The C-Tug is a good / fair cart for the Native Propel 13 kayak.
What I want in a cart - easy to setup, breakdown, use and be able to handle my fully loaded Propel 13 in the MIDDLE so I have a balance point and not have to lift too much weight.
Easy to set up - takes about 30 seconds (once you have the straps rigged initially), breakdown is even faster. Wheels and pads / straps will fit in the front compartment of the Propel 13. I do NOT break the two-piece frame down as it releases the kickstand and I don't want that small part to be lost. The two-piece frame goes into the rear compartment.
The kickstand MUST be tightened upon arrival - if not, it WILL fall over. I tightened my about 1/4 - 1/2 turn and it works fine.
Straps will NOT hold my Propel 13 in the center of the kayak. Two reasons, the first being that the pads will only contact a small area of the hull of the Propel in the middle - they will not rotate to get more contact area. You cannot 'reverse' the pads on the carrier to get more contact area because then the straps positioned incorrectly. If you move the C-Tug farther to the forward, or rear of the yak, you will have more luck using the C-Tug BUT you'll be lifting more weight. The C-Tug in the center of a loaded Propel 13 will not last long because of insufficient contact area. The second issue is that the straps are hard to get really tight because it's a simply 'pull and press down' locking assembly. I have incorporated a ratchet latch on my C-Tug straps and it did not work when the cart was in the mid-position of my Propel 13 (loaded). Unloaded, it works fine, but the extra weight of the cooler and the propulsion unit causes the C-Tug to twist out from under the yak and it will fall off to the side. It's embarassing and a bear to get back on with a loaded yak. For short trips with a loaded yak, the C-Tug is good for the Propel 13 if you want to lift the weight. For longer trips with a loaded Propel 13, you'll need to move it forward or aft to get a better seating surface and grip. If its dry, the straps MAY hold on (I installed them in accordance with the instructions using the upgraded C-Tug strap retainers), but if the tug / straps / yak are wet - you'll probably have some slipping if you are mounting a Propel 13.
Recommended upgrades for the C-Tug
1. List yaks it works with (not very well with the Propel 13)
2. Put a ratcheting latch / strap tightener assembly of some sort. The Propel 13 is not a good candidate for this cart.
3. Use a softer rubber mounting surface on the C-Tug pads - the hard plastic slips too easily. I'm going to try putting soft rubber insulation on the pads in the hopes it will grip better. This would help ALL kayaks using the C-Tug
4. Consider a larger degree of rotation on the contact pads of the C-Tug to be able to incorporate 'twin-V' or 'semi-catamaran' style hulls for the C-Tug. This will necessitate a change in the strap arrangment but I have several ideas about that.
In summary - it's a 5-star tug / cart for most yaks, it's a 3-star tug for the Propel 13 and that's after modifications to the straps. It will work on a large fishing kayak (300-pound capacity - I think fishing kayaks were considered), but needs improvement to be able to truly take weight off the kayak handler and put it on the cart where it belongs.
Don't waste your time money and effort trying to reinvent a kayak
cart like I did, just buy one of these and be done with it. This cart
Ok, I read many of the reviews of how great this was, and how
easily the C-Tug hauled kayaks. I was immediately taken in by
watching the videos on how well it worked, and how easy it looked
to pull kayaks on all kinds of different terrain. Without seeing it on
action with my own eyes, I bit the bullet and bought it. I anxiously
waited for it to arrive, and quickly snapped it together to try out. I
left the straps that came with it in the garage, and used the Yakima
cinch strap that I use for my car. It worked well, and I was able to
haul it to the lake easily. It handled stairs, a rooted section and
sand well, and never made me worry about the kayak coming off.
The C-Tug never moved down or slipped off the kayak on my 3/4
mile trek. Once at the lake, it disassembled easily and stored quickly
in the front section of my Tarpon kayak. I went for a two hour
cruise, and came back to shore and quickly assembled it back
together and hauled it back to my car.
I keep going back to "quick", because it is just that, quick and oh so
easy to use. Mind you, this was all before I tried to assemble the C-
Tug straps. I'll be honest, I don't think I've ever seen something so
easy looking, actually be so complicated that it made me swear.
After watching the videos on their website and a couple of others on
YouTube, I felt prepared to tackle the straps. I tried once, and failed
miserabley with the straps being backwards and the buckle being on
the inside. I took it all apart, and watched the video again. Tried to
assemble it again, and the same thing, all backwards. After a half
dozen more tries and videos, it still didn't make any sense. After an
hour, I put it down and let it sit overnight. I came back the next
morning determined to figure it out, and after another 30 minutes of
trying, finally figured out one side. I thought wow, this will be easy
to duplicate on the other side.....wrong. It took a couple more tries
to get the other side on. After that, the last buckle and latch are
easy to assemble. I've used it now several times with the C-Tug
straps, and am still happy with the overall product.
-Stable to use
-Handles a variety of terrains well
-The wings are easy on the kayak bottom
-Dissasembles quickly to stow in the kayak
-Weighs very little
-Did I mention strap assembly?
Overall this is a quality product, and I am looking forward to years
of use. If I could make one suggestion to the makers of C-Tug, it
would be to drop the strap and just use a regular lashing strap. I
think most people would find that easer to use, and a lot less
complicated to assemble.
Overall great product, Well engineered. Easy to assemble,
disassemble and use. Many times I don't even need to use the strap
unless the terrain is rough. When needed I put my wife's kayak on top
of mine and roll both of them down to the lake with very little effort.
The strap is just long enough to get around both kayaks.
Amazing product. Literally takes 4 seconds to break down. Rolls
fenominal. So happy with this product i quickly ordered a second one
for the wife's Kayak.
C-Tug kayak cart is outstanding! Very lightweight and compact.
Comes apart and goes back together very quickly and easily by
hand. Stores easily in most kayak hatches. The pivoting pads will
accept any hull size/shape and the seat belt holds the kayak
securely in place.
Great cart at a great price. Outstanding service and delivery once
again from ACK!
These wheels are terrific. They attach to the kayak quickly and
manage bumpy pathways with ease. Well worth the cost!
Will you use this product on a sand beach? What they fail to tell you
is how easily sand gets into the wheels where plastic rubs on plastic.
Add a little sand and you have instant wear. Mine is less than a
week old and is already showing degradation even though I am
super careful about washing it off after each use. I also try really
hard not to let it get wet which bring the sand up on the wheels and
dumps it into wheel axles on every turn. Also you will need some
tools to break it down if any sand gets in the cradle mechanism.
Great idea very poor execution if used on sand beaches, just about
everywhere I go!
Definitely not recommended.
One of the pins in the wheel broke on my CTug, and I was heading out
on a five day trip in three days. ACK managed to get a pin delivered to
me before I left, free of charge. I am still in shock, have never had
better customer service from any company ever! ACK rocks!!!!!
This cart works great except for the kickstand, which is pretty much
useless. It will not keep the cart upright on concrete or sand while I
try to get my kayak on it. Such a shame they didn't make a better
kickstand. I need to figure out a way to alter it so it will work.
Goes together and tears down fast. Works well with my slayer 10. Fits
in the dry hatch with room for a life vest and dry bag
I will add that ACK was excellent to deal with as usual, great service.