By Eric Atkins
I see many questions on the internet from kayakers asking which kayak cart is the best for their kayak. What most kayak anglers do not realize is that the best kayak cart in the world could work terribly against you if you position it in a less-than-optimal place underneath your kayak.
In this video, I first position my C-Tug Kayak Cart on the extreme rear of the kayak. That is where most kayak anglers position their cart because that is the easiest place to load your boat on the cart. You can see the cart. And most of the time, the keel of the boat and handles on the rear of the boat make for a secure attachment. However, when your kayak cart is at the rear of the boat, you turn a simple machine into a body of work.
In the video with my Coosa HD, there is 67-pound of weight at the front of the kayak when I place the kayak cart on the rear of the boat. That means, I will have to deadlift close to 70-pounds just to pull the kayak on the cart even on flat pavement. That is hard work, especially for the distances some of us go with our carts.
My pro tip is to place the kayak cart as close to the center of gravity of the kayak. It is even possible to perfectly balance your kayak on your cart. When you do this, you will only be deadlifting a few pounds of weight. Without getting into physics and the "normal force", if you place your kayak cart near the center of gravity of your kayak, you can add more and more gear (weight) to your kayak without seeing much of a difference in the amount of work you need to perform.
So go ahead and add a cooler full of ice, tons of tackle boxes, a Power-Pole and more. If you have properly positioned your kayak cart near your the center of the load, hauling those extra items will require only a little more effort than if you left them at home.
As you can see in the video, once I readjusted the position of the C-Tug underneath my Coosa HD, I only needed to lift about 7-pounds of weight to get my kayak in position to roll. That is a 60-pound difference just by moving the cart forward a few feet.
If you happen to strap down your kayak to your kayak cart near the center of gravity and realize that the kayak tends to tip to one side of the cart, move some gear to the other side of the cart. By adding this ballast to different spots on the kayak, you can actually alter the center of gravity of your kayak so that there is little force opposing your arms when you are in the hauling motion.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but some helicopters have weight added to them so the center of gravity causes the engine to work less, thereby giving greater range and efficiency to the vehicle. You can do the exact same thing when you balance your kayak on your cart.
I hope this tip encourages you to have more fun out on the water. Remember, no matter if you have a DIY kayak cart or paid a lot of money for a cart from your local outfitter, where you place your cart underneath your boat is the most important factor once you get your cart ready to head to the launch spot.