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Name: ZachE

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Summary: Works well but kayak rubs on top edge of SUV liftgate during loading/unloading unless precautions are taken.

The Thule model 883 Glide and Set Kayak Carrier works as advertised. The kayak slides very easily on the carpeted rear carriers, and then is kept from sliding by the rubber pads on the front carriers. The kayak carrier fits on my Subaru Forester's factory-installed crossbars, saving the expense of buying Thule crossbars.

However, depending on the size and shape of your vehicle, and the location of the rear crossbar relative to the end of your vehicle, your kayak may rub against the rear upper edge of your roof/liftgate during solo loading/unloading of your kayak.

To protect your vehicle and your kayak during loading/unloading, you may need to buy an additional product such as the Thule Water Slide Protective Pad or an Oak Orchard "SUV Kayak Roller Loader" or other type of roller-loader. Other Thule kayak carriers (Thule Roll Model and Thule SlipStream XT) may do a better job of keeping the kayak clear of your vehicle during loading/unloading, but they are much more expensive, and do not fit on car manufacturer's factory-installed crossbars.

The Thule 883 kayak carrier does not lock to the cross bars, and can be easily removed (or stolen) in minutes.

There are many models of Harken Hoisters to choose from. The…

There are many models of Harken Hoisters to choose from. The model 7802 that I purchased is rated to lift 25 to 90 pounds with a 4:1 mechanical advantage. If you forgot your high-school physics, a 4:1 mechanical advantage means that you are lifting 1/4 of the weight of your boat when you use the Harken Hoister. This model provides a maximum 10-foot lift. There are other models with longer ropes and with different weight ratings.

The hardware and ropes that come with this product are top quality. You raise and lower your boat by pulling on only one rope. The hoister has an automatic brake that stops the boat from falling if you let go of the rope.

To get the full 10-foot lift with this product, you must have 10-feet of space in front of the ceiling-mounted "rope organizer". Make sure that you can meet all of the installation requirements before buying. You can call Harken customer service or download the instruction manual if you have any questions.

If you cannot meet the installation requirements to get the full 10-foot lift, you have the option to lower your boat onto saw horses or tripods (not included). Under very specific circumstances, you could raise/lower the boat directly from your car. But that would depend on a number of factors, including the size of your boat and garage and the height of your garage door. If you drive a SUV or minivan, you probably cannot fit under your garage door with a boat on your roof.

You can find cheaper hoisting products, but they may have the following problems:

  1. Use cheap rope that you will need to replace;
  2. Requiring pulling on two ropes simultaneously to raise/lower your boat;
  3. Not have an automatic brake;
  4. Use only two attachment points on the ceiling and consequently not raise your boat high enough to walk under it.
No matter what type of overhead hoisting product you use, I recommend installing independent safety lines. By independent, I mean not sharing any attachment points with the primary hoisting product. Even the Harken Hoister's brake cannot stop a boat from crashing to the floor if a screw eye comes loose from the ceiling. Since you are not lifting any weight with the safety lines, they do not need a complicated pulley system. The safety lines can be run through simple screw-eyes.