Yakima Hullraisers

I bought the Yakima Hullraisers a few weeks ago because my yak was oil canning on the round bars. I am 5’9" and I drive a Toyota 4-Runner; hence the problem.

The yak at 50 lbs. is very easy to lift and very easy to car top on the standard Yakima car rack without the Hullraisers. I also have one of those roof extender bars.

I am having a lot of difficulty using the Hullraisers; I can’t seem to get it over the “J” portion.

I tried sliding the yak into the the rear Hullraiser from the back of the car and then into the front one without success.

I tried standing on a milk crate but felt very unstable.

When I use the roof extender to be able to hold the yak high, the Hullraisers rotate around the round roof rack; even when tightly affixed.

When I finally get the yak into the Hullraisers, it is hard to reach the top of them to slip the straps in. Once tied down, the yak is very secure and stable.

At the kayak launch area yesterday, I asked another person with Hullraisers and two yaks whether he had any tips for loading. He replied to do 100 push-ups a night (which wasn’t all that helpful).

Do any of you have any advice for using these? I was even thinking of putting the yak on the roof racks and then putting the Hullraisers (without tightening the screws) on the other side of the car and flipping the yak onto the Hullraisers and then sliding the hullraisers and yak into the proper location and tightening the screws.

I searched the archives and didn’t see anything relevant for me.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


– Last Updated: May-22-05 6:40 PM EST –

How about carrrying a small solid but foldable step stool with you? That may make it easier. I carry one to help me reach my tie down rigging. Beats stretching and standing on tip toes.

A two or three step type could work. Place it next to the auto, grab the yak, and climb away. It may take a trial or two to determine where the stool would be be best located and such, but it could be a solution.

These stools are cheap, yet solid and wide enough not to be tippy.

Let's find you a solution, as I plan to add a second kayak to my fleet and when I carry both I will need to use the same set up as yours for one of my yaks.

I’m 6’0
and still find it a bit of a challenge. I invested in a $8 one-piece plastic step stool from Lowe’s (based on a recommendation made here)and it was about the best 8 bucks I’ve ever spent. Makes both loading it and strapping it down a million times easier. But I’ve still got three inches on you. As for straps, I loop them around the top of the J-cradle before I load the boat, and and trail them over the opposite side of the car. Once the boat is loaded, I chuck them over the boat. Make sure you get straps with rubber covers over the cambuckles so you don’t end up dinging your car or cracking a window.

Seems like the person who recommended the plastic step stool also recommended a technique: line the boat up with the car, put the boat on your shoulder, with yourself facing forward behind the stool. Step forward onto the stool, and lift the boat onto the cradles.

Also, I think jsaults uses Malone autoloaders and swears they are easier than the hullraisers.

tippy rack
As far as the rack tipping over, try a little piece of rubber around the bar.The thin rubber gloves you can buy in the grocery store should be grippy enough,just cut a thin strip and wrap it. Mine tipped at first but I just tightened them down some more.If you dont have the finger strength replace the finger nuts with washers and a nut.

lot of work
Your vehicle is too darn high!

Not to rub it in, but that was actually a consideration when I bought my last car. I was actually getting sick of loading my bikes on such high roofs, not to mention the thought of sticking a yak up there.

Like the previous post, the rubber isn’t a bad idea, you can actually take some old tubes from bike tires and cut those to wrap around the bars…it fits perfectly.

Mounting the cradles to the boat and then lifting the whole thing onto the car just seems like a terrible process.

Seems the only thing you can do is invest some $$ in a good ladder that actually collapses down to fit inside your car…I’ve seen them before but I cannot remember the name…very expensive for a ladder though.

Expensive ladder…
Do you meant the “Little Giant” that’s always sold on TV on the informertials?

Interesting but he certainly doesn’t need anything that extensive.

He should just go to a decent hardware store, Target, or Wally World. They’ll have a nice wide two to three step, wide step stool for $12.00 to $25.00. That’s all he’ll need.The stool and a little practice to develop a lifting and loading technique.

Thanks to all for the tips
The prevalent thought seems to be a step stool which I will purchase and try. I’ll also try the rubber around the bar and putting the straps on prior to positioning the yak.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to one not endowed with great altitude but an owner of a tall car.

I tried tham on my 4x4 truck
I tried the Yakima Hull Raisers on my Dodge Dakota 4x4 truck,…for about 15 minutes. There was no way I could get my kayak up on the rack by myself. After getting a neighbor to help me put the kayak in the rack, I couldn’t get high enough to put the straps on. Getting the kayak on and off myself is real important to me.

I took the hull raisers right off and went back the local shop. They were gracias enough to take them back and sell me Hully rollers and Mako saddles. I roll the kayak up on the rack from the back of the truck, and strap it in place. A piece of cake.

The “J” shaped hull raisers are nice for a low car, but not a high vehicle.

Good Luck!!! :slight_smile:

Warning! This is no help to you.
But it makes me glad that I have Malone Autoloaders. Combine these with a Yakima boatloader and you can scoot the hull right up into the cradles.



Truck cap
You have round bars on a 4runner.

I have a Chevy 2500HD,8foot bed,aluminum cap,square ladder rack.All I use is the foam kayak blocks sold at cabelas,dicks,or anywhere cheap boats are sold. I use the expensive rack on my beater car. With the blocks I never oilcanned my yaks and being 8 foot apart I only need straps that go around the yak and the ladder rack.60,70,80,90 miles per hour no problems; never.

The only reason I have round bars
is that I had to add the Yakima rack system in order to get the roof extender bar which would not fit into the rack that came with the car. I decided on the Hullraiser (which shouldn’t require a roof extender in which case I wouldn’t have needed the entire Yakima roof rack system) when I realized that I would have to transport two yaks at times. In retrospect, I might have made some better choices but the evolution of our species is based on a relatively continual sequence of trial and error (Uh-oh: I forget this isn’t B&B).

try a tire step
using a little ladder or foot stool only works when the ground is pretty level and it rarely is where we park. After falling off the ladder a half dozen times, I bought a tire step sold at many RV dealers and now by Thule. It works wonders for me. I changed over to Thule bars and gear five years ago for the very reason you gave…my accessories slipped on the yakima bars unless I applied a huge amount of torque on the thumbscrews and then they were a bear to get off. Too late for you but for those having not yet bought racks go Thule.

Thanks Lowbrace
I checked the Thule website and the product looks fairly interesting. I never saw anybody use it before. I’ll look into it further.

How’s this for poetry:

My rack will cost more than my yak; alas alack, I’m taken aback (the last part, after the semi-colon sounds a little like Shakespeare???).

That’s okay
until recently, my rack and assorted accessories cost more than my car.