How to Use a Kayak Trolley

One of the many appealing aspects of kayaking is that you can enjoy this water sport by yourself. The problem is that transporting a kayak from your car to the water may require a lot of effort, and you risk damaging your kayak by bumping it against the ground.

Still, you may be wondering if you really have to invest in a kayak dolly. If you own a kayak and it’s not an inflatable, the answer is yes.

Why Use a Kayak Cart?

A kayak trolley or kayak cart distributes the weight of the craft evenly. A kayak can weigh anything from 20 to 80 pounds, and even the lightest model can be difficult to carry. With a trolley, the weight of your kayak is easier to handle.

Using a kayak cart also reduces your risk of getting injured. If you use a trolley, it is easier to maintain stable footing over rough terrains and to see where you are going. A cart also extends the lifespan of your kayak since it eliminates a lot of the wear and tear that comes with dragging your kayak in and out of the water.

kayak illustration by george francis lyon
By George Francis Lyon (1795-1832) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The most significant benefit of using a kayak cart is that it eliminates the strain of carrying your kayak from the water to your vehicle after a day of paddling. If your arms are tired, the last thing you want to do is to carry a heavy and bulky kayak.

Now that you’ve heard about the importance of a kayak cart, you may be wondering what types there are and how to use a kayak trolley.

Scupper Hole Style

A scupper cart fits sit-on-top kayaks by inserting their pegs into the kayak’s drain holes, which are also called scupper holes. The weight that the scupper cart carries depends on where the scupper holes are located on the kayak.

To fit the sit-on-top kayak to the scupper cart, you have to follow three steps. Firstly, make sure that you remove all the gear, storage crates, and fittings like pole rod holders from the kayak.



Then, put the kayak on its side and align the pegs of the scupper cart with the drain holes of the kayak and insert them. You may have to adjust the width of the scupper cart’s pegs to ensure that the fit securely.

After inserting the pegs into the kayak’s scupper holes, turn the kayak back up so that it is in the normal position with the scupper cart beneath it. You can now roll your kayak to the water with the scupper cart.

Platform Style

The primary benefit of a platform-style cart is that, if the kayak is balanced on the cart, you can simply take the kayak by the bow and lightly direct it to where you want it to go. You can also attach a boat to a platform-style cart without having to unload it, which is not the case with scupper hole carts.

If you have a long kayak, then for example the Bonnlo kayak cart below can work with 12-feet yaks just fine.

Bonnlo kayak cart

To load the kayak onto the cart, start by placing the cart next to kayak, in the center of its length and at a slight angle. Next, pick up the stern of the craft and put it squarely on the cart. Since you placed the cart at an angle, this will be easy.

The most challenging step is strapping the kayak securely to the cart. Start beneath the boat and bring the strap around one of the cart’s posts before bringing it toward you. Next, bring the belt over the kayak and wrap it around the post on the other side before tightening it securely.

Even though you don’t have to unload your kayak if you use a platform style cart, wrapping it can also be time-consuming. If you don’t have a lot of gear and equipment onboard your kayak, the scupper hole cart may be a better option.