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T-bar Kayak Trolley

The design described below was first published in the Canterbury Sea Kayak Newsletter April/May 1995, and was designed by Sandy Ferguson.*

The Design

The sophistication of your trolley only depends upon the tools and materials available to you.

A simple trolley can be constructed from PVC pipe and “T” fittings. A stronger trolley for a loaded double could be made from aluminium tubing, square or round section, bolted or welded depending on the facilities available to you.

On the trolley shown the horizontal tubes are of unequal length, longer at the ends where the legs come out so that the trolley tends to over balance (tip) on to the legs.

A short length of stainless steel tubing is used for the axle. Wheels can be retained using a clip made from stainless steel welding wire.

Note that the upright pieces, the tubes that the axles go through, are no longer than necessary. The top of the trolley should not be any higher than the top of the wheel unless you are using very small wheels.

Trolley wheels

The type and size of wheels are up to you though golf buggy type wheels (as above) are the most commonly used.

Retaining Straps

Webbing and buckles will keep the kayak on the trolley. If you use two sets of straps, the trolley will stay with the kayak if you lift the kayak off the ground.

Retaining straps


Legs are important as they keep the trolley up right as you load it. The legs are retained with bungy cord and the legs shown mounted in the “down” position. The bungy runs from the red “knob” on the end of the leg to the far end of the horizontal bar. The bungy goes through slots in the ends of the horizontal tubes to retain the leg in the down position.

Trolley legs

Trolley, upside down, with one leg extended. Note the slot.

trolley upside down

This picture shows the trolley upside down with one leg extended and one leg retracted.

*A copy of the design was sent to Germany and they supposedly designed their one the same year. The drawings sent from New Zealand did not include the legs and the German trolleys don’t have support legs!

KASK's aims are to:

1. Promote and encourage the sport of sea kayaking
2. Promote safety standards
3. Develop techniques and equipment
4. Deal with issues of coastal access and protection
5. Organise sea kayak forums around the country
6. Publish the Sea Canoeist Newsletter and the KASK Handbook