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Submitted: 07-06-2011 by Ayornamut
I recently had a chance to try out a lot of kayak carts on a group paddle trip, including a couple of center carry styles (all built similar to the Paddleboy Nemo), the PB Molly, a C-Tug, and a PB Original. One thing became clear…whatever the particular model, I had to get one! They are indispensable for a long carry to the launch and can avoid multiple trips if you want to load your gear first.
While all the models had their respective merits and drawbacks, I chose to get a Paddleboy Fat Boy because it seemed to meet my needs, fit a variety of larger boats well (Dagger Legend 16, Eddyline Nighthawk 175 and Tarpon 160), and most importantly was on sale and I could apply an additional 15% discount coupon to it, with free shipping. That dropped the price to just over $100; such a deal. And it was something different than the rest of the crowd already had, so we had yet another comparison option!
Even though I liked the C-Tug for its innovative design and construction, especially the pad supports, the tires kept coming off. This is apparently a problem that they know of and are working to correct. Plus, it was a good bit more expensive without the sale/discount.
I am quite pleased with the Fat Boy. It is remarkably easy to set up and use, accommodates wider/larger boats well, seems to be robust remaining in place over rough terrain (*if* you follow the directions to adjust the height for your boat and pull it up until it contacts the boat gunwales so there is no side-to-side motion/trapezoidal collapsing possible!), the minicel foam on the bottom provides secure support, it is quick to disassemble, collapse and stow. It is a bit large to carry in any kayak, but in reality all carts of any design take up a lot of room. One thing I did like over the center designs is that when you collapse it you can wrap the bungee cord around the frame to hold it closed and roll it back like a wheeled walking stick rather than having to pick it up and carry it like the center fit models.
I inflated the tires to 5# under max pressure and they are holding solid after a month. They work very well and pull easily, whether over hard, uneven terrain or soft sand. Yes, they smell when new. They all do. It will go away eventually. Washing them off helps. The stems were easy to access and attach a fill fitting (I used one of those emergency car tire ones you plug into the lighter, took 30 seconds to fill). If the fittings have receded slightly when totally deflated just pull them up with your fingers or hold them with a pair of needle nose pliers to attach the fitting. There will be plenty to work with after partially inflated.
Regarding a possibility of trapezoidal collapsing for narrow boats, I tried adding a short section of thin 1" blown foam split pipe insulation to the upper support arms. Voila! They may interfere with collapsing the carrier, but are easily removed or moved.
I rank it a 9 out of 10 only because stowing it aboard is a not as easy as I would like it to be. It's not an option I would use often, but I'm not entirely sure any other competitive model (e.g. the C-Tug, my second choice) would be any better. The tire size is a factor more than any other.
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