Gone Outdoors

How to Bulid Your Own Kayak Trailer

by Tom King

If you've got two or three kayaks you want to haul down to the lake or river, you want to build your own kayak trailer, If you're not a welder, you can get around that by marrying a wooden framework to an old boat trailer converted for the purpose. All you need are some basic carpentry skills and some ordinary power tools.

Clean up the trailer and check the wiring, tires and wheels. Remove the boat winch post and cut away the boat pads and skids with the grinder's cutoff wheel. Sand the trailer smooth and remove any rust.

Drill 1/2-inch holes in the center of each of the four 6-foot 2-by-4s, 1 1/2 inches from the ends.

Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the metal frame on either end of the cross member that is the furthest back. Bolt the ends of two 6-foot 2-by-4s to the holes on either side of the frame with the long end sticking up.

Bring the top ends together, match the holes in the ends and insert a carriage bolt through the holes. Bolt the tops together with the carriage bolt, lock washer and nut. The legs form an inverted "V."

Drill 1/2-inch holes in the outside ends of the foremost frame cross member. Bolt the two remaining 6-foot 2-by-4s upright to the front frame cross member. Bring the ends of the uprights together at the top and bolt together with the 1/2-inch carriage bolt.

Predrill and screw an 8-foot 2-by-4 at the top of the legs.

Bolt a 7-foot 2-by-4 cross-ways at the end about a foot above the trailer to form an "A" shape. The cross member should extend an equal distance beyond the legs on each side. Screw another 7-foot cross member across the front leg pair a foot above the frame.

Screw an 8-foot 2-by-4 across the ends of two cross members on one side. Repeat on the other side. Wrap the tops of the cross members with the 6-inch wide carpet strips and staple to the cross members. Wrap the remaining carpet strips over the top of the boards attached to the ends of the cross members.

Screw eye screws into the ends of the cross members and at the point where the cross members cross the leg uprights.

Lay the kayaks on their sides on the outside arms of the cross members. Bungee cord them in place using the eye screws to hook the bungees to. You can lay a third kayak between the legs on top of the cross members and tie it down with bungee cords.

Items you will need
  • Used boat trailer
  • Power grinder, cutoff and grinding wheels
  • Electric sander and sandpaper assortment
  • Circular saw
  • Two boards, 2 by 4 inches by 6 feet
  • Six carriage bolts, ½ inch by 4 inches with nuts and lock washers
  • Two boards, 2 by 4 inches by 7 feet
  • Five boards, 2 by 4 inches by 8 feet
  • Galvanized 3 1/2 inch screws
  • 6-inch wide strip of carpet, 30 feet long
  • Staple gun and 1 1/2-inch staples
  • Drill with bits
  • Eight 3/8-inch eye screws

Tip

  • After driving for 15 minutes, stop and check the load and retighten the tie-downs if the load has shifted.

Photo Credits

  • Kayak Reflections image by Stephen VanHorn from Fotolia.com