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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:03 am 
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So I've been "spoiled," so to speak, by starting the Hobie lineup from the lightest Sport Model and then the Revolution 11. At the time, I was living in apartments so I needed to keep the length down so it would fit in public storage. After I moved into a home with a garage, I bought my dad an Outback which has kind of become mine as I keep it for him and he encourages me to use it when he's not here. Don't get me wrong, I love fishing from it! I'll even put up with the annoying hull slap to have such a stable platform with 4 built in rod holders and so much freeboard space.

Problem is, its a real strain to lift/carry/cartop it (I use roof racks on my SUV, I don't have a trailer or pickup truck). It is already 20lbs heavier than my other kayaks were but I also find that unlike the Revo 11 (which has a pair of symmetrically located rigid handles), the handles on the Outback (2013) are not situated quite in the bow-to-stern center of gravity. This, coupled with two different handle styles on each side, leads to uneven/awkward carrying and I usually feel it in my back the morning after.

If anyone else has had similar experience with their Outback, do you think mounting two new rigid handles would remedy this issue? I know I can't make it lighter, but I think if I could balance it better I could carry it better. In the meanwhile, when faced with which kayak to chose for a day's outing, the Revo11 wins every time.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:28 am 
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Like my doctor once told me when I complained about my arm hurting when I raised it above my shoulder. He said "not to worry as we can take care of that...., simply don't raise your arm above your shoulder"

Sounds to me like you had best leave Dad's Outback alone and keep using your own kayak! :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:59 am 
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islandspeed2001 wrote:
Sounds to me like you had best leave Dad's Outback alone and keep using your own kayak! :mrgreen:


OR start lifting weights and get in shape to enjoy the better of two yaks!!! Have a great day!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:21 am 
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Thinwater skinner wrote:
OR start lifting weights and get in shape to enjoy the better of two yaks!!! Have a great day!!!


:lol: No, I get that. In fact, that might be the same response Dad would have :oops: but what I am wondering is, why the hell this thing is designed with one proper handle and one floppy handle. It makes balanced lifting difficult and I hope they correct this on the next revision of the Outback. I see they corrected a similar issue between the old Sport and the 2014 revision.

On a more serious note:
When I eventually ship this kayak to Dad, I don't want him to have the same problem with portage as I do. Thankfully he has a pick up, so he may only need to lift it half as high as I do, but from time to time he and I have the same lower back problems. I just want to know if anyone has added different handles to make carrying the outback easier.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:01 am 
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"Like my doctor once told me when I complained about my arm hurting when I raised it above my shoulder. He said "not to worry as we can take care of that...., simply don't raise your arm above your shoulder" :roll:

:lol: Our family doc, good friend, my wife's boss for 35+ years retired last year.

The only complaint I ever consistenly heard about him was along what you posted above, "I had this pain in my arm/shoulder/neck/back/hip/knee/whatever. I told doctor about my pain and he asked when I had that pain. I told him whenever, I played tennis, gold, fly fished, hiked, ran, lifted weights or whatever.

Then the doctor said, "Don't do that anymore!". Then he left the exam room, and I left and had a bill for his remarks.

Most of the complainers were Boomers, who continued to do something after they hurt themselves. They were looking for some magic pill to allow them to continue do whatever without the pain.

I told them the good doctor, listened to their complaints, found out what caused the pain, and then he gave good advice to avoid that issue. What more could one expect from a primary care doctor. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:18 pm 
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Jcanracer wrote:
...do you think mounting two new rigid handles would remedy this issue? ...if I could balance it better I could carry it better.
Indeed, it's not so much the weight but the awkwardness of the boat and the technique of the lift. Slinging the boat overhead is probably the most difficult way to lift your kayak and something you would want to avoid if you and your Dad already have or don't want lower back problems. For some, installing an auxiliary grip helps a lot. Here is one that works for me:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=8813

For the heavier boats you can get them on top lifting 1/2 (or less) at a time. With a little practice, not difficult:
For this application you would benefit by having a hitch mount for a "T" bar behind the vehicle -- set up a little lower so you don't have to lift so high. As the following pics show, the bow is lifted on the bar, then pushed forward from behind the vehicle. Here's a pictorial sequence:
Image Image
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Here are some other applications using the 'T' bar:
Image
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An inexpensivew bed extender can also become a 'T' bar by reversing the ends:
Image
Image

Even with a flat rack on top/inverted carry, you can load the boat up right side up and then flip it on the rack.

With your Dad's truck, he can wheel the boat to the open tailgate and just slide it in -- not much lifting at all. Depending on his bed length, the Outback may or may need a bed extender.

Lots of options! 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:36 pm 
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jcanracer, I suspect from your objections to the location and configuration of the handles on your Outback that you have been doing some kind of modified "clean and jerk" maneuver with the Outback, holding it above your head, and throwing it onto the roof of your SUV. I do this with my whitewater kayaks, but not with my fishing kayaks, which are a lot heavier than my whitewater kayaks. There are lower impact ways to load a fishing kayak on a vehicle.

I am a scrawny old fart. Here is how I load my 13' Revolution and my 13' Trident onto the roof of my Toyota 4-Runner:

1. I lay a towel over the wind deflector on the back of the 4-Runner.
2. I lay my kayak on the ground near the back of my vehicle with the stern of the kayak on the mid-line of my vehicle, and a couple feet of the bow lying next to the side of my vehicle.
3. I pick up the bow of the kayak and rest its keel on my shoulder. It's easier to lift the kayak to your shoulder if the kayak is sitting unstrapped on a kayak cart with its nose in the air.
4. I grab the Mirage Drive hole and slide my shoulder a couple feet along the keel towards the stern of the kayak.
5. I walk sideways behind my vehicle until the keel of the kayak is centered on the back of my vehicle.
6. I set the keel of the kayak down on the towel.
7. I walk back to the stern of the kayak. If the stern is resting on a slippery surface, I hang onto the kayak while doing so, to prevent the kayak from sliding off the roof of my vehicle.
8. I lift the stern of the kayak and slide the kayak straight forward on the towel until the keel of the kayak is resting on my roof rack (which is padded).
9. I open one of the doors of my vehicle, stand on the threshold of the door, and flip the kayak over onto its gunwales.
10. I strap down my kayak.

These maneuvers are pretty low-risk and don't take a lot of strength. For those with bad backs, probably lifting the bow of the kayak onto your shoulder is the riskiest maneuver, but that is way easier than lifting the whole kayak above your head.

If your vehicle is tall, and/or your kayak is short, when you lift the bow of the kayak up onto the back of your vehicle, the lower end of the kayak may be resting on the rudder mechanism rather than the stern of the kayak. That isn't good. To protect the rudder mechanism from abraison, you can lay a floor mat on the ground under the stern of the kayak. But perhaps a better option is to load the kayak with the bow towards the rear of your vehicle, despite the bad aesthetics and possible bad karma of driving around with your kayak pointing backwards.

Woops! I see that while I was typing out my description, Roadrunner posted a better description of almost exactly the same loading maneuver, but with pictures! In the first series of pictures, Roadrunner is single-handledly loading onto his pickup a Hobie Oasis, which weighs about 14 pounds more than an Outback, and is about 2'5" longer than an Outback.


Last edited by pmmpete on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:42 pm 
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pmmpete wrote:

7. I walk back to the stern of the kayak. If the stern is resting on a slippery surface, I hang onto the kayak while doing so, to prevent the kayak from sliding off the roof of my vehicle.
.


Hey Pete hold the phone right there! I saw a neat trick recently... Tie a pre-measured line from bumper hitch to rear of yak at start of #1 step.
Then when u get to step7, it can't slide backwards on ya!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Location: Missoula, Montana
mnormand wrote:
I saw a neat trick recently... Tie a pre-measured line from bumper hitch to rear of yak at start of #1 step.
Then when u get to step7, it can't slide backwards on ya!


Mnormand, I tried that. It was a hassle and I couldn't get it to work very well. If you tie the rope to the stern grab handle, the rope tries to roll the kayak over. Even when I tied a loop in the end of the rope, looped the loop around the stern of my kayak, and then clipped the loop to the grab handle, it didn't work very well for me. I find it easier just to hang on to the Mirage well as I lift my kayak onto the back of my vehicle. Then, even if the stern is on a slippery surface, all I need to do in order to hold the kayak in place is to keep my hands on it as I walk down to its stern.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:13 pm 
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Pmmpete, you are right; I usually try to go the "toughguy route" and lift it clean overhead to slide onto the roof racks. Works well for the revo but not as impressive with the outback as I seem to struggle with it.
You and Roadrunner have some good tips, thank you!
Next weekend I may get to go out again, I'll see if the outback will play nice with me next time.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:52 am 
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Jcanracer wrote:
Thinwater skinner wrote:
OR start lifting weights and get in shape to enjoy the better of two yaks!!! Have a great day!!!


:lol: No, I get that. In fact, that might be the same response Dad would have :oops: but what I am wondering is, why the hell this thing is designed with one proper handle and one floppy handle. It makes balanced lifting difficult and I hope they correct this on the next revision of the Outback. I see they corrected a similar issue between the old Sport and the 2014 revision.

On a more serious note:
When I eventually ship this kayak to Dad, I don't want him to have the same problem with portage as I do. Thankfully he has a pick up, so he may only need to lift it half as high as I do, but from time to time he and I have the same lower back problems. I just want to know if anyone has added different handles to make carrying the outback easier.


What I did to correct the problem was to pick up the yak, and use my head placed in the seat to balance the yak then lift to the top of the car. Remember to remove you cap. the little button on the cap will give you a headack!!! but it does balance quite nicely with head as the tripod third point. Give it a try. Good Luck


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:54 pm 
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Thinwater skinner wrote:
What I did to correct the problem was to pick up the yak, and use my head placed in the seat to balance the yak then lift to the top of the car. Remember to remove you cap. the little button on the cap will give you a headack!!! but it does balance quite nicely with head as the tripod third point. Give it a try. Good Luck


haha yes this is exactly what I resorted to last weekend :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:30 pm 
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The balance on the Outback using the two handles is way off, you'll really struggle with them trying to grab and lift.

A lot of people get two new handles and put one in back of the seat and one in front of the seat going perpendicular to the other two. Now they are positioned correctly to grab and, apparently, it's all much better balanced. I haven't done this yet myself, but plan to in the spring.

What I did to address the loading issue was buy a Thule Hulavator and I love it. Not only does it make getting the kayak up on the roof of a high SUV easier, it also makes strapping it down a breeze. You strap it down all while it's hanging chest high on the side of the SUV.

2 downsides to the Hullavator
Cost - they are pricey, but EMS often runs a 20% off all Thule Products so that's a good time to buy.
Weight - They weigh 40 lbs. This is only an issue if you wanted to get get 2 Outbacks on your roof with 2 Hullavators, I don't know many roof racks that can handle 2 Outback and 2 Hullavators


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:04 pm 
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I have seen this alternate handle placement, I will look into that some more.
The Hullavator is indeed a cool system, but too costly for me!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:22 pm 
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The Thule Hulavator is a cool idea, but $600 per kayak is more than I'm willing to pay to get a kayak on top of my vehicle. Until I get too old and decrepit to lift one end of a kayak, I'll stick with my current system, which involves putting a towel (about $3.00 at Walmart) on the back of my vehicle.


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