two pieces that are 4.5” long
  • Two pieces that are 1.75’ long
  • Four pieces that are 8” long

Drill ⅝” holes in two of the end caps.

These are the caps that the threaded rod will go through to connect to the tires.


Cut the Rod

This is the type of threaded rod that was used:

Using the hacksaw and a blade designed for cutting metal, cut the rod to the length of 26”.


Assemble the pieces

Once all the pieces are cut into the appropriate lengths, assemble the cart. You will be gluing it together, but it is a good idea to assemble the pieces first to make sure that it all aligns.

Put the pieces lightly in place so that they are easy to remove once you are satisfied with the design and are ready to glue it all together.


Get ready to glue

You will be gluing the pieces together as you go along.

When using these products, you apply the primer first then apply the cement. Again, you can cement all of the pieces together, or just some of the pieces so that you can take it apart for storage.

In the video, they choose not to glue the entire cart together. They wanted to be able to disassemble the cart for easier storage. The orange dots are the areas that they choose not to glue.


Put together the axle assembly

Take the threaded rod and start on one end by putting on the pvc pieces.

Put the first T fitting in the middle of the rod. Next, on either side of the T fitting, put a 4.5” pvc piece and place into the T fitting. Two more T fittings on either side will come next, and place the end of the 4.5” into the T.

On both sides, place the small 1.75” pvc pieces. They will be the go between for the T fitting and the end caps. As mentioned, the end caps come next.


Tighten the hex nuts

Place, on either side, the hex nut, the locking washer and the flat washer. The tire will come next, then a flat washer, the locking washer and lastly the hex nut.

The above kit is what was used for the wheels and axel. If you do not use a kit, as mentioned in the parts list, you will need (4) each of ⅝ “ hex nuts, lock washers and flat washers.

You will put the threaded rod through the tire, and use one set (hex nut, locking washer, flat washer) on each side of each tire.

Put the flat washer on the threaded rod and move it to the tire, then put the locking washer on and then the hex nut goes on last.

On the inside of the tire you want the same order. The flat washer will be touching the tire and the locking washer will be between the flat washer and the hex nut.

Make sure to tighten the assembly down tight.


Finish pvc assembly

Work up from the axle assembly to the bunks.

Fit the T fittings with the two 4” pvc pieces. Place two more T fittings one top of the two 4” pvc pieces and put a 10” section of pvc in between the two T fittings, as shown in the picture above.

In the top of the two T fittings, place the 3” pieces and top them with another set of T fittings.

The four 8” pvc pieces go into the T fittings and form the bunk for the kayak.


Paint or touch up

If you did not paint the pvc pipe first, T fittings and end caps, now is the time to paint your cart.

The Bondo rubberized undercoating will help protect against salt spray, rust and corrosion.

Before painting, cover the tires and the hardware, the hex nuts and washers. Paint the cart and let it dry thoroughly.


Add the noodles

The four bunks (8” pieces of pvc) will get the pool noodle covering. They will pad the bunks and cushion your kayak.

Cut the pool noodles with the hacksaw to the length needed to cover the bunks. After making sure the paint is dry, slip the noodles into the bunks.


Enjoy your DIY Kayacart!