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Submitted: 09-05-2002 by Ted
After reading the problems everyone is having with their Hully rollers this review may also be looked upon as tips for those who are having trouble. I transport a 79 pound 13' tandem kayak. Sometimes I load the hull with several wetsuits, PFDs, tackle boxes fishing poles, paddles, seats and anything else I can stuff in the hull which makes the total weight considerably greater.
One of the first things I learned with the rollers is that the mounting bolts need to be attached on the side of the bar that is toward the front of the car and never the rear. If you fasten them on the rear side the grip is not strong enough and the back rollers will rotate when taking your kayak off. Also make sure to tighten the tower bolts that synch down the cross bar. Next, the spacing between the rollers is critical. The rollers on the front bar are spaced 12 inches apart and the rollers on the back are spaced 12 inches apart as well. My kayak is 33" wide so the rollers sit right under the scupper holes on my kayak. This configuration keeps the deep keel on the back of my kayak off the cross bar. I have never had my kayak roll off my rollers and at some of the lakes I launch at there is a dramatic incline at the launch ramp. I simply push the kayak on the racks, I don't lock the rollers, get the straps, fasten the kayak, run my cable lock through the scuppers. I push the kayak back and forth, adjust the strap tension and then set the locking pins on the rollers. I bought my rollers on eBay with no instructions. I figured this out on my own. I did have to transport the kayak a few times to work out the procedures, but the system is not as difficult everyone is making it out to be.
The round bar system on Yakima racks is strong and can handle some serious loads, however, the compression system used on the Hully Rollers to attach to the crossbar needs some redesign. I have my Yakima Hully Roller system installed on the factory roof racks of a 1989 Jeep Cherokee using Rail Rider 1 towers and 48 inch cross bars. I have driven with the load on top as fast as 75 mph and I have driven on the highways with some pretty heavy crosswind without any problems. Since I have been able to use these rollers without instructions and they have eased my loading and unloading procedures my rating is high.