Improving my Kayak Dolly
The Kayak dolly is a wonderful thing.
It sure beats lugging the heavier kayaks any distance to the water.
It also keeps the bottom off of rocks, etc. while you are launching
the Kayak. However, since the generic dolly is designed to
work with any kayak by strapping it onto the bottom of the kayak
with two release enabled straps. It has a tendency to slip off
the Kayak if you hit a bump or rough terrain along the way to the
launching site. This occurs quite frequently, since most one
of the advantages of a kayak is launching in unimproved areas.
Having had my Kayak come off the dolly, three times on my last
adventure, I decided to improve the dolly's ability to stick with
You guessed it, PVC was the answer.
Cheap, easy to work with and impervious to water. As I
mentioned above, the fundamental problem was how to keep the dolly
attached to the kayak while traversing rough ground. Every sit
on top Kayak, has scuppers for draining water that may come aboard
the kayak from time to time. These scuppers are little more
than sealed holes in the Kayak and extend through the hull. My
Malibu Extreme has 3 sets of them. Each located in a position
to best drain an above water area of the Kayak.
Pick a set of scuppers which best fit
the dolly's span between support braces. In the case of my
dolly, the span was 8.5 inches. Also pick a set of scuppers
that are either toward the front or rear of the kayak to best
provide balance and a fulcrum, when using the dolly. My rear
scuppers were 9.75 inches center to center, so they best fit the
Cut a couple a couple of one foot
pieces of PVC. Use the hard and thick wall stuff (type 20 I
believe) because it will need to support the kayak during transport.
The diameter of the PVC used will depend upon the size of the
scuppers. In the case of my kayak, I used 1 inch PVC.
Push the PVC pieces into the scuppers to determine if the scuppers
have and angle to them upon exit.
The two scuppers I choose did not but
the ones forward of them did. Do some measuring of the length
of the PVC. Mark the max insertion depth into the scuppers and
drill your holes into your dolly. Mount with stainless
hardware. Tip (if you have to cut the PVC to fit your dolly,)
you can use the extra cuts to double up on the PVC for strength at
the point you mount it to the dolly. As you can see below, I
had to cut the PVC in half to mount exactly to fit the distance
between scuppers. Having the extra halves was nice to improve
the strength of the mount to the dolly.
A little work with a jigsaw and
it is ready for a trial mount on the kayak
Tighten the straps and give a
whirl. This works well and the dolly stays with the kayak over
rough terrain. Sure beats lugging a 70 or 80lb kayak a couple
of hundred yards.
Posted by Cat-a-tonic