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I have a large canoe (approx 17 feet long and 4 feet wide at the middle) and more often than not I am the only one physically able to move it (at least until the wee ones get bigger MUH HAHAhahahaha). As soon as the Harbor Freight inflatable wheels go on sale again, I'm switching to those too. I was just counting the supplies I have on hand to alter this for a bike trailer, but then I read the part about using a smaller diameter pipe for a kayak. How to Catch a Throw BagWatch this video to get pointers onhow to catch a rescue throw bagproperly and safely. Carving Off-Side Turn Canoe StrokeThis short tutorial video looks ata canoe stroke used for turninga moving canoe. If you are doing smooth portages, the ones with small wheels are fine, but if there is logs and rocks to go over the ones with larger 15" wheels are much better. I have used it in three Adirondack 90 milers, and the portages don't get any tougher then the ones in it. You can rent green fibre glass canoes there and those are impossible to carry with just one person.
Try carrying the OPs canoe in "the Adirondacks" on the long Raquette Falls carry and you'll change your tune unless you are a super women. Two people trying to carry a canoe is a recipe for disaster and if it's a couple it's a fine way to insure a miserable time.
The rest of us are intermediates, and have no desire or strength to portage a 100 pound canoe. It baffles me to see people out on a portage struggling to get the wheels and a kevlar craft over a log, or a couple on the verge of meltdown trying to carry a boat from the bow and stern. In all seriousness, folks should simply give it a try and not give up at the first hint of discomfort. Last summer my wife and I did a route where we did 23 miles of paddling and 12 miles of carries carrying a 17 foot royalex.
I did a lot of portages of the Racquette Falls carry in the 90 miler with one I got from a thrift store for $12. Depending on the circuit, some are cleared every three years and others every five, and some never.
Forget the response where "real men carry their boats." Do what works for you, use a cart where it makes sense.
For those who think carts are a waste of time give the Op a break not everyone wants to prove they are super humans. If you do the unofficial unsupported cannonball-90 that many of us like to do, (the 90 miler in a single day with no support or intermediate transport), there are 10 miles of carries in the 20-ish hours it takes to complete the 90 miles. In England, many portages involve just a short drag over grass or carting the canoe down a canal towpath. The price of the really nice laminated Wenonah Yoke with the cupped pads is less than a trip to the chiropractor.
IF your portages are mostly flat and if you have space in your canoe for the Canoe Caddy, it can save you multiple trip portages. The cart was quite similar to the Paddleboy ATC and the load (canoe and two guys gear) was no where near 300 lbs. But I expect most any bicycle wheel would taco when the cart is tilted some 45 degrees over on one wheel and dropping a foot off of a small boulder.
Had a Scout leader construct a "buck bike" similar to the single wheel cart shown and he used it to transport canoes and chuck boxes.


On smooth ground pushing might work, but run the wheel against an obstacle and the canoe located above the wheel will tip forward. I agree on rough carries, but most down here in "god's Land" just require being in the back with a finger or two on the top of the stern to keep it balanced, and the whole system basically goes by itself with no work.
I'm thinking about every carry i know except 8th Lake Campground and 5th Lake to 6th Lake thru Inlet on the highway. I C4'd the past two 90 milers without wheels, just two people carrying the big boat overhead. Pushing works for a nice changeout of methods, but only on the very smooth flat road portions. We know the real reason you can't use a cart anymore is that Nanci got tired of pulling the canoe and you over the carries while you waved at all the young girls in spandex in the war canoes. My memory of the year you went C-4 in a Minnesota III was that you sold the boat shortly after the 90 Miler and said it was the hardest paddling you had ever done to paddle stern in the C-4 and you would never torture yourself like that again.
Last year was our 10th year in C-4 and both Browns Tract and Raquette Falls beat me up more each year. I had always used wheels with the C-2 until two years ago, and each year the carries got worse. Then when I switched to carrying, we had our best portages every, and once again this year the Browns tract and Raquette Falls carry was a piece of cake with me carrying the boat and she the gear.
We past our competition, (two guys who on the water are faster then us) on the Raquette Falls carry where they were using wheels and beat them for the day. I've paddled the Adirondack 90-miler race in all sorts of canoe craft, from C1 to voyageur.
For the previous two years I have paddled the 90 in a C4 and done the portages by carrying the canoe overhead, with two paddlers bearing the load just as they would carry a C2. I've done the same carries the same way with a lightweight C6 voyageur canoe, a single person in the bow with the padded deck on one shoulder, and two more people shouldering on the gunwales a few feet from the stern. On the other hand, when we paddle the Cannonball-90, (the unofficial and unsupported all in one day 90 mile route), the carry mileage expands to ten miles.
I've got a lot of experience now guiding canoes through all sorts of portages and carries, and as I've gained experience I find myself pushing from the rear at least 90% of the time.
1) Pulling the canoe is usually the best way to get over a tough obstacle, sometimes a small log, but usually rocks, ditches, soft sand, roots, etc. 4) During horsefly and deerfly season, I have found that when they are attracted by movement, they go to the head of whatever is moving. Your mileage may vary, but I honestly shake my head when I see companions pulling their load when it would be easier pushing.
In really rough county here in Wyoming some hunters use what is called a "meat cart" - basically a hard-bottomed stretcher with a single heavy duty wheel with a cable-operated disc brake centered underneath. These meat carts are unbelievably expensive, but a cheaper substitute could be built around a single 29" disc-braked off-road touring bicycle wheel on a square base and some STRONG sectional aluminum poles (or even H-Beams) with a brake lever on one or both ends. Years ago I made a one-wheeled cart (20" wheel, no brake) controlled by two guys with an aluminum crossbar at the back, but couldn't get it through the timber.
Below price list of "diy canoe cart" for sale in online store.Please note that the prices here are not guaranteed and may change at any given point in time. We usually hire one of those fibre glass canoes and because I'm carrying it with my partner, I end up holding most of the weight and it's pretty tough for her to carry. They have the crossbar in the middle and are balanced but I tried this once as my partner could not lift the canoe for too long, I carried it about 50metres or so but it was difficult after that.
Used some foam noodles to make a cradle, and then used two cam lock buckle straps each cut in half with the ends bolted to the frame to cinch down the canoe.


In the States, portage trails in wilderness areas are too rough to make a paddle cart worthwhile.
On our inaugural Quetico trip, I had to portage our 85 pound FG canoe, and it was no picnic. If we tried the same thing again, I would rent an ultralight canoe and take the lightest equipment possible. Two of my tandems came with flat yokes and I have a pair of bolt on contour pads that make it so much nicer. And it's about as rugged as anything I would want to use a portage cart on though the Raquette Falls carry is a close second. It was great for hauling heavy, but compack gear like the chuck boxes, over single track trails into camp. When I am as old as you I might have to slow down and paddle Super Veterans in another class. Finally, while maneuvering in tight corners, it is easier to control my end of the canoe while simultaneously guiding the other end if I can keep that other end in my sight without having to turn around.
Once you find the balance point and get over the trauma you can go pretty much anywhere that you could go with a backpack. I will be taking my twelfth canoe trip there next week and I have yet to see anyone using a cart with all the rocks and roots and steep esker sides. We shortened the trip when it became apparent that our original route was far too ambitious for even young folks. A standard flat yoke is better, but they tend to slide off your wet sweaty shoulders and require a constant push forward on the gunwales to keep on your shoulders. Most portages are wheelable with more or less difficulty, but however you do it it is a suffering time through the Raquette Falls 1.1 mile carry.
Faster than a speeding canoe cart, more powerful than the average paddler, able to portage tall mountains in a single bound. Once its up, the 23'Minnesota IV is no worse than a Penobscot and a lot lighter on the shoulders than a Discovery or any other polyethylene canoe. If the rental canoes you use have a flat yoke, buy a set of clamp-on yoke pads to take along. Universal mounting system mounts to aftermarket square or round crossbars, as well as most factory crossbars.
A straight thwart, even padded with pipe insulation, puts pressure on the back of your neck and you have to walk with your head craned forward. Strapping the canoe to the mostly flat cart was a chore and it was never very secure on the cart.
Tree trunks down across the trail can be lifted over with the cart unless the trunk is thick and the limbs still attached. In Canada there are many low volume canoe builders that supply canoes on a local basis and they are heavier. Some heavy lifters can walk a mile with a heavy canoe, but its not me and I feel no shame in staying with lighter canoes.



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