We bought a canoe last year and wanted to be able to easily take the canoe to places there was a longer walk without having to carry it. I checked on the net and found carts for $80 to $200. Now that really is not bad, but being the cheap guy I am, and liking to make things myself, I came up with an idea when I was browsing at Good Will.
First thing you need is an inexpensive used three wheel stroller for kids. They seem to run around $20 - $40, but if you are patient, you may find one for $15 like I did. Here is the one that I found.
Next you have to strip all the fabric off as well as the front brake and front wheel. Then you get some rubber mat material. I'm talking about the kind you can get to stand on by a work bench. I found some colorful ones out of the same kind of material that were smaller for little kids to put together on the floor like a puzzle. I picked these up for a couple of bucks at goodwill. A sleeping bag pad would work great too. You take these,or pieces of these and wrap them around the metal bars. Hold them in place with plastic strap ties. These will help keep the canoe from sliding around and distribute the load some.
If you look closely you can see Clevis and Cotter pins in the middle to keep the cart from folding up when using it. There was actually already one on just one side, but I wanted one on the other side too. So I drilled a hole and inserted a pin that I had laying around the house.
One of the nice features of this is both wheels already had a parking brake. I works by inserting a stop into some cogs on the axle. Loading the canoe onto the cart is a snap when you don't have the cart moving all over. Here is a picture.
Another nice thing about this cart is it folds up. If you don't have too much gear in the canoe, it can just be placed on the bottom of the canoe. No need to haul it back to the truck. Here are photos of the cart part way folded and fully folded.
Next is the Cart ready to be loaded with the canoe. Putting the canoe on is easy to do by yourself. You just place the cart next to the canoe mid-ship at a slight angle, lift one end of the canoe and swing it over the cart and put it down. The parking brakes keep the cart from rolling out, even on a hill. You will probably need to center the canoe by holding the canoe up and shifting it one way or the other.
Then you just load your gear into the canoe and head for the water. :yay: