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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:36 am 
recent arrival

Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 11:26 am
Posts: 2
Hi everyone

Does anyone have any experience using the Thule Hullavator lift assist (rack is pressure-assisted and drops down to load from side) for a folding kayak? see: https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/sport-ra ... -_-1685448

Thule has not tested it on a Klepper or any other folding kayak. I'm concerned because my Aerius II is right at the weight limit the manufacturer publishes, and I'm sure its a bit heavier when wet.

On my old car, I used to have just two crossbars that I used heavy cinches to tie it down to, which worked securely even for long distances, but for paddling alone sometimes now, it will be hard for me to get it up to the roof by myself and the lift assist would solve that problem. I'd only be going a few miles with it on the car.

Any thoughts are appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:34 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 9:47 pm
Posts: 86
I'd be very surprised if anyone here has direct experience with a "Hullivator". Car-topping is a problem with the heavier folders. It's one reason that many of them sit in garages, attics, and basements in various states of disassembly, then after years or even decades of storage, get sold. If a boat isn't extremely easy to get from home to the water's edge, it doesn't get used. The weight parameters listed in the description certainly put the A2 in the ballpark for the Hullivator. I'd imagine Thule states weight parameters to preclude liability and warranty issues. I'd imagine Thule would err on the side of lowering the weight threshold rather than the opposite. I have a similar problem with my A2 and smaller folders. I car-top them on DIY padded racks, but I don't like doing that for several reasons, one being a) the crippling weight of the hull and b) the lack of rigidity of the hull when supported on crossbars installed barely one metre apart. The bow and stern sag and put a lot of pressure on frame parts. Not to mention cockpits open to the elements or skirts/fabric cockpit covers exposed to high winds and possible tearing of fabric. The other obvious caveat: paying for a carrying system that's worth as much or more than the boat, bicycle, or whatever that it's meant to carry.

When no one's around to help load or unload (and who wants to have to depend on helping hands?), I lift one end of my A2 from it's position on its cart up to its destination crossbar, then the other end onto its crossbar. Then I Slide/ jiggle/ maneuver the entire hull into an aligned position on the crossbars.

Good luck figuring it out. Please update this thread with your outcome/solution if you find one.
Martin


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 2:26 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 11:26 am
Posts: 2
Hi Martin

Thanks for the reply. I used crossbars for several years and, amazingly perhaps, had no trouble that I am aware of with damage to the frame or fabric, even going down the turnpike for long distances. I just couldn't bear putting it together and disassembling after each use, so that was the compromise and I kept it assembled on a rack in the yard and used it weekly in season. But doesn't seem like as viable an option now since I would be loading it alone a fair amount of the time, and I don't think I'd had much success doing the slide and wiggle with a boat that size. Surprisingly, to mount crossbar system on my car right now is not that much less expensive than the Hullavator system (~$1000 vs $1300).

I'll keep hoping one of the members has some experience with it to guide me, but if not, I'll probably become patient zero and let everyone know later how well the trial did or didn't go.


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