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  1. #1
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    Sep 2010
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    Towing a sea kayak on my bike

    Anyone have any experience towing a sea kayak on a bike? I have a specific trip in mind - bike to a lake, kayak up, and then backpack for a couple days before reversing the trip. But eventually I'd like to explore other possibilities as well - island hopping in the San Juans, bike/kayak tour of Vancouver Island, etc. So the point is, I'd like a solution that lets me tow my sea kayak on my road bike. At some point, I realize I'll have to figure out how to carry the bike on the kayak. For the initial trip, though, I can cache the bike for the kayak/hike, so I'm not too worried about it for now.

    The one thing I found was http://www.outdoorplay.com/Paddleboy...7&category=267, but it's technically limited to 15' boat and 75 lbs (and 10 mph, which seems awfully slow to me unless you're going uphill). The boat I have is a fiberglass sea kayak, about 18' and 57 lbs. I might could meet the weight (if I carried food/clothes in panniers), but it's probably two weeks round trip (one way is 3-4 bike, 1-2 kayak, 2 hike) so it's not a trivial amount of gear. I'm a little worried about the length, but I'm not sure what an extra 2' hanging off the end of the trailer would mean in terms of stability. I mean, could I load gear in the front hold and keep nothing in rear and have it be fine? Or maybe just extend it with some parts from McMaster?

    Thoughts? Anybody actually ever ridden with one of these trailers? How hard is it to control up or down hills?

    Trip won't happen for a few months, but I figured I ought to get the system dialed, so I can start riding down to the beach with it.

    Thanks in advance!
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

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  2. #2
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    The only experience I have is seeing a few surfers and Kiters with home made trailers battling the tradewinds on flatish ground here on Maui coming and going from the beach. Looks they are suffering terribly, as Phil Ligget would say. The wind is not your friend, except downwind.



    ______________________________________________

    “His suitcase of courage is empty”

    P.L.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    ANC / ADQ
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    A folding kayak could save you a ton of hassle and would be safer on the roads.
    -just a suggestion, although I like your idea but haven't seen it done (almost everyone out here has a sea kayak)

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses.

    Can't really see how towing a kayak would be different than towing any other trailer. I mean, I've seen people tow trailers up mountain passes and stuff on long trips. Not sayin' I'm in that kind of shape right now, but I'm wondering if you think it'd be any different.

    Yeah, I'd love a folding kayak. But I'm trying to make it work with what I have for now. This is definitely the best solution:
    http://feathercraft.com/kayaks/heron/
    http://feathercraft.com/bike-bags/cycopod-bike-bag/

    But I can think of alot I'd rather do with $6500.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    perhaps a stupid question but I will ask anyway ... did you goggle seakayak trailer?

  6. #6
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    I almost responded with "Yes, of course I did!" but the simple fact of the matter is that I forgot to include the word "sea" in the numerous different combos of kayak, bike, trailer, etc. So thanks for that seemingly-stupid question, as it generated some different results. I linked the most promising option in my first post, but it appears there are other options here (looks perfect, but expensive) as well as this and this .

    Any feedback or thoughts would be appreciated. Trying not to break the bank here, as I really don't see the trailer getting a TON of use, but it would be a really neat thing to have. Particularly interested if anyone has experience towing something like this, which is why I was really unsure of whether this belonged in Sprocket Rockets, Kayak, or even Tech Talk (should I decide just to build my own).
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Why not just build your own? Build a short frame with 2 wheels and rig up a hitch to the bow. Seems easy enough. There's a guy in Anchorage that I see all the time towing at least a 20 foot trailer on a shitty full suspension mountain bike.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  8. #8
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Can't really see how towing a kayak would be different than towing any other trailer.
    It's 3x as long and more fragile. Only direct experience is riding bikes/mopeds/motorbikes with surfboards. There the side saddle is the preferred option despite the crosswind issues. With something much longer not really sure how it'd work.

    If you are mechanically handy you can build your own folding kayak for <$1k. A hacksaw, drill press and a saber saw should do you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Haha...I strapped a friend's cali-style long-board to the bottom of my 17 ft sea kayak once...towed it from my bike with the painter. FUCK THAT !!! It worked ONLY on the absolutely super-straight sections of road. The least bit of turn and the kayak would go over on it's side...luckily it was roto-molded kayak and I was going slow.

    See that's the thing...sea-kayaks are long. Towing a small trailer vs. a 17 ft kayak is a huge difference. I think even with 16" inflatable bicycle wheels on a wide enough axle, the thing would STILL try and capsize....unless you had some sort of steerable front truck. Maybe that's the ticket...two axles...front one free-turning...rear-one fixed, like a semi? Who knows?

    I hope it's a straight shot between where you store the yak and the beach!

    --
    "The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it; a jealous, possesive love that grabs at what it can." by Yann Martel from Life of Pi



    Posted by DJSapp:
    "Squirrels are rats with good PR."

  10. #10
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    Looks like the first option I listed in my second post, made by Tony's Trailers on Vancouver Island, will be the best bet. Of course, it's also the most expensive. I'll probably just make the trip up there and pick it up. Apparently, they even make a hitch that lets you lay your bike down while still attached (swivels in both directions). AKR, this is totally different than towing it from the painter. That's why I wanted to be sure I got a decent trailer.

    I was pretty much sold on this picture: Click image for larger version. 

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    Separate review here: http://bypedal.typepad.com/bikeways/...k_trailer.html

    Big props to XXX-er for assisting my googling skills. Now, here's hoping my wrist isn't broken and I can paddle a bit this summer.

    Edit: Thanks to everyone else for the responses. Didn't expect to generate much interest. Cheers!
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Sweet!!! Nice kayay in that pix too! Looks like a Feathercraft!

    715 beers for a kayak trailer???

    You can build one, you know. Get 20" bicycle-type wheels made for hot-dog carts and such...they should come with like a 30" axle. Build the frame to put the axle on out of aluminum tubing or even the bottom frame of a shopping cart...they're sometimes stainless steel...stick the wheels/wide axle on the bottom frame. Or you can build it out of wood. Just has to hold the fifty or 65 pound kayak.

    For the front hitch...get a used baby trailer on craigslist...it'll come with the bracket. You just need some sort of aluminum extension coming from the wheel frame to the bracket/hitch.

    Maybe $150 in parts (including the used baby trailer) and a weekend. Definitely do-able...just get some pix of his system and do what the chinese do...COPY it!

    Oh..and it looks like he has slightly canted wheels...that might help for anti-tipping.

    EDIT: But I have no idea HOW you'd set up canted wheels with regular hot dog cart-type hubs.

    --
    "The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it; a jealous, possesive love that grabs at what it can." by Yann Martel from Life of Pi



    Posted by DJSapp:
    "Squirrels are rats with good PR."

  12. #12
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    Feb 2008
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    lalaland
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    If only there was a trailer that will let one tow a mtn bike with a sea kayak.

  13. #13
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    Just want to add that I am in total support of this idea.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottyb View Post
    If only there was a trailer that will let one tow a mtn bike with a sea kayak.
    Get one of these and you won't need to tow a bike.

    But I should add that silly putting silly red plastic 'playing cards' on the INSIDE of the wheel is probably the most INEFFICIENT paddle!!! Looks like an idea developed by WhamO! or Ronko-mati.

    Sorta an inverse of those peddle kayaks!



    --
    "The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it; a jealous, possesive love that grabs at what it can." by Yann Martel from Life of Pi



    Posted by DJSapp:
    "Squirrels are rats with good PR."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    North Vancouver
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    Ilya hacked this together in some kinda stranger's garage on Newfoundland Island to finish his cross country trip. The lakes had iced over so he did the last stretch by bike towing his homemade cedar strip kayak.

    When he started his trip he had a smaller lightweight trailer that broke down into pieces and fit into the hull. Not sure if it got shipped home part way across Canada after any of the long portages or just got dropped off in Montreal on his way past.


  16. #16
    Hugh Conway Guest
    ^^^ such a cool story that is

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    473
    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post

    When he started his trip he had a smaller lightweight trailer that broke down into pieces and fit into the hull. Not sure if it got shipped home part way across Canada after any of the long portages or just got dropped off in Montreal on his way past.

    It was a Primex cart he used on the 50 km stretch of road from the Pacific ocean to nechako reservoir and another 50 km + stretch of road near Prince George . He mailed the cart home after the BC leg of the trip


  18. #18
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    Thanks for the stoke!!

    I'm thinking I might throw a ski descent into the trip, just for the hell of it. Now who wants to join me?
    Last edited by auvgeek; 04-26-2012 at 09:09 PM. Reason: descent vs decent. DOH!
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Paddli...RacksCarts.jsp

    I used one of those, yeah the wheels come off with quick clip pins and it will fit in a kayak but then I think its for portaging not for towing behind a bike I wonder how you would actualy hitch it to a bike and it would not be all that stable for the road behind a bike ??

    that trayak looks pretty good but its 715$ ...maybe you could knock something togetehr your self robbing his ideas?

  20. #20
    jazzalbart Guest
    Well, I must say it would be a great experience. I was also looking for kayaking on my bike but I thought it wonít be possible to drive. But after reading this post I must say you have convinced to take a tour on my bike. Now Iíll definitely do it soon.
    folding kayaks

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1
    Very innovative thought, I have never thought about it, If you complete your trip of kayak on bike, than share your pics here.

    latest designs of folding kayaks

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