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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1241
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
P14WD :
Really nice setup, what I really like is the T-bar across the front of the car (our T-bar is rear mounted in the hitch receiver), I like yours better.
The A frame is a great idea, way better than the jib crane setup I had, which would have to be removed after the boat is on the roof.
Actually I never attempted to try to load/unload the full TI (with AMA's, sails, and everything else), I always strip the boat down completely and stuff everything into the car (ie.. seats, AKA's, motor mounts, etc) this is the most time consuming part for me, mounting and un-mounting all the extras where in your case since your not lifting the boat manually you can load the fully rigged boat up and down with little effort, I like it.

We also tow a camper when traveling so we can't use the boat trailer at the same time, thus we car top when camping or when we go to Key West (where parking is a premium). A setup like yours would save me at least 30 minutes of mantling and dis-mantling time.
I always felt it's not a major undertaking to lift the hull only up on the roof (no harder than trying to lift an oasis up there with the right technique), it all the extras that have to be mounted on and removed from the boat that is the time killer when car topping, I think your solution solves all that.
Actually if I were to park my car parallel to the waters edge at the park where we normally launch I could drop the boat right into the water with your setup, taking about the same time to launch as it currently takes me with the trailer.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 12:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:27 am
Posts: 42
Location: Wantirna South VIC Australia
Thanks Bob,
I agree the dismantling and packing everything in the car takes time. (Hence if I had the option I would also use a trailer)
I do take the mirage drives out and stow them in the bags for transport. The seats could stay in for short trips but usually we travel from home to a distant camping area and then unload so I prefer to not have the seats whipped by 100Km/h winds and covered in bugs.
The T-Bar at the front provides a really solid point to better distribute the weight and allows me to pull the hull forward so that the rear does not interfere with the Camper Trailer.
I have also considered lowering the just the kayak from the side straight into the water when we are on a river but so far the river banks we have been on are too unstable and sloping to drive the car right up to the edge as you can see from the photo. Our camper is the one on the right.

Regards, Ian

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 10:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:11 pm
Posts: 50
I have a 2012 TI and use the Trailex 350 SUT trailer. The TI weighs 190 lbs fully rigged and the Trailer 155 lbs. Since my habit is to never to dip my trailer, I use the heavy duty cart to move my fully rigged TI from the trailer to the beach and/or ramp. I try to get the trailer as close as possible. However, I have had to pull my TI using the front handle (by myself) 100 yards. I will tell you that 190 lbs gets heavy quick....especially if you pull the TI up a ramp. Lately, I have found it easier to disconnect the Trailex trailer and use it as a dolly. I get the boat to the waters edge and lift up on the tongue until the end of the TI reaches the ground then slowly pull the trailer away. It is about the same level of effort either way. But, to answer your question, yes...it can be done and I'm sure someone out there has figured out a smarter, easier way. I do not have the larger dolly with the TI cradles as this would be a problem to put it in my small Mazda 3.

Speaking of trailers, some of my TI friends that recently purchased said some kayak shops selling the TI advise against the Trailex trailer as it 'bounces' due to its lightweight. I will tell you this is BS. I routinely tow mine at 70 mph (although 55 mph is recommended) and it never bounces or sways! In fact, I like the light weight as it allows me to tow the TI with a small car....and to use the trailer as a dolly! Try that with a 450 lbs galvanized trailer!!!


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