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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:01 pm 
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When I first heard the weight of the TI, I had some concerns about being able to handle it. I just pictured it in my mind...
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I wondered if it was possible to car-top this mammoth!

Hobie did some development work on car-topping the Pro Angler, which weighs about 5 lb. less than the TI. Adapting their technique, I loaded and unloaded this boat several times and found that it definitely is manageable. The more I did it, the easier it became.

The TI turned out to be too heavy for my kayak saddles -- the rear saddles created a sag in the hull (happily this was a Hobie test boat -- the best kind to learn on). So I replaced them with a set of TI cradles (graciously loaned by Hobie) and my friend Josh helped me adapt them to the Thule bars.
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There are 2 sets of cart scuppers and they were both very handy. The forward set is perfect for wheeling the boat in and out of the water. Essentially all you have to do is pull. The rear scuppers can be used also, but they really come in handy for loading. Not only do they take some of the weight whole lifting, but they keep the boat from flipping on its side when partially loaded. Image

Here are three ways to get the boat up on a rack.

1. Basic lift: the boat is wheeled up overlapping the rear bar (works great on my truck). Then the bow is lifted onto the rear bar. Finally, the stern is lifted and the boat is shoved onto the rack.

With both carts under the boat, the front cart supporting the weight, the back cart (a wide wheel base cart) pinned in. the boat is wheeled up behind the truck and overlapping the rear bar about 18 inches. I place a carpet scrap under the stern of the boat to use as a skid pad to prevent abrasions later.

The first part of the lift is easy -- the boat pivots on the forward cart. The second part of the lift is about 50 lb.; the rear cart takes the back half of the load as the front cart drops away. The final part of the lift the stern rests on the carpet and the rear wheels come off the ground ...
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...BUT the cart's wide wheel base keeps the boat balanced upright (like sidekicks) while the bow is nudged onto the bar. Then simply go to the rear, lift the stern and shove. The further you shove, the less weigh you have to lift! Looks like this:
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The difficulty here is lifting the bow overhead, not the stern. It depends on the height of the lift and the slope of your driveway. Here's a variation you can use if you find this to be too heavy.

2. Hoist method: Rigging an "A" frame with a hook and double purchase pulley system, your maximum lift is about 30 lb -- very easily manageable. The bow is lifted hooking an "S" hook to the bow padeye. When the rear bar is cleared, cleat off your lift line, lift the back of the boat and push forward. Your "A" frame will pivot forward until the bow rests on the bar. You can then unhook the boat from the frame and push it forward. Using the "A" frame takes an extra minute or two but takes all the strain out of the front lift.
Here's what it looks like -- don't laugh, it works!
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3. "T" bar method: This is a variation on the basic lift but easier and can be used on virtually any vehicle. It requires a receiver hitch and T bar. Here are some examples:
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I simply took my $40 bed extender and reversed the ends -- voila!:
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For this application you would normally mount the TI cradle on the T bar and mount the front cradle somewhere on your car rack. Both Thule and Yakima bars have plenty of strength to accommodate the load. In this case, since the cradles were already mounted on Thule bars, the "T" bar was used as a "cheater" bar -- set up a little lower -- the bow was lifted on the bar, then pushed onto the rear cradle. This way the bow didn't have to be lifted over the full height of the lumber rack -- a huge difference. Here's a pictorial sequence:
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Launching and retrieving: I launched at a ramp, through loose sand and from a firm shore. Getting to the water was never a problem. Retrieving, without Trax wheels I needed some help on sand. The ramp was never a problem though, nor was the firm sand at the lake. On the steeper ramp I could walk up at an angle if necessary but it was no big deal.

The amas tended to droop a little bit, but no more than the AI. I keep a loop of light line to cinch them up in the back -- it lifts them and takes some of the pressure off the crossbars.
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As with the AI, I just roll into the water and roll out when done -- no lifting til I get to the truck.

After I got the procedure down, loading this beast on a vehicle was no big deal. IMO, having cradles is a must though for proper support for the hull. There is nothing wrong with trailering either, especially if you already have one. But trailering is certainly not a given with this boat! 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Another excellent review. :D
I may have to review my roof rack arrangement.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:03 am 
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RR - really appreciate all the effort you're putting into these reviews.
I reckon you should put it all together and sell it to some magazine for a tidy sum. Might be enough to pay for a TI - if Hobie don't give you one. I reckon you've done enough to deserve one :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:21 am 
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cheers roadrunner the basic lift is the only way i manage to car top my ai.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:35 am 
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Great report Roadrunner.

I am pondering whether or not I need trailer. I think when my TI arrives I will go try to load it. And see how it goes.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:21 am 
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Great pictures and suggestions, RR. If I had a tandem, and, since I have a trailer (if I didn't, I would get a trailer), a trailer is the way to go. Run-of-the-mill trailers are pretty cheap and can be customized to your needs. Another possibility is to get a used, galvanized boat trailer--no matter how crappy. Then, get a sabre (saber) saw and cut off all the rusted unnecessary parts. A sabre saw cuts through 1/2" (1.25 cm) rusted bolts easily. Put in new springs if necessary--not a difficult job. Even putting in a new axel is not difficult. Now you have a good starting point to fit it out for your AI Tandem.

This is my kayak/AI trailer. 10 years ago it was a pile of rust--really. I rebuilt it as outlined above.
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This is the trailer w/ 3 AIs loaded.
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Thanks, again, RR.

Keith

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Some very useful tips there Roadrunner. Once again thanks! 8)
I'm wondering how difficult it would be to turn the TI over, once it was up on the racks.
If you could carry it upside down you wouldn't need cradles. Just some rollers to help slide it up. Thats how I transport my Oasis.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:02 pm 
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I transport my AI on the rails as well, it isn't too hard to flip, but I also have a car and I'm 6'6"...I really want a TI, but I just don't think it's going to car top as well. I think the biggest problem is that sometimes when we go out fishing you have to portage it a 100 yards or more thru various terrain. Sometimes even with wheels, the AI loaded up with all the gear is just a pain. I might be easily swayed into a TI though. 600lbs capacity would be nice for a couple friends. I wonder how well it performs with 3-4 people, haha


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Road Runner
is the cradle you have in the picture the one hobie is going to sell for the tandem island?
i probably will be ordering one of those as soon as i get my TI

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:38 pm 
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S.Yoars wrote:
Road Runner
is the cradle you have in the picture the one hobie is going to sell for the tandem island?
i probably will be ordering one of those as soon as i get my TI
Yes, this is the Tandem Island cradle. 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:45 pm 
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sweet!
thanks Road Runner!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:58 pm 
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RR - am I right in thinking that the TI cradles are both identical??
From what I can see in your photo, they appear to consist of 5 identically shaped curved sections - three for the hull & the other two for the akas. :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:54 pm 
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mickeymouse wrote:
RR - am I right in thinking that the TI cradles are both identical??
From what I can see in your photo, they appear to consist of 5 identically shaped curved sections - three for the hull & the other two for the akas. :roll:
Yes, front and rear cradles are identical to the best of my knowledge. The individual segments on each cradle are symmetrical but not identically shaped though. Both cradles appear to fit the hull and amas well.

I'm sure the cradles were designed for an assembled TI mounted on a trailer. It just so happens that they also worked beautifully as a rooftop mount. With the boat disassembled everything still fit great. Each of the cradles has lips on both sides so it was also easy to slide the boat up onto the rear cradle.

If there is any interest I can show the procedure used to adapt the cradles to the bars -- pretty straight forward stuff though. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:41 am 
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Roadrunner wrote:
mickeymouse wrote:
RR - am I right in thinking that the TI cradles are both identical??
From what I can see in your photo, they appear to consist of 5 identically shaped curved sections - three for the hull & the other two for the akas. :roll:
Yes, front and rear cradles are identical to the best of my knowledge. The individual segments on each cradle are symmetrical but not identically shaped though. Both cradles appear to fit the hull and amas well.

I'm sure the cradles were designed for an assembled TI mounted on a trailer. It just so happens that they also worked beautifully as a rooftop mount. With the boat disassembled everything still fit great. Each of the cradles has lips on both sides so it was also easy to slide the boat up onto the rear cradle.

If there is any interest I can show the procedure used to adapt the cradles to the bars -- pretty straight forward stuff though. 8)

RR Thanks for the info.
I am also wondering whether the Thule Hullavator (new model) would assist with car topping.
There's a video demonstration midway down the page on this site. I would be interested in your thoughts if you get a chance to watch it.
http://www.orsracksdirect.com/thule-897 ... -rack.html

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:30 pm 
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mickeymouse wrote:
I am also wondering whether the Thule Hullavator (new model) would assist with car topping.
There's a video demonstration midway down the page on this site. I would be interested in your thoughts if you get a chance to watch it.
http://www.orsracksdirect.com/thule-897 ... -rack.html
I have my doubts. Notice you must free lift the entire boat up to chest height to mount it on the Hullavator. It appears the entire boat load will be supported on one side of your car rack, at least temporarily -- make sure it can handle the load. The gas pistons only provide 40 lb of lift assist. I couldn't find a maximum kayak weight listed anywhere. The TI may be heavier than what they had in mind.

At least maybe you should call Thule (toll free) and ask them about these matters. 8)


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