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Reviews for Yakima Hullraiser


Rated: 6.26/10 Based On: 19 Reviews

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  • BigStack
  • KeelOver
  • RacknRoll 66 Boat Trailer
  • Mako Aero Saddles
  • Kayak Stacker
  • HullRaiser Aero
  • BowDown
  • BoatLoader
  • DryDock
  • RacknRoll 78 Boat Trailer



07-27-2013
Submitted by: SusieSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I love these racks, they hold my boats well and I never worry about the boats moving or flying off. I only have one problem is that if you are a short person sometimes putting the boats in the racks can be difficult, but I have worked out my system an do it pretty easily now!
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Win a Kayak or Canoe
08-17-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     It is very difficult to load kayak onto Yakima Hullraiser compare to Mako Saddles. This is because entire kayak should be lifted above lower points of Hullraiser at once. With saddles you are lifting 1 side of kayak at a time. I have 70lb tandem kayak that is impossible to load to hullraisers by myself - a hard task with a friend. Much easier with Mako saddles. Yakima Hullraiser is fine on low car - sedan, when kayak is light; and when person is tall.
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07-10-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have a Honda Civic, and 2 Sit-on-top kayaks that are 30 inches wide (Emotion Spitfires). I went with the Hullraiser so I could fit both on the top of my car and have a rack that accommodates the width of the yaks. It works perfectly for me - once you use the straps the yaks are solid up there and I can drive without worry.

The only problem is the hooks turn - no matter how much you tighten them they turn to the side (but once the yak is in and tied down they are solid). I found I like the turning because I can push them down when not carrying the yaks and reduce wind noise. But-it's annoying when loading the yak to have to reach up and put the hook back because it twists.

    Tips:
  1. I am 6 feet tall so loading is easier for me. I you are under 5'5 or have a tall vehicle - it might not be for you.
  2. Get the Boat loader. It halves the weight of the yak and makes it much easier to put it up without help. The Boat loader is like having another person there - who doesn't make comments or drink your cold water. If you can't afford the loader - get a solid broomstick and use it the same way.
  3. Tighten the hooks every time you load.
  4. Use the Yakima straps AND tie-downs (bow and stern) - it will make everything solid.

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03-26-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have had my Hullraiser for two years. I have a 2003 Chevy Astro Van which is the same height as a full size van. I have a 55 Lb Old Town 138 and a Pungo 140. I am 6' and 53 years old. I am able to put these two heavy boats on the racks by myself.

The racks do not stay in place and will slide along the cross bars laterally with only medium pressure no matter much they are tightened. The tighten nut is on the bottom and very hard to get a grip on for tightening. The screw down plastic nut should be on the top making it easier to turn, but it is designed with it on the bottom for some reason. This problem is compounded as the rack should be positioned against the side factory rack so loading the boat is possible. So with the tightening nut on the bottom and the rack pulled far to the side, tightening is almost impossible. Therefore, it slides.

Also make sure that the straps are on the top of the rack before the boat goes up. Attach the straps on the top of rack, throw the strap across the top of the car opposite the side the boat is on before putting the boat on. Once the boat is on, toss the connected straps over the top of the boat and then connect to bottom part of rack. If you do not do this, you have to actually climb on top of the SUV to get the strap around the boat. The racks, straps,pads and ratchet rope device are great.

I think I am going to go to a hully roller/mako saddle combination for two reasons:
First on my Van the boat is like 11 feet in the air.
Secondly, it wobbles in the wind although the straps and ropes add stability.
Third, it may be easier to load boats without the Clean and jerk method I use now.
Fourthly, I don't trust the factory cross bars as I am going to start loading two boats on top.

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07-12-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This rating is more about Yakima Customer Service than the product ... I had a serious issue with the Yakima racking system used on my 2003 Toyota Camry. With two kayaks on top, we lost the entire rack ... wound up with the racks, hull raisers and kayaks on the shoulder of the highway ... pretty scary. Yakima was wonderful ... the store where I purchased most of the items told me that because the kayaks were so short, light and we were using the Hull Raisers, we didn't need to tie down the yaks. WRONG INFORMATION!! Even though the kayaks were securely attached and we had been going on short trips successfully almost every weekend this season ... without the extra security of the tiedowns and the tiny roof ledge on my Camry ... our kayaks and racking system acted like a horizontal sail on the top of the car and the wind caught it right and the entire thing flew off the car. No one was hurt, we were on a Chicago Tollroad and the wind took it to the shoulder which had a concrete wall separately it from an entrance ramp ... we were lucky. So, technically it was our fault because we didn't have the kayaks tied down (even though we were told we didn't have to do that). Yakima Customer Service was just that CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! They are replacing our entire systems ... no questions, no returning the product, just concern and telling me what probably went wrong. Oh and they're also sending us the tie-downs and suggested that the other car we have has a better roof ledge and we might want to use it ... they're sending me what we need for the other vehicle. I'm a little afraid to use the Camry, but Yakima did right by me.
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05-30-2006
Submitted by: Brian NewhookSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought the hullraiser system based on the recommendation from a supplier in my area. I have had them for 1 season now and so far they are working fine. The pads are holding up just fine, along with all the other components, its only the bars that are rusting a little in places. I take them off and store them in my trunk after every use, i think that will help with its longevity. I must note that the hullraiser system is not compatible with the 2002 Malibu, and I found this out the hard way, I had to transfer my entire rack system to my fiance's Grand Am. The straps are great, the rubber around the metal protects my boats and my car and they always stay on tight. Its tough to load your kayak on by yourself though, I must admit. I'm 5'9 and I have a Seaknife SK17 Pro and it weighs 56 lbs and that can be a real pain to load on your own.

Overall I'm happy with this product and I would recommend it to others, as long as its not going on a Malibu!

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09-07-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I bought the Hullraisers (2 sets) for our kayaks after a horrible experience with the Malone Stax. They were great, except for 1) the deterioration of the pads (which Yakima replaced for free) and 2) the tie downs always got stuck on the pads, and 3) it was impossible for me at 5'2" to load my boat by myself. When Yakima replaced the pads, their new pad design fixed the tie down issue. We kept one of the hullraiser sets to use on one vehicle, but now use the Thule 881 topdeck saddles. They can be used with Yakima, Thule, and factory racks, and they work great. Easy to load boat by myself, too!! If you have the Hullraiser and need to load by yourself, get the boat loader (or use a broomstick and put it inside your bar, for a cheap helper)!!
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07-19-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     I have yak.'s hullraisers. I think they are convenient and easy to use. I lay them down flat when not in use. I have hully rollers on the center of the racks and a pair of hullraisers on each outboard end. The raisers allow me to carry three boats on the top of my Subaru Outback. That is the good news. The bad news is that they are very poorly constructed and they are expensive. Mine, about a year old, have started rusting badly and the foam padding is breaking up and falling off. They have been falling apart for quite some time. The quality is not there and I would look elsewhere for a similar type of rack before I purchased these. When the raisers finally completely fall apart I will not buy another. They look terrible on my car, making it look like I don't take care of my stuff...which I do.
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07-18-2005
Submitted by: DMTSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I was going down I-72 with my Necky Manitou on this set up. It also has the Monster Mounts (Yakima) to mount the kayak to my factory rack on my Mazda Protege5. It was secured using both front and rear ropes to my bumpers.

The rack broke off of my car at 65 MPH! The bolt tore through the plastic mounts and I had a 13' kayak dangling from the side of my car. Luckly I was not killed or killed someone else. Not recommended.

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06-13-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I have the Mako saddles and roller setup. I bought the Yakima Hullraiser thinking it would be easier. NO way is it any better. Itís a bad system for a single person to load and unload a kayak. I almost wiped out my side mirror and luckily caught the kayak before it dropped. The Thule system is way better. I would think twice before buying this setup. DO NOT go by the salesman. Go to a kayaker who has no interest in selling a product. I had great success with Yakima products and highly recommend them. The Hullraiser would not hold my Romany 16 bow while I loaded the stern by myself.
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06-12-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have the Yakima Hullraisers, and it is impossible to get my sit on top up on the roof of my Jeep (by myself) without the boatloader. It is like having a second person with you. Great addition...anyone with a tall vehicle and a heavy boat should invest in one.
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05-31-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     The Hullraiser is awful. If you are not tall, if you do not have a light boat, and if you have a tall car, do not buy this product. Under the aforementioned conditions, the Hullraiser is nearly impossible to load. If you use a step stool, you are unstable on all but the most level ground. The "J" portion of the Hullraiser is very high and it is impossible to lift above that threshold.

Today, with assistance (a taller person lifting the other side of the yak), it still was nearly impossible. Regardless of how tight you make the screws, the Hullraiser will rotate around a round rack.

I would give it a zero if there was such a rating. The only decent feature is that once tied down, the yak is secure.

It is difficult to get the strap through the teeth of the apparatus. It is equally as difficult to remove the yak from this configuration. I am extremely disappointed in this product which I purchased to prevent my yak from oil canning on the round bars. At this point, I'd rather oil can than use the Hullraiser again.

I will either go to my dealer or to Yakima for a refund or exchange. If an exchange is not forthcoming, I will throw it in the trash can to save space in the garage.

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07-19-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     An update to my original post, and I see I'm not the only one. One Month after buying these the foam pads were shot. They're disintegrating very rapidly, cracking apart. It's not like I live in Phoenix or anything, I'm in upstate NY, so it must be UV not heat. Perhaps soaking them in good ol' 303 would've helped? I would send them back for replacing, but I think I'm going to customize them with padding that actually fits my yak so, in the words of Homer S., 'it's still good, it's still good...'
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07-13-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I am reposting from the last review (7/5/04). Yakima, or I should say Watermark, sent me a new pair of Hullraisers, and apologized for having sent the replacement pads earlier. It does seem like they have redesigned the foam pads somewhat, but I'm still not confident that they will hold up to UV for long. I have been told the new pads adjust easier than the original, but I haven't put them to the test yet. The 8 rating is probably too high, but I do appreciate their customer support response. I don't think that they should have customers 'Beta' test their product. I only hope that the newly designed pads will hold up in use. I use the Yakima Boatloader to help load and unload the Kayak, and I use a step ladder to strap the boat to the rack. It only takes me 10 minutes for the whole process of loading the boat and strapping it down. The Hullraiser design allows the boat to rest on the strongest structural part of the boat, which is great for longer trips.
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07-05-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I bought my Hullraisers last October for my Sonoma 13.5. Installation was easy (Subaru Forester), and in use I found the Hullraisers to be very good. But after only a few months, the foam pads began to deteriorate badly, even after coating them with Formula 303. I phoned Yakima customer support, and they agreed to send me a replacement set of foam pads, along with the other pads and plugs that would have to be removed in order to change the pads. I just got around to changing pads (I got as much use as possible out of the original pads), and I find that they are impossible for me to put on- way to tight (I barely got one to start on the bar). A previous poster (Merline) says that Yakima sent a replacement set, without detailing whether that means a new set of Hullraisers, or new foam. I intend to contact Yakima and request a new set of Hullraisers. A customer should not be put out to this extent to accommodate both a bad design and bad execution. If indeed Yakima has redesigned this product, and if they do send me a new set, I will definitely repost and revise my review. Until then, two thumbs down for bad execution on an otherwise serviceable design.
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06-19-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought the hullraiser to carry an OTC Loon 111. Very well padded. Simple and fast to install on my Yakima bars roof rack. Suggestion - mount them close to the loading side so you can swing the yak from chest height right into the rack. Would have appreciated a strap loop built into the top of the device...very secure while driving. I use a bow and stern strap out of habit from canoe carrying. No wobble at all while driving.
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06-17-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Because of deterioration of the foam pads on my hullraisers, almost certainly due to UV and weather, Yakima replaced the entire set. Now that's a company I will continue to deal with! The new foam pads are made from a different material, and are longer, thinner, and were a bit easier to move into proper alignment for my partner's kayak. I do agree that I would like to find a better way to place the straps on the top of the bars, so they remain stationery whilst loading the boat. I also wish that I could load my kayak by myself on the hullraisers, but I use a set of hullyrollers and mako saddles for solo trips.
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05-03-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I largely agree with the first post. We have a pair of Impexes and have used a single locally made J-hook on a Yakima rack on a Civic for about a year. This worked great, she'd put hers in the cradle and I'd strap mine onto the backside, no problems. One day she was having trouble reaching the straps and asked me to help. I had just placed mine on the rack and leaned it against the hooks. As I grabbed the strap, and wobbled the car, I saw, in very very slow motion, my kayak begin to roll away and off the rack, onto the concrete below. $700 dollars later I've got a water-worthy yak again, and a new pair of Yakima Hull raisers. They're great. Sturdy as all, nicely padded, and I can tip them down to make room for the windsurfboard. I'd give them a 9 if it wasn't for one annoying tidbit. I can't reach the hook to put the strap on w/o climbing all over the car. The locally made pair and nice and tall, which makes putting hte strap through easy, not so the Yakima. Why didn't you buy another local pair you ask? They're really made for wider yaks and at 21"... Yep, I like and would buy them again. I just gotta come up with a way to cheat the strap on...
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07-03-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I am new to kayaking and had no rack on which to transport my new kayak. After reading reviews on this site and seeing too many negatives with regards to saddles and rollers, I went with the Hullraisers on a Yakima rack. I am very pleased with this setup. I was always nervous using the foam block system which could be a pain to use alone when the wind was blowing. The foam blocks would not stay put before the kayak was placed on them. I was also always worried how secure that setup was. So part of the reason for my purchase was for piece of mind. I have a Dakota Quad Cab, and since I usually do this alone, I put my kayak in the truck bed, climb up on the bed and then place the kayak on the Hullraisers. With the kayak in place, the Hullraisers will rotate slightly on the round bars to conform to the shape of the hull. The included straps have a rubber housing around the cam buckle to protect your kayak. I have found them to be very secure. I do continue to use bow and stern tie downs. Each of the two Hullraisers has 4 foam pads which can be moved (not easily though, which is a good thing)up or down to conform to different hull shapes. Since there are 4 pads and they stay where you place them, you only have to set them up once for different boat types and leave them there. All you have to do is be sure that each kayak you have will be resting on foam and not bar. You won't have to adjust them over and over each time you take a different kayak as you might have to do with saddles. Using this system, there is still plenty of room on the bars for a narrow cargo box, bike rack, or another set of Hullraisers. I got them on sale, but I believe the set usually retails for $99.00. I also purchased accessory lockhousings to secure my investment, due to Hullraisers being highly visible and easily removable. I have a Necky Santa Cruze and an Eddyline Merlin LT. Both go on and come off easily and I have not noticed any scuffing or deformities as a result of using the Hullraisers. Don't be fooled by my giving it an 8. I believe there are too many 9's and 10's on this site. I believe that anything, even good products can be improved upon and one should leave room for that. So I am very pleased with my decision and I believe that this is a great product and would recommend them to others. Just my two cents.
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