Sacrificial drag keel

Hi All,

Has anybody tried adding a replaceable piece of wood or plastic at the back of the kayak so a composite kayak can be dragged from the carpark? 

I was thinking a hard strong wood or a sanded down lump of hard plastic. Some plastic kayaks have them and seems even more useful for a homemade one.

Am thinking two stainless bolts to hold it in. maybe 1" *1"* 4", recessed into the stern.

Feedback very welcome



7 replies:

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RE: Sacrificial drag keel

áááWhy not wheels? There's a couple of easy plans and ideas for kayak carts on this site and others.

RE: Sacrificial drag keel

áááWhy not wheels? There's a couple of easy plans and ideas for kayak carts on this site and others.

RE: Sacrificial drag keel


   Ooh, ooh! How about an inline skate wheel?

-cover wheel in tape, plastic wrap, and layup with ~1/16" layer of glass, covering about half the circumference and fully covering the axle hole on both sides. Let cure, bore hole, remove wheel, trim "fender" to shape. 

-place against aft bottom corner of boat, trace outer outline, and cut away wood, something like a quarter-circle. Butter cutout and place fender in cutout, let stiffen, add more putty and an additional ~1/16" of glass, tapered onto about 6" of the aft hull skin. Fill and fair, bore axle hole all the way through, insert wheel, and I bet 90% of people wouldn't see it, nor notice it whilst paddling.

Very crude phone sketch:

RE: Sacrificial drag keelf

   Yes, have thought about that also, but complexity and therefore failure chance higher. Concerns would be 

1) can you get wheels with plastic bearings, no metal?

2) what happens when stone gets caught inside?

3) how to remove axle to fix?

Interested to know if anyone has any experience with either?

RE: Sacrificial drag keel

Maybe having the wheel supported on one side and fully open on one side solves these issues. Would need to make the axle strong enough but would enable the cleaning and changing of the wheel.

RE: Sacrificial drag keel

No, not recommended but your installation could be different.

My plastic kayak has one that is useful during the initial launch and take out at boat ramps. But dragging from the "carpark"  is not practical. The boat still wants to be tippy when supported on a point like that. It becomes awkward dragging it from the parking lot.  Carpark? sound like my New England   exlaws.

 I have seen and used some plastic models with roller skate wheel (s) at the stern. They too were useful during short hauls from the water, but not all the way to the carpark, parking area. Boat ramps are rough for a purpose as opposed to smooth skate parks. Dirt ramps clog up the little wheels.


My normal mode is to travel with a buddy or get the car right next to the water. My C-17 is balanced so I can lift at the front of the cockpit like a basket for short launches. For long treks to the parking lot I use a kayak cart. They fold up and can be disassembled for internal carry in the hatch. Normally if we carry one it is lashed on the rear deck. The thing about a kayak cart is that it is more versatile. The wheels are larger and can go over rougher ground. The cart can be placed just aft of center to balance the boat so you don't have to "carry" as much weight as you would with a stern mount point.

The rub strip is a good thing cause I get a lot of damage at the tip of the stern since that is the last thing to leave the beach, ramp, rock and I'm always repairing the last 6 inches of normal wear and tear. But not for prolong dragging the boat.

RE: Sacrificial drag keel

I have a C-Tug kayak dolly. I Put the kayak on that and roll it to the launch then it comes apart and gets stowed in the rear hatch.

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