this may have already been mentioned, but i was just in thule’s site, and they’re showing a new lifting aid for putting a kayak on the roof - #897 called a Hullavator - a piston apparently reduces the lift weight by 50% - neat

Seen It…
Very nice. Person has a back back and was driving a SUV. Downside… That sucker is very expensive!


Money is no object!
If you really need something like that so you can keep paddling then it is well worth it. Most Kevlar boats are not bought be racers, but by folks with bad backs. I myself had to buy a smaller canoe that only weighs 69# because of my back. If my back gets worse I’ll spend more to find a way to keep getting on the water.

seems to be a lot more than 50%
of weight being reduced. When I got to play with it during canoecopia, I simply had to lift gently with one hand and the hullavator automatically seemed to lift up the kayak. It actually seemed harder bringing it down than up!

hey, sing
please define “expensive” - or maybe it’s better if i don’t know !!

I’m not sing but I can answer that
It will be priced at a little over $400. Thule was at Canoecopia selling it at a show price of around $370.

well, as stated, if it makes the difference in paddling or not, - - -

it’s preventative therapy!
Several years ago, a friend of mine justified her purchase of a similar device (the Talon Loader, now sold by Yakima) as a “preventive medicine” investment to help in lowering her risk of possible back problems and/or surgery due to lifting.

Her money was well spent when you think of all of the expense and intensive pain associated with back problems.

F.Y.I. - I understand that the Talon was originally invented by a painter as a back saving option for placing heavy ladders, scaffolding, etc., onto his van roof and was later adapted for yaks.


to be fair
the system does come with the Hull-A-Port cradles which are normally priced a little over $100. Therefore for those who ended up buying the Hullavator at Canoecopia, the lifting system was about $270 with that line of thinking. :slight_smile: Of course for me it would be the difference between the rack and a one piece dry suit so I don’t have a problem with my current setup!


– Last Updated: Apr-04-05 11:02 AM EST –

All I could think when I saw this was the phrase Bill Bryson kept using in his book "A Walk in the Woods" when he went shopping for a pack; "YOU'RE SH__ING ME!" I didn't realize rack components had become THAT expensive. Please tell me that includes bars and foot kit and I'll calm down a little. WW

don’t calm down
I think it assumes you have the rack/foot kit already. Pricey.

Put It Into Perspective…
how much is prosthesis, the modern ones, that let a former runner to keep running after losing a leg? How much are the wheelchairs used to race in the Boston Marathon?

There are folks who may absolutley the need the assist of such a device to get a boat on and off alone from a car. How much is that independence worth?

Ultimately, how much is this paddling worth to any of us who spent hundreds to thousands of dollars to get some hours on the water?


Sing, You Have a Point…
…but, it still sounds AWFULLY EXPENSIVE if it doesn’t include bars and foot kit! WW

Also consider total rack / boat weight
My car manual (1997 Pontiac Bonneville) suggests a roof rack + load total weight of only 130 lbs. Thats not much. Some car roofs may not handle the weight of a heavy conoe plus the roof rack and the lift assist very well. Just another variable to keep in mind.

Although this is a neat device
in some ways, I’m sure it will encourage people to load their kayaks onto SUVs. Previously, an SUV’s height discouraged many people from using them for kayak transport. Given the mileages some people report driving to and from their put-ins, this was a good thing. My own preferred solution is a very light boat and a very low car. Better for my wallet and our environment. (Why do we always call it “the” environment instead of “ours,” as if we weren’t part of it?)