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Old 10-03-2019, 04:06 PM   #21
Rich Lockwood
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the rolleez post is right after this one.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:11 PM   #22
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Happy's Wheel-a-Weigh is a great cart but I am not sure that it is still made. I think I got mine from Pygmy Boats some years ago. Large wide pneumatic tires, disassembles to a small size. Best part is it has long struts which holds the canoe up high so that you can walk upright without dragging the stern. rolls over obstacles easily.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:13 AM   #23
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"I would never use ratchet straps on my good canoes. Two NRS cam straps have always been sufficient to hold my canoes whether on my vehicle roof top or when portaging on wheels. If anyone wants to ratchet down their kayak, then go for it."


Are you worried about warping or cracking the boat, or damaging the thwarts or gunwale, from the ratchet straps? I have forgotten my usual straps (I use two, but may try three based on reading here) and have just substituted rope and a trucker's hitch, and the boat walker came with a pretty low tension ratchet strap, but the ones I can get at Harbor Freight are cheap enough and hold fine on the cart as long as I don't overtighten them. They won't work on a Yakima Rack though unless I bend the hooks out, and then I don't really trust the hooks, so I still use rope and trucker's hitches on the vehicle. It takes longer to tie the boat on, but at my age everything takes longer!
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:30 AM   #24
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yes, I am worried about cracking and unnecessary tightening with ratchets. I have heard minor cracking even when I tighten cams more than I should. I don't want to take the risk with ratchets on multi-thousand dollar wood or fiber canoes. That much tension is unnecessary and I have never felt the need to go tighter than I can get with moderate pressure using cams. On wheels, two cam straps over the mid section of the canoe. And, depending on the particular canoe and shape, maybe a couple of additional stiff rubber straps from the wheel frame to a forward thwart has aways worked, even wile running and bouncing along over roots and rocks on the 90 mile race carries with C2, C4 or voyageur canoes. Attached and ready to roll in mere seconds.

Re: Harbor Freight ratchets. I attempted to secure a steel wood stove on a trailer I got in NH using these not long ago. Over a couple of bumps in the road and two of the straps broke. Luckily I noticed it before I got very far down the road and I had brought a few NRS cam straps in the car as backup along with some rope for trucker's hitches. A couple hundred miles later the stove was still secure in the same spot on the trailer.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:38 AM   #25
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^not for nothing, but I've towed race cars on open trailers for 10s of thousands of miles using only Harbor Freight ratchet straps and have had zero problems with the straps or ratchets.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:45 AM   #26
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Thanks for the detailed reply. I use a light aluminum canoe, and have been worried about warpage more than cracking or breakage, but everything looks a little askew looking straight back from the bow. Of course, some of that likely occurred when the canoe got picked up and thrown in a windstorm when I had forgotten to tie it to the backyard rack.

I've seen no problems with the straps, but the fabric does wear a lot faster than the USA material that looks the same. And I always wonder about the sewing. Harbor Freight is a great example of "you get what you pay for", the "free" or inexpensive head lamps they sell are worse than useless and could have been dangerous if they were the only light source I had when I tried them. But their tarps seem to be the same as most of the others I find.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:30 PM   #27
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I use the one with the fat flotation tires. it goes over almost anything. I have tried others, I like it best. Can't remember the name.
Adding Slime to the tire will seal the tire if it gets punctured along the route which does occaisionally happen. I use the slime (comes in a green bottle), on all my quads and trail bikes.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:39 PM   #28
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^not for nothing, but I've towed race cars on open trailers for 10s of thousands of miles using only Harbor Freight ratchet straps and have had zero problems with the straps or ratchets.
I bet you used the at least 2 or 3-inch wide HF webbing straps (yellow), not the 1-inch weak orange stuff. Ratcheting straps to tow a car is a far different application than holding a canoe on a roof top or on wheels, which is different than holding a stove in place on a trailer.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:09 PM   #29
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I bet you used the at least 2 or 3-inch wide HF webbing straps (yellow), not the 1-inch weak orange stuff. Ratcheting straps to tow a car is a far different application than holding a canoe on a roof top or on wheels, which is different than holding a stove in place on a trailer.
Yea, those orange ones are on every road broken and worthless.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:12 PM   #30
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Just like anything else you have to use your best judgement. Never had a problem with ratchets, but one tightened up pretty good at the yolk and one more on each side works well for me. If I thought they were damaging my canoe, I wouldn't use them. But, I have aluminum and Royalex boats, not wood or kevlar. The cam straps like wldrns suggested might be good for different canoes.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:39 PM   #31
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Tightening at the yolk is sure to crack an egg.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:05 PM   #32
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I bought one called Paddleboy from Raq River Outfitters and used it for the first to get to Boreas Ponds. Easy also because the road is straight and even. Plan to use to Lake Lila next weekend. I strap the boat in with a bungee cord, balancing the boat with packs in it. The boat is a Bell Northwind.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:02 AM   #33
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The Lila carry should be a real test for the cart. let us know how it works.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:57 AM   #34
St.Regis
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Tightening at the yolk is sure to crack an egg.
Lol!! Good one! Spell check strikes again..We've done some portages where the carts were more grief than good. Your can get away with adding a few extra items, but IMO it's still best to go light, especially into remote areas. Don't turn your canoe into a wagon for tons of extra gear. Also, bring tools to fix the cart and if you buy one with pneumatic tires, bring at least one spare tube and an air pump.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:43 PM   #35
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Shortly after the July 1995 derecho blowdown in the Five Ponds Wilderness, the 3 mile carry trail from Lows to the Oswegatchie was cut out from thousands of downed logs. Unfortunately it was cut far too narrow for cart wheels. My CW wheels kept crawling up over cut logs on one side or the other. It was hell. I actually lost the knurled knob holding one wheel because it got rotated off by edging over cut logs. Had to improvise a fashion to hold the wheel on after that. The trail was cut out wider later.

The first third of the Raquette Falls Carry is quite impossible to negotiate with a cart unless you separately carry the cart by hand. The second two thirds is not much easier (but possible) with a high wheel (CW) cart. It is the bane of 90 miler canoe racers on day 2, since the competitor's race rules say if you use wheels on any one day (easy and desirable on days 1 and 3), then you must carry wheels with you all three days of the race. I have at other times (although not when racing) used a smaller lighter cart on my Rapidfire, where I just attached it at the beginning of the carry and carried the canoe, cart and all, upside down over the rough areas. Got some odd looks from others I encountered along the way.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:59 PM   #36
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The Lila carry should be a real test for the cart. let us know how it works.
I used my cart on Lila last week, ended up carrying the canoe as much as rolling it.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:32 AM   #37
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When I was 14 (and in scouts) I thought I was super clever so I built a cart to use on the Indian Carry. It broke about halfway through. My buddy and I ended up carrying not only the canoe (a 1916 OT Ideal enshrouded in fiberglass, a beast) but also the remains of my cart. I've never used one since. I learned to hoist up the boat and go. As I've gotten older I have added a few lighter boats to my fleet and I don't take the 20 footer on carries anymore (wood and canvas, it's a bit heavy). My experience has been that when the carrying is tough that I leave the folks with carts in the dust/mud if I can get around them.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:54 AM   #38
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I can still carry my 40 lb. Sawyer Autumn Mist and of course my Hornbeck. I do have a Suspenz cart for the Sawyer when needed, like it and find it works well.
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