Thule Hullavator 897XT

I want to purchase the Thule Hullavator and think that it is great product that will make loading my boats significantly easier and safer. That being said, my current base rack system and all of my accessories are by Yakima which of course uses the ROUND load bars; whereas Thule’s base rack system uses their SQUARE load bars.

Does anybody have any experience in using the Yakima round bars with the Hullavator? Or, should I just bite the bullet and re-invest hundreds of dollars in buying the Thule base rack system and then putting the Hullavator on that.

Any words of advice or previous experience in using the Hullavator with either Thule or Yakima products would be much appreciated!



I have Hullavators
And have used them successfully on my Yakima round bars. What happens is that after the boat is snugged to the cradles and you lift the Hullavator/boat combo, the cradles will rotate to the position of least resistance.

One minor problem is that you may have to jiggle the boat to get the Hullavators to seat into the locked position. No big deal.


I have them…
And I like them as well, I do use them on Thule bars. The one thing I have noticed that if you have low volume / hard chine boats ( think Valley Anas Acuta or Betsie Bay) they don’t really hold the boat snug, you will have to do some creative foam padding work to have them be secure. That said, I used them on a 2000 road trip last year with no problems what so ever. And my wife who is 5 foot tall can easily load her own boat with them.

I don’t know about…
… the 897xt’s but last week I mounted the 887xt’s on round Yakima crossbars and they seem to work fine.

You might check out the 887’s as a less costly option. You load the boat from the rear and this also simplifies loading and unloading.

I have this Hullavator unit attached to
Yakima bars and they work fine.

I’m 5’2" so they are a blessing as my vehicle is a Ford Explorer. Love the carrier.

We did invest in locks from Thule and Yakima.

Hullavator tips
Hi Jeff

With the Special I’ve been running in the Showroom, I’ve put a number of Hullavators and Easy Loaders on Yakima bars. To keep the units from rotating I’ve been tempted to drill a hole in the Yakima bars to match up with the two mounting holes in the top of the bar mount assembly that usually attach the unit to the t-slot on the Thule aero bars. Corrosion concerns ended that approach but using the same holes I marked the bar underneath, placed the bar in a clamp and using a punch and hammer I dented the bar to creat a divit. I then put a stainless bolt and locking acorn nut in through the bar mount assembly and viola the mount and bar had corresponding puzzle pieces. When tightened no wiggle with no holes drilled in the bar.

I babbled on didn’t I?

As to the cradles holding skinny boats, place a stainless washer under the cradle adjuster knob to keep it more firmly in place. Carry the hull on the angled pads not the hard plastic mounts of the arm bases. For low stern decks run the strap on either side of the lower arm assembly down to the metal handle, not the plastic trigger, and back up over the deck to the strap buckle so it snugs the kayak downward in the cradle rather than rattling around between them.

Obviously I haven’t met nuttin’ that can’t be customized.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

One additional comment about the 887xt’s
is that they won’t rotate on round bars due to their design. Now if it just warm up around here :frowning:

Thank you all
for all of your words of wisdom. Just proves once again what a great site this is when looking for advice.

Happy Easter!