Saturday, 19 March 2011
MYOG, Canoe Trolley
At 35kg or thereabouts my canoe is just a bit too heavy for me to carry any distance, there's a carrying yoke so that it can be carried upide down on my shoulders but it's awkward to lift and I need to have it set up on trestles 1st so that I can get underneath before lifting it. Getting it from car to water is tricky as I'm usually solo so if possible I just drag it along. I'd looked at canoe trolleys but at £40 for a Lomo, the cheapest I could find to over £80 for an Ekla trolley I'd put off getting one.
I found an alternative, a MYOG trolley on the 'Song of the Paddle' forum, made from a sack trolley it isn't really a self build project as the only thing you need to do is cut pieces off the trolley.
I managed to pick up a trolley for £20 from B&Q although it was slightly different from the one shown on SotP. I didn't follow the instructions exactly so my trolley is a bit longer than the others but while it looks a bit more secure it weighs more (probably) and takes up more space in the canoe although I wouldn't always need to take it with me. Rather than cut the frame off where the axle brackets are welded on I cut mine at the 2nd crossbar to provide a longer bed for the canoe to sit on, most people simply cut the platform off level with the frame but while I was worried it would weaken the frame I went ahead and removed the platform completely. In practice it seems rigid enough and I was able to load the canoe off and on easily, the longer bed keeping the trolley right way up.
While it works ok I'm not entirely satisfied with the design, I have a few ideas for something that would fold up smaller and weigh less but it would mean getting the welder out and to be honest I'm not much good at welding. In the meantime the chopped sack trolley will have to do, it certainly makes shifting the canoe much easier and the money saved will go towards another paddle.