Compact Kayak Trolley

Mandatory gear for sectional boaters.
Oh, and you could say the kayak trolley is mandatory, too, I suppose.

Tipping The Scales: One Way to View Kayak Weight

My brother is an engineer. Like my father, he has an engineer's mind. I called him concerned about the weight of my sectional kayak. At 84 lbs, my Argonaut is heavy. A traditional fiberglass boat is typically about 56 lbs. The sectional is 50% heavier, and thus must be greatly less efficient in the water. All told, when I paddle with my friends, I am doing 50% more work than they are to push the kayak in the water.
No. If we both weight 190 lbs, and if we have 10 lbs of gear, water, etcetera, then my total on-water package weighs 284 lbs, and my paddling friend's weighs 256 lbs. I am only 11% more weight through the water than he.
Additionally, there are factors that come into play that might even make the difference closer. The sectional kayak is heavier, and acts like more of a laden, or gear-packed, kayak. Many know that a gear-packed kayak has a different trim and water line than an empty kayak. Some models, such as a Nordkapp, are better performers, more stable, require less directional control and may even paddle more efficiently (more straighforward paddling and less corrective strokes) when laden. This may be an additional enhancing factor to the extra weight of the sectional.
I feel better now.


Tip: Packing the Sectional Kayak During Transport

Here is European paddler Paul Murray giving a simple example of all the gear that can go into a kayak for a trip. Some expedition kayakers, out on the water for a week or more, pack well over 100lbs of gear. One small but tangible benefit of a sectional takeapart sea kayak is that one could pack the kayak segments at home, carefully and thoughtfully in the comfort of your garage. Whereas you are unlikely to pack a full size kayak with gear and then cartop it (hernia-inducing), one could pack each individual segment of a takepart boat and then stow each piece in the transport vehicle (usually a van or truck). When you get to the launch site, instead of a disheveled mess of gear that now needs to be stowed, you already have the bow and stern segments fully packed. Instead of empty weight of 20 lbs per segment, they might weigh 30-40 lbs per segment packed, but still full manageable to carry down to the waterside to make the kayak.
Even for day trips, keeping the basic gear (e.g. PFD, paddle float, pump, et cetera) in the middle cockpit segement at all times means that essential gear is less likely to get forgotten at home. And the boat is always carried inside the vehicle, so theft and wind are non-issues for your gear.


Body Bags in the Sunroom

Sunroom looks like the morgue on CSI Miami. But alas, I am not covertly running a suburban slaughterhouse. The giveaway is the nose of a snuggly kayak segment peering out from the nylon sleeping bags. One huge advantage to the sectional 3-piece kayak is the ability to store it in places where an 18 foot single-piece simply will not fit. I have a standard screen door to enter the sunroom, and the length of a single piece would prohibit it from entering the room easily. Catching wind and banging around would harm the boat; leaving it stretched across the entire sunroom would interfere with margarita-themed summer cocktail parties. Solution: sectional three piece sea kayak, stacked sweetly to one side of the sunroom. Protected from the elements and out of the way for safe keeping. Let the party begin!

17 mm Ratchet Wrench

Although I generally use a socket set to tighten my bolts, I have lately tried a 17 mm ratchet wrench. It works well (the one pictured is 5/8 US; Valley sea kayaks use 17mm metric). One end ratchet, for easy nut turning, and the other is a non-ratcheting 17mm for holding the bolt if I need to while I use a socket wrench on the nut. This wrench is particularly nice for easily stowing in the dry hatch for any beach landings and repairs or tightening that may come up. It's flatness makes for stowing convenience, and no chance or popping off a socket and losing it in the sand.


Sea Kayaker Magazine: DIY Article 1991

In 1991, "Sea Kayaker" Magazine run a DIY workshop portraying the efforts of a handy kayaker from New Jersey who converted his Valley Nordkapp HM into a 3 piece kayak by the means of a band saw, and then put it back together with amazing results by using the described Valley method.

The extremely handy and ingenious kayaker and author is Steven J. Szarawarski, who wrote the article "You can take it with you: Making your own kayak a take-apart", as published in Sea Kayaker Magazine issue 29, Summer 1991, starting on page 56.

--this informative description is courtesy of Marcus Demuth.

Sea Kayaker Feb 2009: Take-Apart Stitch-Glue Kayak

Highly recommended article is in Sea Kayaker Magazine (back issues $4.95 plus shipping) entitled: Divide and Conquer - A Take-Apart Stitch and Glue Kayak, by Mark D. Johnson.
"A kayak you'd like to paddle isn't always one that you can store or transport easily. Building a take-apart from a kayak kit made a 22-foot double a good fit for a condo dweller."--Mark Johnson.
Great pictures, neat article of the complete build of this tandem kayak. Even a photo of it on his Murano roof. Note that he takes a regular non-sectional kit and makes it into a two-piece (not three piece) kayak.

Pete Roszyk

Only one of his very innovative projects - a 3 piece Pygmy take apart.

Yahoo! 3 piece kayak, sectional kayak yahoo segmented kayak, takeapart kayak, three piece kayaker, kayak

Sorry, had to add that so the search engine at yahoo finds this blog. Thanks.


Bicycle Skewers

I am wondering if a simple yet effective compromise between bolts, that require a wrench and gaskets, and clips, that are external to the hull, would be bike-type skewers. These are used on bike tires, seat posts, and come in all sizes. Using a Valley style bulkhead set-up, they could be put in the bulkhead holes instead of bolts and nuts, tightened, and when the lever is closed for that last little push, they are really rock solid. At least on a bike. Hmmm.

I think, before changing out the bolts, I will see if 17 mm wing nuts will hold. They might just be hand-tight enough, especially if the wing is large enough to get a great purchase by hand. WOuld be ideal to at least have spares for those "oh-oh" moments when the wrench falls into the lake.

Many Names for the Same Thing

Take Apart Kayak; Takapart Kayak; Sectional Kayak; Segmented Kayak; Traveler Kayak; Portable Kayak; 3-Piece Kayak; Three-Piece Kayak; Segmented Hard Shell Kayak; Jointed Kayak

Bulkhead Dampness

Much has been written about an advantage to clipped segmented kayaks is that the clips, being outside the hulll, allow each section to be completely watertight. With a nut and bolt system, there are four areas of potential ingress of water through the bulkheads at the four bolts. This could be catastrophic in a long ocean crossing. Today, I went on a four hour paddle on a large inland lake, 20 mph winds, and chop that sent spray over the deck occasionally. I did not practice rescues or rolls today. At the end of the paddle I took apart the segments and, not only were the dry hatches dry, but I studied the male-female union. As pictured here, completely dry! So, although I do use rubber washers at each nut and bolt (the black rings around each threaded bolt in the photo), there was no wetness at all in the "joint" between the segments even at the hull, which was in the water completely for four hours. This is a testament to the strong seal. Valley, and perhaps other brands, use a thin, dense gray "foam" seal around the entire joint, as you see in the photo. It seems to work very well. For water to get past that seal, into the joint, past the two rubber washers (one on each side of the bulkhead; I have two in the photo because I took off the one from the other side of the bulkhead to show you--likely made it more confusing) and into the dry hatch seems improbable. I will watch the bulkheads for wetness as I roll and practice rescues and do longer paddles, but so far, very encouraging.

Tip: Nuts

Not all nuts are created equal, and I learned something on my Argonaut that I am now using on my Aquanuat LV. Both use 17 mm metric nuts, four at each bulkhead. But the 2002 Argonaut seems easier to put together then the 2008 Aquanuat, with which I have to use a wrench or vice grips every time when I am putting the pieces together to hold the bolt head (inconveniently located on the other side of the bulkhead in the other section).
When paddling today, I noticed that the new kayak has lock nuts like the one pictured on the left. Lock nuts have a thin blue ring within the nut that literally bears down on the threads, preventing it from loosening. The older kayak has a standard nut, like the one on the right (notice , no blue ring). It uses a lock washer instead under the nut, but that seems optional. The point is, I changed out all locking nuts with non-locking nuts and what did I find? MUCH easier to put together. The bolt head now really doesn't turn, and if it starts to turn, I simply give the ratchet a little "impact", or sudden turn, and it cinches the bolt down in the other compartment neatly. In addition, should I ever forget or lose the 17 mm wrench, I can now screw the nut on by hand! That is not possible with the lock nut because of the blue ring creating force against the threads. (One day I will secure all nuts by hand only and paddle and let you know if it's successful).
The question will be if the nonlocking nut (and I did not add lock washers) will loosen as I paddle. This is hugely unlikely as there is really no motion between the two interlocking kayak segments, but I will tell you if it does.
Let's all get a new set of nuts!


Kaskazi Duo Portable Two Piece Australian Tandem

Kaskazi Duo Portable
Two Piece Bolt Together Version
The Duo Portable is the same advanced expedition kayak as the Duo standard.
It is exceptionally stable, but not at the expense of speed. At just under 6 m long, it is fast even for less serious paddlers.
The Duo's volume provides excellent load carrying capacity for extended expeditions. It is very secure in rough conditions and neutral in a cross wind.
The Duo is designed as an expedition kayak. Its length provides good speed and its volume ensures excellent secondary stability and load carrying capacity.
The exceptional stability and reliability of the Duo make it very appealing as a day tripper and for recreational paddling.
Kaskazi Duo 2 piece specs
Length (mm)
Width (mm)
Load Capacity (kg)
Weight (kg)

Although not designed for racing the Duo is certainly faster than high performance single kayaks and therefore makes it easy for even recreational paddlers to cover long distances.
Extreme Kayaking
Day Tripping
To make life easier for storage, transport and travelling to great paddling destinations around the globe, we can make the Kaskazi Duo into a 2 Piece.
The kayak is split at the centre bulkhead creating 2 sections of the kayak that are easier to transport and store. To join the kayak, strengthened interlocking bulkheads are bolted together using wing nuts and rubber sealing washers. Once assembled it is a very standard looking Kaskazi Duo with a faint line running around the bulkhead area of the kayak. The 2 piece kayak is approximately 2 kg heavier
Comfortable cockpits and seats
Tracks well without the rudder
Exceptional stability
High load carrying capacity
Large hatches
Three bulkheads
Rudder with uphaul / downhaul
Pedal steering with self-adjusting lines
Easy to transport
Option of spin hatches fitted
Not in stock please order
All prices are shown GST exclusive - Click on purchase button for total price
Kaskazi Duo Portable
Price: NZ$3,472.08View Item Details

Product Options:


Cobra Sit On Top Sectional 3-Piece Kayak

The Cobra Traveler... three piece Kayak is no longer in production. Used Travelers are sometimesavailable used, but they are becoming difficult to find. Call or e mail for availability.

The Cobra 3 piece Traveler Kayak is a totally unique, transportable, open deck kayak. You can send this 11ft 7" lightweight craft anywhere in the world via U.P.S. Each of the three sections weigh only 15 pounds or less. It takes only minutes toassemble the individual parts into one solid kayak. You can even take it aboard an airline as luggage at no additional cost. Each hull section has a storage hatch, so you can use it like a suitcase and check it in just as you would any individual piece of luggage. You can put this kayak (in) your car instead of on top of your roof. You have to try it to believe it! Stop by our store anytime to test paddle the Traveler for free. You cannot tell that you are in a three piece kayak when you are paddling, even in surf conditions. When assembled, the Traveler hull is the same as the popular Cobra XL kayak. Each of the three hull sections are completely sealed like seperate, individual kayaks. The connecting latches are made from high quality marine stainless steel. The hull sections are made of roto-molded polyethylene.
Q- How do the modules of the T/A Traveler connect together?A- The Traveler connects with heavy duty hinges on the bottom and adjustable stainless steel locking mechanisms on the deck.

There is nothing else quite like the Traveler on the market today. If you own a motor home, plane or boat, the Traveler is the ultimate take along kayak. You can even take the Traveler along with you on Ferry trips to Catalina Island and vacations to Hawaii or the Carribean!The Traveler is no longer in production. We only occasionally have used Travelers that we get on trade.


Haphazard pack job! 3-piece sea kayak in van

After a long paddle, we all just want to hit the margarita bar and throw the equipment on the racks and take off with the gang. Here's my takepart Valley tossed like lumber into the back of my Chevrolet van. The seats are all in, but the rear couch has been removed. I did not take the time to appropriately stow the boats in the individual sleeping bags, but instead stuffed the sleeping bags and grear around the kayak. The little red washer, bolt and nut box is there--I used only a traditional 17mm ratchet (without extension) to successfully make and unmake the sectional. About 15 minute job to make it at water's edge. I will post exact measurements of each section to give those of you contemplating a multi-piece kayak some idea if it will fit in your vehicles. It clearly does fit in a full-sized van with room to spare, and soon I will try with both sectionals in the same van. It fits wonderfully in my Chevrolet Avalanche truck bed, and would fit in any full sized pickup truck.

Freya Hoffmeister's Sectional NDK Sexplorer

Freya Hoffmeister is an accomplished expedition paddler and has given her insight into sponsor Nigel Dennis Kayaks Explorer, black and custom made. Her comments, and blog are well read and respected:

Freya: Thanks to Nigel Dennis from Sea Kayaking UK for providing the "S" Explorer 3-piece kayaks I’ve used over the past three years on my trips in Newfoundland, around Iceland (sea top header picture) and New Zealand’s South Island.
I really enjoy the three-piece version: It allows me to be spontaneous and head off on a trip without planning months in advance. All I have to do is pay a little extra for baggage and just carry the kayak on the plane in two big bags.
And you can take two passengers :-))
Nigel’s Explorer kayaks are solidly built expedition kayaks. They are easy to paddle and very stable in rough water. I used the rope skeg option on the three-piece kayak for directional control. It works well and is easy to repair in the field.
The new three pieces connection with male and female parts and clips looks solid and easy to put together.