PVC Kayak Cart




About: Ible me this, ible me that !

After looking around quite a bit, here is a PVC Kayak Cart I made from various different designs I found online to suit my needs. Thanks to all who helped (whether you realized it or not) .

Step 1: Parts List.

Parts List (all ¾” PVC unless noted):

Top Half:
4 – 90-degree elbow fittings.
2 – 45-degree elbow fittings.
6 – T fittings (4 are optional).
8 – 2” pieces PVC “pipe” spacers (for front & back).
4 – 6” pieces PVC pipe (for sides).
2 – 13” pieces PVC insulating foam for PVC, I used 1” for 1 ¼” pipe not ¾” as it fits WAY better over fittings.
8 – zip ties, non-locking.

Bottom Half:
3 – T fittings
1 – 90-degree elbow fitting (optional for stand).
2 – closed end caps (I used hex sided).
2 – 4 ½” PVC pipe (Horizontal rails).
3 – 4” PVC pipe (Vertical pieces), (1 optional for stand).

2 – Wheels from a golf bag cart.
4 – Large washers big enough to fit over your axle of choice.
2 – Cotter pins.
1 – 21 ¼” Hollow Axle. Outside measured ½” which is the diameter needed for the wheels.

Tools used:
- Hacksaw and Miter Box
- Rubber Mallet
- Medium sized Visegrips
- Bench Vise (for cutting and drilling axle)
- Electric drill

Step 2: Step 1: Bottom Assembly.

Prep Work:
- Cut all pieces of pvc pipe to proper lengths (mostly 2” & 4”) & separate into their groups, i.e. Top, Bottom.
- Layout & check all fittings inside for small pieces of pvc or unwanted objects which can lodge themselves inside. (Sounds weird but it has happened to me). Now that you have your pieces together use the photos as a guide, and you will be ok. I found it easier to build the Bottom then the Top before joining the two.

Start with the centre T elbow fitting, add the 2 – 4 ½” pipes out from each end then add the other 2 T’s and 4” pipes going up from them, and finally the end caps on the T’s. And last if you want, add the 4” pipe with a 90-degree fitting as a footing to sit it up. Use the Mallet or hammer to snug everything up.

Step 3: Step 2: Top Assembly and Joining Bottom & Top Halves.

Start with a T fitting and add the 2 - 6” pieces to each side, repeat for other side.
For the ends put together in this order,
90 degree elbow, 2” spacer, T fitting, 2” spacer, 45 degree elbow, 2” spacer, T fitting, 2” spacer, 90 degree elbow. The 2 V shaped ends when completed should be mirror images of each other. Add the 2 sides and then align according to the photos.

Join Top with Bottom.
If you have cut everything right then it will fit together correctly (believe me I was not sure quite a few times), so if it looks odd or bent out of shape keep tweaking the joints.
Insert the 2 upward pointed pipes from the Bottom into the 2 downward facing T fittings from the Top.
I found the 2 - 45 degree elbows on the Top cause the most misalignment when putting the top & bottom together.

Step 4: Step 3: Wheels & Axle.

Until I found suitable wheels I was sort of stuck on what to use for the rolling part of the cart. I found a golf bag cart at a second hand store that had nice wide wheels & even though they were plastic I grabbed them, as I was tired of looking.
The axle was easy once I realized I could just drill a suitable hole in each end cap for the axle to go through.  I then just measured the length I thought would work with some wiggle room, then drilled a couple of holes in each end for cotter pins and used a couple medium size washers for some spacers/protection.

Step 5: Finishing Up.

As well as the kick-stand on the bottom, there are 4 extra T fittings in the Top end pieces. When I was looking to build the cart I was looking at many designs but finally narrowed it down to 2 designs, and as they both shared about 90% of the parts, just in a different configuration I figured the T’s would be a little stronger so left them in for future design.
Also I put on a couple of pieces of PVC insulation foam with zip ties on the sides to protect my kayak. I recommend using removable zip ties for when you want to replace your foam or anything else.
I used hex shaped end caps so I could find the centre much more accurately, just draw a line across the cap from each point to the opposite side 2 or 3 lines will give the dead centre to drill your axle hole.
And finally in the end I think I actually spent about $35-40 in parts. I have not glued or screwed mine yet and from what I can tell I probably will not need to. And just for the fun of it I stood on the cart without the wheels and there was no problem ( I am around 215 lbs). Enjoy.

Special thanks to Sprocket.

4 People Made This Project!


  • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    Colors of the Rainbow Contest
  • Party Challenge

    Party Challenge
  • Gardening Contest

    Gardening Contest

21 Discussions


Tip 11 months ago

For those who want to glue your joints - assemble the cart first, then use a magic marker to draw a line across each joint. Then take it apart again and lay out each piece in the shape of the cart. Apply your primer to both surfaces, then your glue, then put the two pieces together with a twist, re-aligning your magic marker stripe. Hold the joint together for about 10 seconds as the glue starts to bond before moving on to the next one.

1 reply

Reply 8 months ago

I would not trust the friction fit of the pipe and fittings


1 year ago

I'm definitely trying this. Where does one find an axle?

3 replies

Reply 1 year ago

It's a threaded rod, you can gt them at any hardware store in varied diameters and lengths, or cut to length.


Reply 8 months ago

Actually, his axle is 1/4" ID / 1/2" OD pipe


Reply 1 year ago

I bought mine at Home Depot for about 3 Bucks if I remember correctly.


5 years ago

great idea. tried to use this for my canoe but it wasn't strong enough

2 replies

Reply 11 months ago

Upgrade the size of the PVC for increased strength. This was made with 1.25" - you'll get more strength out of 2".


Reply 5 years ago

That's Interesting, I have used the cart on my single wood kayak which is 45lbs and my sisters 100lb Libra XT Double. When I was making the cart I tried standing on it many times to see how strong it was (I'm 220lbs). All I can suggest is maybe glue the pvc joints or if it's the wheels/axle (I also felt the wheels were the weak spot) upgrade to some pnuematic tires.


Question 11 months ago

What are the extra T sections for that have nothing in them? Stability/strength?


3 years ago

This is a great idea. I just bought a used cart for mine but later this year I'm going to use this concept to build a spare. The only change I'll try for is to build it to break down enough to carry on or in my kayak. My current one has removable tires and folds up. I'm sure this one can be built to break into two or three storable parts, and quick release clips for the tires. Thanks much for putting this up!

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

I designed this with a breakdown in mind. Should not be a problem. I can take mine apart in minutes, maybe a bit more to reassemble.
No glue and no screws.


Reply 3 years ago

Don't let the looks or instructions fool you, it's not complicated in any way.
I promise.


3 years ago on Introduction

Nice build.

If it weren't for the title, going by the picture of the dog next to the cart, I would have guessed it was a doggie wheelchair. Perhaps it would be helpful to show it in use with a kayak on it in the first picture.

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Na Sprocket is more than able to get around even with a sore ankle, I will consider the suggestion... though I don't really see the need. The title says it all.


Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Yep. The title says it all, but some people don't read at first. They may look at the picture and say, oh that's for such and such. Then they pick up the reading glasses, read the title and realize that it's for something else.


6 years ago on Introduction

Excellent job! Looks just like the one sitting somewhere in my garage. Let me add a couple of recommendations:
1) PVC is strong, the glue joints aren't. Drill a small pilot hole and run a small screw to each joint, two are better.
2) Add a nylon web strap, with a snap buckle, to tie down the boat.
Finally, I used the handle on the front of my boat to pull the rig.

Happy paddling!

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Thanks gnach for the tip,
I have been pondering "glue vs screws" for awhile . For the moment friction seems to be more than enough.
As for the strap, nothing beats nylon (imho) .
Now off to build a bike trailer for those longer trips. 8D


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Wow! I don't know where gnach got the idea that PVC glue joints aren't strong but he couldn't be more wrong. If you don't believe me, try to pull one apart. If properly prepped, they are just like any other glue joints, actually stronger than the materials being bonded. Not only do you NOT need the screws, the pilot holes will give you a weak point that can cause the PVC to crack and fail, especially being used in a vibrating application like this.