Do Canoes Have Wheels? (Explained)

People who cannot resist the appealing aspect of enjoying the great outdoors by themselves, enjoying the water bodies and their beauties at their own pace, have, of course, heard about a canoe.

A canoe is a small boat or vessel with narrow ends on both sides, which is usually propelled by one or more paddlers using a single blade paddle.

Do canoes have wheels?

Yes. To avoid the struggle of transporting canoes from vehicles or storage locations to the water, it has transportation carts and wheels of different kinds. The nature of the cart and the wheels determines the weight of canoe it can carry and the types of terrain it can travel.

There are different types of canoes that serve different purposes. The purpose of the canoe determines the material to be used in the production.

Canoes vary in weight and length depending on the materials used. The wheels used in the carrier must be durable and rigid for proper support.

Why canoes need wheels?

Canoeing was one of the most ancient forms of transportation once. But presently, it is mainly used for recreational purposes.

Canoes are vessels that are ridden in water. But to carry this vessel from one place to another, canoes need wheels. Canoes need carriers or carts with wheels to extend their durability.

The wheels on the carrier help to lift the canoe above from the ground and save it while traveling on rough surfaces. It carries the canoe by distributing the weight evenly and saving it from scratches and injuries. In this way, it lasts longer for future uses.

People often struggle to carry canoes to distant locations or remote water bodies. And to ease this problem, we can use the cart to affix our canoe to a bicycle to access more amazing locations. It gives us one point to pull our vessel along.

In terms of carrying long distance in the water canoes are usually pulled along behind another boat. You can read more here about towing canoes behind another boat.

How do canoe wheels work?

The type of surface we are using to transport the canoe determines the usage of the canoe wheels. For example, if you are taking your canoe from the car park to the boat ramp using concrete, grass, or packed sand road, you can use pneumatic tires. This gives an overall good look to the cart.

To save the tires from being punctured by stray glass shards or rocks on sand, we can use puncture-free grooved wheels. It will certainly help reach the ramp without damaging the vessel.

For rough terrains like dry sand or concrete roads, balloon wheels are the ideal ones. These wheels provide rigid support on uneven roads, and they are very useful for sandy areas.

If we are looking for covering a longer distance from storage to launch ramp, we may consider a cart designed to be easily folded down and stored. Fold-out legs can be used in the cart for this purpose.

Canoe carts or trolleys need to be heavy-duty as they have to carry a huge load. Wheels with grippy rubber treads are generally suitable for all terrains. 

These rubber treads compress under load. Moreover, it covers a larger surface area at the base. Thus it becomes particularly good for transportation over sand without digging in so much.

How do you put wheels on a canoe?

Wheels on a canoe can be put in many ways. But generally, they are either attached below the canoe or on sides of the canoe.

The canoes are generally dragged or pulled using the ends as one-point drag. Sometimes, they are also attached to a bicycle at any end to drive longer distances.

Installation of the wheels on the canoe:

  • First, we lift the canoe using a lever or jack.
  • Then we lay the carrier where we want to place it.
  • We can strap the carrier first so that it does not move while installing the wheels.
  • Then we take the necessary nut and bolt to attach it with the canoe.
  • Using a screw-driver, we install the wheels.
  • After that, we lock the wheels using a washer and linchpin
  • Finally, we remove the lever and check the stability.

And this is how we install wheels on a canoe.

When we are using the wheel under the canoe, it raises the canoe above the ground. It avoids the collision of the canoe with the ground. But there arises a chance of easily tipping over while dragging it. Because the center of gravity rises a lot higher than the ground level.

When we put the wheels on both sides of the canoe, it is not too high from the ground. Since there are wheels on both sides, it balances easily, and there are fewer chances of tipping sideways.

So, if we are using a short path to your canoeing location from your storage point, we can use either way to put on our canoe cartwheels.

But if we are covering a larger distance and rough terrain, it will be wise to put the cartwheels on the sides of the canoe. In this way, the canoe will be safe and durable.

How do you make a canoe carrier with wheels?

With a little patience and labor, we can easily make our own canoe carrier with wheels. We are going to describe the process and measurements for a standard 16” vessel.

Step 1: The canoe measurement

First, we will finalize the size of the rail. For that, we will consider the size of the canoe.

Step 2: Cutting and laying out the pieces

Now we will cut the PVCs according to these sizes

  • Three 14″ pieces for crossbars
  • Two 23″ pieces for top bars
  • Eight 5″ pieces
  • Four 2″ pieces

Then we will lay out the pieces. We will make sure the necessary joints face the same direction.

Step 3: Connecting two cart sides and gluing

On the outside ends of all connecting PVCs, we will apply cement. Then we will balance them and insert them into the joints firmly. The one end of the three 14″ PVC crossbar pieces had to be installed now. We will insert that into the two T joints and on the cross joint. 

Repeating on the other side, we will join the two sides together. Then we will insert the PVC paddings on the opening of cross joints.

Step 4: Assembling the axle by measuring

Now we will calculate the size of the axle. Then insert the axle on the cross joints of both sides. Then marking the size required, we will cut the axle.

Step 5: File off sharp edges

Now we will file off the sharp edges. Then add pool noodles to the top bars. In this way, it becomes safe. Any extra PVC tail must be cut off. We will save the canoe from scratches by facing the anchor downwards.

Step 6: Install wheels

The wheels will be inserted into the axle. Then we will lock the wheels with a lock washer, washer, and linchpin. 

And this is how a canoe carrier with wheels is made.

How do you use a canoe wheel?

We use canoe wheels to ride the canoe up to our desired location for canoeing. After reaching the destination, we can disassemble our canoe wheel along with the carrier and then launch the canoe on the water.

But there are models of canoe wheels, which can be used in the water as well. In those cases, the canoes are launched on the water along with the wheels on it.

But the ones where the carrier needs to be detached from the canoe, the wheels can be easily stored in the hull. Moreover, the carrier can be placed on the deck and tied to some bungee cords for safety. If our car is not parked too far away, it is easier to store it inside the vehicle.

The trolleys can also be dissembled into smaller sections to fit them inside the canoe. The wheels can also be taken off by unclipping an integrated locking pin and stored easily.

Canoes are vessels that are best suited for people who love thrill and peace at the same time. And the wheels on a canoe make it easier for them to pursue their active lifestyle without hassle. It keeps the canoes safe and makes them last longer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is canoeing harder than kayaking?

How much do canoes weigh?

How do canoes float?

Can a canoe sink?