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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:02 pm 
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I am probably about a month away from having one myself, but I have a few logistical questions I want to sort out before I buy one.

The main pressing issue I have is with roof-rack transporting. The ability to roof mount the TI is its main advantage for me. The small fiberglass sailboat I had in the past was nice, but the trailer I rebuilt and maintained was a real pain. Wiring, new tires, the storage space in the driveway, registration, I could go on, but I am intent on not trailering the TI. Almost all of the time I will not be alone, but for the few times I may be going solo, I would like to design or buy a system that would work single-handedly.

I have seen the hull-evator (I think that is what it is called from Thule) online, and it looks like a good concept, but in practice I have my doubts for something rated to 75 lbs and then easily going well past that. I have also seen a few people rigging something up themselves which seems do-able, but I would like some feedback if possible from anyone with any experience trying to do this by themselves.

The other question I have seems to be addressed by several other threads already, and that is a cart, which would also be required if doing this single-handedly. I have found those threads to be quite informative, but the one additional question I have is: for anyone who has a roof-rack system that allows them to remove the hull by themselves, is it then pretty easy to flip the 18.5 foot long hull over, and insert the cart through the scupper holes without scraping and dragging the kayak all over the ground in the process, or do you have some better system in which you somehow mount the cart before the kayak gets to the ground?

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this lengthy post and for any feedback you can offer.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Depends how far you are traveling. I transport my AIs upright on my trucks for 1-2 and on their side for 3 or more on padded roof racks. My TI is stored and transported upright on my padded trailer. As long as their weight is spread out over a large enough or strong enough area and are secure, you can transport most any way.

Some parts of the boat are inherently strong like at the scupper holes, mast cup and Mirage well areas. If you support an AI at 2 strong points or a TI at 3 strong points, all is good. If not (like the back part of my trailer), then I just support it over a larger (2 foot) area so again no problem. The cradles support every place they touch the boat so supports it well. The only reason I didn't use the Hobie cradles is I transport both my TI and multiple AI's so it had to be versatile.

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Last edited by KayakingBob on Mon May 02, 2011 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Welcome to the forum Bray.

Personally, I'd be looking at getting that trailer back up and running. I know that there are the disadvantages you mentioned but I think that one of the biggest advantage of a trailer system is that setup time is definatly quicker. It's virtually 'take it off the trailer, stick in the mast and go'. I know taking it off the roof doesn't take that much time and neither does sticking in the Akas, and neither does attaching the Amas and neither does loading all the gear in the hull etc,etc. but all these little bits of time add up to time not out on the water enjoying yourself. Did I mention pulling it all apart and getting it back on the car at the end of the day ?

Do you agree Bob ?

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Yep!

I trailer my TI and can be on the water 5-10 minutes after turning off the truck at the ramp.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:20 am 
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Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
Count me in as part of the TI trailering crowd as well.

I own a set of the Thule Hullavators which we used with our Sport and Outback a couple years ago, and the Outback was almost too much to deal with (images here). The Hullavators are spec'ed to handle 'yaks up to 34 inches wide and 75 pounds, but I wouldn't want to try that with a TI - at a hull weight of 89 pounds, the TI is too heavy for the Hullavators and it would be a real struggle to get it up on the roof.

We use a trailer and it's perfect for the TI. We drive to the put-in location, park a little away from the ramp, prep the TI for splashing, then quickly put the TI in the water at the ramp and park the trailer. Using the ramp is about 40 to 60 seconds for us - just long enough to roll down the ramp, cast off the TI, then exit the ramp ASAP. By the time I park the trailer and return to the ramp, Cindy has the TI rigged for sailing and we just take off.

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 4:45 am 
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We've had our TI about six months now, and bought the Trailex trailer with it, so that's the only way we know to launch it. Works out pretty well for us. And having the boat on the trailer at home has been handy for me. I can pick it up and move it around easily.

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Location: sarasota,fl
Bray:
I have a TI and I have been car topping it for over a year now every weekend all year round ( I live in southern Florida and I can). The setup I have on my GMC Yukon Denali is the Malone Seawing V racks with the stinger combo extensions MPG113MD (http://www.maloneautoracks.com/kayak-carriers.php). I have one stinger extension pointed forward and the other pointed backwards, this gives the boat great stability (4 points of contact). I strapped some pool noodle material about 6 inches long wrapped in electrical tape under the stingers to help support, and also to keep them from rattling in the wind. I also roped in a piece of 1 inch rubber washing machine hose in the V of the rack (like a hammock) to help the boat slide easier, and also to prevent the V from over flexing from the weight, and to prevent the V's from digging into the bottom of the boat when sitting in the sun too long. I have had no problems with this setup and have a very good routine for loading that is safe. I always load and unload alone. I strap an old extra Hobie sail I have vertically to the side of the car, strapped to the rear V wing, this prevents the kayak from falling off the side when loading (for safety, actually any aluminum pole would work). I then pull the Kayak next to the car and lift the front only (about 45 lbs) and mostly with my legs I hoist onto my shoulder and walk back raising the kayak higher as I go (I sometimes place the back on an old rug that I carry). I then take a couple steps behind the car and place the bow into the stinger extension at the very back of the car. I then walk back and slide (not lift) the boat forward until it's halfway up the car (about 45 degrees), at this point the back is very light and easy to lift up and slide forward. I lift and slide forward until the boat balances, then put the kayak cart into the scupper holes and push using the scupper cart to get the boat to it's final position (about 3 feet out from the back of the car). On short trips 2 straps work fine, but I typically put an extra strap tied from the bow to the front bumper when we go down to Key West or any distance. I have another set of racks on the other side that holds the AMA's and somtimes our Hobie Revolution with the AMA's strapped on top of the revo. My old boat was an Oasis which was 3 feet shorter and about 20 lbs lighter than the TI, which I had been loading every weekend since 2007, I'm not a big guy, or very strong ( I'm 60) I really didn't notice any difference when loading the TI (The TI is actually a little easier because it has more handles, the Oasis was always awkward to lift).
Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 9:58 am 
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I appreciate the responses, and definitely can appreciate the ease of a trailer.

However, that still doesn't convince me that is what I should get, instead it makes me a little hesitant about making the leap to buying one. The number one appeal to me when I cam across the TI was that here was a very capable sailboat that could be roof mounted (and could be a very nice tandem kayak, or even cruising kayak with the akas attached)

It would say 90% of the time, probably more, I will have a partner with me. But I have told myself I will have figured out the transport situation before I pull the trigger and buy one. My main criteria is that it could be done (even if very time consuming) single-handedly.

I have an SUV with racks strong enough and the horizontal bars are currently 4 feet apart and are at my eye level. I have a strong back, but definitely do not see my self flipping the kayak over and then simply muscling it up there (no way I could balance an 18.5 foot hull)

Anyone out there roof mounting their TI by themselves?


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Well, if you really want to car-top it, this is the way to go! Have someone make you one of these:

http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=34598

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 8:01 am 
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With many years of car topping kayaks and canoes, I car topped an AI for a few trips on my Accura MDX racks without difficulty and did it solo at least once or twice. I could reduce the weight on the roof by putting the AI amas inside.

Because of the TI's added length, I bought a "goal post" rack that mounts in the hitch receiver. As the TI amas are too long to fit inside, they have to be on the roof, and this is a bit of a problem given the width of the MDZ. This set up works well enough, but I doubt that I could handle it single handed. The top of the racks on an MDX are well above my head (6'2"), and the hull of a TI is a very awkward thing to lift overhead. I find it hard to imagine how I could reach up high enough to lift the hull from the side into cradles. That makes it essential to be able to slide it up onto the goal post from the rear and from there into the cradles. The custom rig pictured above looks perfect, and I hope someone will make it available commercially. Otherwise, I would say that roof topping a TI is a two person deal.

Another point, if you are going to try to transport a TI single handed, I recommend installing the cart before you mount the akas and amas. I have tried to install the cart on a TI with the amas in place by myself and been defeated by the instability and weight of the fully rigged hull. Given my height, I have a pretty good reach, but it isn't wide enough to reach under the hull with the cart and, at the same time, keep the hull with the amas attached, up on its side. In fact, that's enough of a problem that I have built a cradle/frame that allows me to store my TI in a set of Hobie cradles without taking the cart out.

P Burling


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 8:56 am 
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Location: sarasota,fl
Bray:
My choices are either car top the TI or don't have a boat, I live in a restricted sub-division no trailers allowed, and it costs around $150/month to store anything around here at storage places. Plus we have a camper and the hitch is needed for that when we are traveling (basically no trailer for me), also our place down in Key west has no place to park a trailer. If you don't like my above method of loading, here is another way to load your TI, it should only cost about $20 to $30 dollars to make, and all you need for tools is a 1/2" drill bit and a hack saw. All the materials are available at home depot. The 1 inch sq steel tubing is very inexpensive, as well as the 1/2 " steel rod (you may prefer stainless rod if you can find it cheap). Basically the way it works is you take a standard hitch and mount it sideways in the reciever (you may need to drill an additional lock key hole). The 60 inch 1" sq tubing is off the shelf with a 1/2" hole drilled crosswise through each end. You can do all this work in your driveway in an hour or two. The lifting bar is only heavy at ground level about 40 to 50 lbs to lift, but gets much easier as the leverage increases as the bar gets closer to vertical. I would put a rug or something under the tail of the boat so it doesn't drag on the concrete. Simple, easy to make yourself, and it lifts using your leg muscles ( I broke my back several years ago in martial arts and must be very careful when lifting). Hope this helps. Bob
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 9:59 am 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
When car-topping an AI, I put in the Mirage Drive and bungee it, and mount cart and pin it on (if it's not already on), when the hull is part-way unloaded. With the back of the hull resting on the ground and bow still up against the rack, it's easy to mount them, then lower the bow to the ground with the rest of the boat on the cart.

Another way to mount the cart, is to put it on while it's still on the car/truck racks, as long as it won't interfere with removing it from the rack.

The problem I have car-topping a TI solo, is raising the bow onto the back rack by myself, and then raising the stern while pushing it the rest of the way, onto the racks. In other words, loading (or unloading) it solo. :wink:

Hobienutter's "device" for car-topping a TI is brilliant!

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:33 pm 
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Location: Kailua, HI
There are so many different ways to get it done that it tough to figure out the best for you. I cartop mine but I have a small pickup so its not too bad to put the wheels in the rear scupper holes and then rest the bow on the tailgate. I then go around to the stern and push from the back as it slides ontop of the two cradles. I need to photo document this better to share but some of it can be found on "Hawaii sailing kayak club" website. As far as scratching up the boat inserting the wheels I try to do it on the sand or grass but also keep some of the packing material that came from my boat to lay down if I am ever in a rough terrain and need to roll the boat over. Its a tough padded plastic material. Its a porker so it can be a little fun getting it on its side and keeping it there while you do what you need to do but it is doable.

Good luck

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:07 am 
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Location: sarasota,fl
Bray:
I built the rack that I designed above this morning (total cost $50), it does work (though it twists around a little, the 1" sq tubing could be heavier ( I ended up using 1/16 wall 1" sq tubing (all I could find at Lowes), it twists more than my FEA analysis showed it would ( I used 1/8 wall in the original design and FEA). Taking the twisting into account it turns out to be actually more work and heavier lifting using this method than the normal method I use. It was all great in theory but not practical. Dragging the tail end of the boat forward while swinging up is the downfall of the design. I don't recommend this design (live and learn)
Bob


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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:38 pm 
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Quote:
Hobienutter's "device" for car-topping a TI is brilliant!

Hear hear!
I am yet to find anything commercially available that does the job so effectively and takes all the physical strain out of loading and unloading.

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