We have a wide variety of small boats in our armada and, with our recent move to our new homeport in the Tidewater region of Virginia, we found ourselves in need of a cart for our kayaks and canoe. When we checked out the local kayak launch, we found that the ramp was too narrow for our Dynamic Dolly, but while we were there we spotted Railblaza C-Tugs being used by a kayak rental business. The C-Tug appeared to be just what we needed, so we ordered one online. Made in New Zealand, the tug arrived in short order from a Railblaza dealer in Houston.

Photographs by the authors

The cart breaks down into easily stowed parts. After the initial assembly, the straps will remain with the pads, and the kickstand will stay with one of the crossbeams. The toggles that hold the wheels in place are connected to the axles so they can’t get lost.

The C-Tug assembles and dismantles quickly without the need for tools, and the parts will fit in a small storage area. There are two crossbeams with stainless-steel reinforced axles, two hull pads, two wheels, a kickstand, and a webbing strap with ladder-lock adjusters and a cam buckle. The framework is made from UV-stabilized ABS, acetal, and nylon plastic. The assembled cart is 25.4″ wide at the wheels and stands 12.4″ tall. Its bunk pads are a rubbery UV-stabilized elastomer that provides a wide shock-absorbing surface to grip and protect the boat hull. They cover an area 19″ wide and 11.8″ fore and aft. The articulating hull pads can be easily adjusted to fit a wide variety of hull shapes. The 9′-long, 1″-wide polyester strap tightens down securely without deforming the hull; its die-cast aluminum cam-lock buckle is easy to manipulate when fingers are wet, gloved, or cold; and the large teeth engage the nylon strap securely. The puncture-proof wheels have a rubberized tread that provides excellent grip and a quiet ride for the tug across gravel and concrete. The 10.3″ by 3.6″ wheels may be the Goldilocks of cart wheels—not too big, and not too small; they rotate on 1″-diameter axles.

The C-Tug can carry up to 260 lbs. A raised center provides smooth rolling on pavement, and transverse treads keep the wheels rolling in sand, rather than plowing through it.

The assembled cart weighs 10 lbs and will carry up to 260 lbs. It is held up for loading by a handy kickstand and, with the boat strapped on, it is ready to cross rough and uneven surfaces without tripping the cart from its position on the hull.

Railblaza also offers a Sandtrakz wheel that is 12.3″ in diameter, with an additional outer rim that is flexible and compresses to create a longer wheel footprint optimized for soft sand. One other option to spread the load for heavier boats is a Double Up bar that can connect two C-Tugs.

The tug has no parts that will corrode, so it should hold up well in the marine environment. It’s a well-built, versatile transport system that not only eases getting boats from a parking lot to the water, but also comes in handy for moving boats around in home storage areas.

Skipper (Audrey) and Clark (Kent) Lewis mess about in their Armada of small boats in the Tidewater Region of Virginia. Their adventures are at their blog, Small Boat Restoration.

The C-Tug Canoe & Kayak Cart with standard “Kiwi” wheels is available from Railblaza for $149.99. It comes with a five-year warranty. The cart is also sold by outdoor retailers.

Is there a product that might be useful for boatbuilding, cruising, or shore-side camping that you’d like us to review? Please email your suggestions.