This product definitely met our expectations. It was simple to install, and hoist our Wilderness System Tarpon 120 and Tsunami 135 to the ceiling of our garage. The lift advantage was evident for my 5feet and 110 pound wife, as she was able to hoist and then lower her own kayak with just a broom handle.
The only things we would change would be to lengthen the straps so that a ladder isn't required for retrieving the strap prior to raising the kayak (the strap tends to slide up towards the ceiling when prepping), and perhaps rubberize the tie-down components to reduce scratching. Over-all best product we've tried for the money.I tried to research them all via the web. I don't hand out 10's. Tried to find components and DIY without much success. I decided on the Handy Hooker Canoe and Kayak Hoist with the Stabilized Hull Cradle System. Like the others I'm very pleased with product quality. Shipping was next day.....credit card transaction was a breeze. This is not a cheap made in China product. And the price was about half the Harken Hoist plus much easier to install.
I installed 2 systems in 60 minutes in my 12' garage. I'm very comfortable the 60lb kayaks are secure. Raising the boat is easy. My only negative feedback is that I will need to get on a ladder to lower the kayak or create a long pole to release the lift mechanism system (a broom handle did not work for me). I've not tried it yet, but I'm going to put a nail into the end of broom handle and try to release the mechanism without a ladder.After reviewing and pricing the available kayak hoist storage systems, I decided on the Handy Hooker Canoe and Kayak Hoist with the Stabilized Hull Cradle System (sold separately), customized for our use. Major superior features were the high quality of the materials used in construction (especially considering the highly reasonable pricing), the elegance and simplicity of design and usability and – most of all – the patented moving release mechanism which allows easy hoisting and lowering without risking accidental dropping of the boat.
Our particular application involved buying two hoist systems for storage of two Pygmy Arctic Tern 14s up in the 16 foot ceiling of my geodesic dome office. We easily and quickly installed the first system, to hoist the first boat over the work table while completing the second. When both kayaks are completed, it was also important that the hoisted array look attractive in the office – which we are very pleased to say, the office now looks rather like a kayak museum, thanks largely to the simple elegance of this hoisting system.
At first, I was apprehensive about how difficult it might be to lower the boats, because this unique system really locks them in place up there! However, when it became time to lower the first boat, I was surprised at how easy it was to place a pole on the release mechanism in order to lower the boat from 16 feet off the floor in a controlled and safe manner. By going back and forth, lowering first one end some, then the other, it was not even necessary to have my wife holding the straps as a safety “spotter.” The combination of release mechanisms and cradle kept the boat safely right where I wanted it. The area under the boats will be occupied for office purposes, and I have absolutely no concerns about safety with respect to the boats above. (I was even tempted to hoist one of the boats up into the cathedral ceiling of our house – but the wife said, “No.”)
Finally, manufacturer, Steve Plzak of Design Research and Development Corporation (www.drdcorp.com ) was exceptionally helpful in answering my questions to meet the requirements of my particular application. In a world where so many things related to paddling seem to be over-priced, this option is a winner due to its great pricing alone. I highly recommend this American-made system as a rare example of when you actually can get more (and better) for less to meet your boat storage needs.