Question for you Thule Hullavator owners – I can get the thing to work perfectly with a kayak whose deck is relatively even in height, BUT… I just acquired a new LV boat with a very low rear deck. As a result of the design, the straps that secure the deck to the front Hullavator cradle are perfect (just in front of cockpit coaming) – but then in the rear cradle, placed roughly by the bulkhead behind the seat, the deck sits so low that the strap meant to hold it in place doesn’t even touch the boat. It just arches over the cradle when taut.
Is there some secret lashing technique to secure the rear cradle? The only hack I found through google is to add a foam block between the low rear deck and the straps of the rear cradle, but… that seems janky. I wonder if it’s just a matter of strap-jitsu?
What I do is add a second strap around the boat, the rack and under the inside part of the Hullivator after getting it up there. Marshall has suggested a different way to route the one strap for a low volume boat, but I am blanking on what it was.
Thanks Celia — sometimes the simplest solutions are the last to occur to me. A second strap is a no brainer! I’ll stay tuned for other solutions too.
My father came up with these. They accomplish 2 things. 1) It gets the hull off the hard plastic/metal base. 2) The kayak sits ~2inches higher, thus giving front and rear deck better contact with straps. They are made out of minicell foam. We added bungie tethers, for retention insurance.
Smart setup medawgone! Thanks for the pics. Did you have trouble with the hard plastic base? My hullavator cradle base is more like a hard plastic plus hard rubber hybrid, might be a later model year
I have a quiver of kayaks 16-18ft, I have 3 sets of Hullavators . They all have raised plastic/rubber supports. The supports where denting my rotomold kayaks. Especially in the summer. Mainly use racks for transport, rarely storage(road trips), My composite kayaks also flexed a bit, over the plastic peaks. The pads now protect my hulls. By raising the kayak a couple inches, the straps also have better contact with the deck.
AlwaysWet. I don’t think those plastic bumps have changed in any versions of the Hullivator. It is not a bad idea to pad them softer if a boat is going to indent too easily. And my second strap thing would be a PITA for anyone who used just one. But l have double strapped for long trips, front and back, for longer trips for over a decade now. Thru a variety of mounting systems, basically everything but Jbars. So adding one to accommodate a low volume boat is not a change in habit for me.
Run the aft strap from the top of the short cradle arm past the outer taller cradle arm down to the metal handle that encloses the trigger lever and then back up to the buckle. This pulls the kayak downward into the cradle arms with full contact across the rear deck. This is not in the Thule literature.
See you on the water,
The Connection, Inc.
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Cheers everybody. I’ve got enough here to find a solution.
I buy yoga mats from Amazon and cut them up for stuff like this… I am too cheap
I asked Thule about this some ten years ago, and no suggestions were offered. A short welded tube across the long support does it for me.