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Name: tumbl

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I also just got my Hullavator, and I'm thrilled I can get out on the water by myself. Here are my thoughts on it:

Pros

  • solo loading is possible
  • cradle unit detaches and attaches easily, so no locking has been required
  • securely holds my boat regardless of distance

    Cons

  • the lower cradle has scratched up my boat minorly during loading
  • locking in the down position is not great, but this problem was solved for my by pushing the top of the cradle in to engage the locking mechanism
  • craftsmanship isn't great, but it does the job for me
  • sits off over the edge a bit much, but it hasn't caused any problems for me thus far. (and with it sitting so far out, getting in and out of the car can be a head hazard sometimes)
  • the attachment bracket took some ingenuity and muscle on my Yakima bars, especially with a fairing on my front bars

    So all in all it's a great idea, as with new product it has some kinks that I hope Thule will improve on and sort out with defects for existing owners.

  • I was in the market for a kayak....I had in my mind a budget of $1500 for a nice boat that could track well and work for an over-night trip or two. I had pretty much set my heart on the Tempest 170 (by Wilderness) but tested out some other boats. That's when I discovered the beauty of hard chines (hard angles on the hull, rather than a smooth round bottom). The Triton was a bit out of my budget....but after paddling it, and learning how to roll in it, I was sold. I have not looked back one bit. I am 5'6, about 125lbs and it paddles like a dream. I know that I will not be out-growing this boat. It is a 17.5 ft fiberglass/carbon fibre composite boat with a skeg. The deck profile is very similar to the Tempest. HIGHLY recommended!!!

    What an utter disappointment. The saddles themselves maybe warrant a 6 rating, but my experience with the saddles as well as Yakima and the retailer has led to the 2 rating.

    I researched all over about kayak carriers and was firmly convinced that Yakima Mako saddles would be the best (from customer reviews). I took the $200 plunge and bought the saddles from Marathon Sports in Toronto. At the time the sales lady was very helpful and convincing...obviously selling me on these saddles. Very excited I tried them out with my 17.5 ft boat. I was horrified after getting the boat secured and driving down my street that the boat was moving a good inch or so from the car/wind. I immediately called Yakima and Marathon, and basically was told that I'm stuck with these saddles. Both tried to pin this on my "improper" set up/use of the saddles, and would not allow me to exchange them for something else or return them. (I found it an absolute crock that I set them up incorrectly as I work at a canoe/kayak store and strap boats down on a regular basis.)

    So the long and the short of things go with the Thule Hullaport instead - my boat didn't move a hair (even on the highway) and pass over Marathon. Their unhelpfulness and no return policy bites the big one.

    I love this boat! I was initially looking for a mid to entry level boat that would let me have the best of both river and lake paddling....but soon realized after trying out a bunch that the Triton had everything I wanted. For a fiberglass boat its size, it's phenomenally light, thanks to the carbon fiber lining through most of the cockpit. I am 5'6" about 125 lbs, and was worried at first that this boat might be a bit too big for me to handle (and a little out of my price range). After trying out a number of boats, I found the hard chines made it very nice to maneuver, it tracked really well, and with an almost identical outfitting as the Tempest - with 2 large bulkheads and a smaller dayhatch, it made it worth the extra money. It also has a skeg, which I don't use too often, but I like knowing it's there. This most certainly is a boat that I can grow with for many years to come. I love it!
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