Pontoon Dolly - Built your own?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by schielke, May 12, 2006.

  1. schielke

    schielke New Member

    I am interested in possibly building a pontoon dolly for wheeling my pontoon boat into walk in lakes. Has anyone had success in building his or her own vs purchasing. Any suggestions on where to find plans, styles preferred, etc. My pontoon boat is a Sportsman’s Warehouse 9 footer.
  2. Aaron Banks

    Aaron Banks Member

    I don't know much on the subject except you might find the info you need from a previous post. Just do a quick search on 'pontoon dolly' or something like that. My search found some useful information.

    Good luck.
  3. WoollyBlogger

    WoollyBlogger Rich McLaughlin

    I bought a single wheel system for my 9' pontoon boat. The wheel is approx. 12" in diameter and 2 inches wide. Whenever I'm in soft sandy soil, it acts like a plow. If you're going to build you own, I suggest using 10 speed bicycle type wheels. Tall and skinny is the ticket.

  4. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    Woolly, you must be talking about the walk up and out of Lenice. I dread that short hike up the first sand-covered slope. The thing that works best there is to have a buddy to help carry up the boat. I'm not sure that even a tall, skinny wheel would help there.

    I bought the catawheel from Kaufmann's. It's expensive, but easy to use. My wheel has shocks on it which is a nice touch on some trails.

  5. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    I use a mountain bike front wheel and fork attached to my boat's frame using a MTB gooseneck handlebar clamp. The large diameter wheel rolls over rocks and through sand much better than the smaller wheels a coupel of friends have.

    Yep, the first 50 yards up out of Lenice are a drag, but they're nothing compared with the pull up the hill out of the main launch at Bobby!

  6. Ron Olsen

    Ron Olsen Member

    Here is my two cents:

    I think the single wheels are really tough. Several reasons: they sink in the sand and bog down; you have to balance the whole rig, which takes a lot of energy, you have to mount the thing to your craft.

    To address these concerns, I made a cart out of a standard cheap golf cart. And it works great. Take off the upper golf bag bracket and fabricate a metal frame that fits the bars under the seat of the toon. Use the strap with a clip or Velcro to secure. Make something for the other end that supports the pontoons. Be sure to get them up in the air so they don't rub. I use an equipment bag I got from Cabalas. Bag holds two rods in case on the bottom and has lots of storage space so I don't leave anything in the car. A big plus at the trail head.

    The wide "foam" like wheels don't sink in the sand. I can pull the rig with one hand as it is balanced. And when you arrive at the lake, it folds up and fits right behind the seat, or you can leave it on shore. Will try to attach some pictures. Total cost, free since I had an old cart, but this is the type of thing you can buy for $29.

  7. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Ronbow, did I meet you in the parkign lot of Rattlesnake a couple weeks ago? I commented on your gold cart wheels and you mentioned something about them coming handy when you had to haul your boat past the locked gate after an evening of fishing.

    One thing you're right about on single-wheel designs: they're like navigating a wheelbarrow but without the handles. I hold my boat by the footrests, but fully loaded it can be a real b!tch to handle. If the weight's not evenly distributed laterally (ie. a 12 pound mushroom anchor on the left side), the boat's a real pain to haul.

    A friend with the same single-wheel setup has built a set of shoulder straps that attach to his footrests that places the weight on his shoulders. That way he can use his hands and arms to steer without having to worry about holding up the boat as well.

  8. schielke

    schielke New Member

    There are several good ideas to evaluate and see what "items" I can find at the thrift store. I appreciate the information from all who responded! I was out fishing today so just getting back to read all the responses. Thanks
  9. WoollyBlogger

    WoollyBlogger Rich McLaughlin

    Wayne & Kent,

    You hit the nail on the head. Lenice, Bobby/Nunnally, especially Nunnally. Ronbow - I've never had too much of an issue with balance on a single wheel but, I can see how two would be better. I checked out you pics. Nice job on the fabrication. I'm a bit skeptical of those small wheels rotating through deep sand.

  10. Ron Olsen

    Ron Olsen Member


    Trust me, works like a charm. Way better than the single wheel I had before. Which I can sell to the higest bidder for free!

    Notice in the close up the hole and trashing of metal; that's from the bike headset bolted to the frame. Good idea, but experience says no.

    Kent, I was at Rattlesnake for the opener, but don't remember that conversation. I had the WFF official fishing cap on. Left about 40 minutes after the high winds and rain set in.

    But right now the golf links are calling as the weather gets better. Trying to get the handicap to single digits.