Have you seen the new ads for the new Thule Hullavator? Anybody actually seen this thing work in person?

It looks like a gas-powered rack system where you can load your kayak at waist level and then it moves the kayak to the cartop.

I can’t find tell from the picture (magazine) if it can be rigged to hold 2 kayaks on the cartop. If this thing actually works and I bought it and the new WS Tsunami (14’, 41#s), along with a handy kayak cart, I could actually go kayaking by myself fairly easily. I’m 44, been a caregiver for 31 years and have to be careful of my back. Thrilled about these products, if they work.

"Johnson Outdoors and Thule Join Forces to Grow the Watersports Marketplace

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq: JOUT) and Thule, Inc. today announced a new strategic alliance aimed at growing excitement and participation among watersports’ consumers, and driving more sales for outdoor products retailers. The alliance is designed to benefit the marketplace through the companies’ cooperative efforts in the areas of product innovation, marketing, promotion and consumer education.

A key focus of the alliance is new product collaboration to enable more consumers to more easily engage in watersports activity. Thule’s Hullavator™, being unveiled at this week’s Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, is the first innovation to result from the companies’ work together. The Hullavator™ is the first kayak rack designed for all shapes and sizes of kayaks and people. Where traditional car racks require awkward, over-the-head lifting of a kayak onto a roof-top rack, the Hullavator™ conveniently loads at waist level, reducing strain on the lower back and making it easier for people of all heights and strength.

“The combination of Johnson Outdoors’ unique consumer insight and Thule’s technical expertise is the formula behind the Hullavator™, and we think it’s a formula for success,” said Mark Leopold, Group Vice President - Watercraft, Johnson Outdoors. “By removing one of the most significant barriers to paddlesports participation among women and boomers, Thule and Johnson Outdoors have opened our retailers’ doors for an infusion of new consumers.”

Thule’s Envoy program will get a boost from the alliance with added support from Johnson Outdoors. Beginning in 2005, key Midwest destinations will be added to the mobile marketing program’s consumer event and retail clinic schedule. In addition, Necky®, Ocean Kayak™, Old Town® and Escape® brand products will be featured prominently in Thule, Inc. catalogues and advertising. Likewise, Thule boat racks will appear distinctly in all Johnson Outdoors watercraft brand marketing materials. Joint consumer and retail promotions are also under development.

… "


Have you checked out Talon at:

I have been considering this one…


Ez Load
I don’t care much for my EZLoad. It might work better with a light kayak ( I do want a Tsunami), but it is difficult for me to move as it is over my reach. I believe the Thule loader is similar. The capacity is about 100lbs, the EZLoad could hold two small yaks carried on their sides.


What about a stern cart instead?
I’ve never lifted my boat since I got this idea. I made a super light (2.0 lb.), low-profile stern cart which resembles the Paddleboy Molly:

I’ll have to post instructions sometime. Anyway, its so small, light, and secure on the stern that it literally resides on the boat the unless the boat is in the water. To load at home, I wheel the boat to the back of the car, and slide the bow up the trunk lid (on a bath mat) and onto the roof. Unlike other carts, it is not removed for the drive. At the water, the boat slides off the trunk until the wheels touch down. I then have wheels to take me to the water’s edge, where the cart fits in any hatch without dissasembly. It’s kinda like having wheels sticking out the sides of your stern.