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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:47 pm
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Location: Atlanta, GA
I'm about to purchase two AI and would like guidance on the best roof rack system.

I own a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser with the factory rack. Plan to initially purchase one AI and then add a second later this fall, thus must be able to get two on the roof.

I'm 60 years and not in the mood to bust my back lifting the AI, thus was seriously considering the Thule Hullavator. Not sure if I can get two AI's on the roof with that device.

Also, how have you found to be the best way to stow the Amas/Ankas?

Guidance is appreciated,
Jack


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:24 pm
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Location: Franklin, TN
Hi Tao:

I have a 2007 FJ Cruiser, 1 Adventure Island and 2 Hobie Sports so I know your problems. First do not trust the factory cross bars. Get the yakima lowriders (or X-towers if you can find them) and the largest bars available. One adventure island and amas will fit with no problem. If you want to carry two, I would suggest a small trailer. I got a four place canoe trailer from www.sporttrailer.com and modified it with bunks so that I can carry 2 Islands right side-up and 2 sports upside down. With this setup. nothing has to ride in the truck. Please note that the amas will not fit inside the FJ without giving up the front passenger seat and the back seat. Good luck, Ray J :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
Hey Tao,
Welcome to the Hobie site and the world of the Mirage Drive! How about four on the roof? But just "regular" kayaks, not AIs! Here are some pics of an FJ showing how one person (not me) pretty ingeniously rigged the FJ rack to carry yaks. Might be some ideas here for you.

However, you might start thinking about a trailer which is what I finally went with for my two Hobies. With two rotator cuffs and a bad back myself, I finally gave in to the reality of the situation. Now that Hobie is selling kayak trailers, they should have some suggestions about what trailer design would work best for AIs. Good luck.

Here is my Trailex 250 for carrying up to 4 yaks (not AIs), but I think you could probably rig one like this to carry the hull on one side and the amas on the other for at least one AI, and maybe two.

Image

Image

Here's a rear view of the FJ:
Image

Front view of the FJ:
Image

And a close up of a way to rig a cross bar below the side rails to help support the weight.
Image

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:49 am 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
I also have an 2007 Airstream Bambi 16' trailer that I tow with the FJ. That removes the ability to use a trailer for the AI's, must use a roof rack.

I take off for 3-6 weeks at a time for my photography work (http://www.shadowsdancing.com) and the mission with the AI is to take it with me when towing the Airstream.

I'm hoping that without the sail I'll be able to get images from the water that I would not be able to get otherwise. I'll place my camera in a dry bag and put it in the center hatch. And in the mid day when the sun is high and not ideal for photography, I'm on the water scooting along with the sale! Nice life!

In short, trailer option would not meet my needs but thanks for the suggestions.

Jack


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:22 am 
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
Tao
Gotcha. But if you do not really need a 16 foot yak like the AI, why not get a shorter model like the Outback or Revolution that would both make excellent photo platforms and are both very stable. Plus they would be a lot easier to maneuver and to cartop. They both are also a lot drier ride than the AI due to the reduced freeboard of the AI. Also, you can sail both of these, if you are so inclined.

You also may wish to try a small waterproof digital like the Pentax Optio when on the water. I am a long-time Nikon F SLR user and have had many of my photos published in magazines, scientific jounals, and books. But once I tried a digital, I have never gone back to film. I have now shot many thousands of digital images with the small Sony and Pentax digis and the quality and resolution (5 mp or above) is excellent on these, plus with a waterproof camera, you don't have to sweat the occasional dump or an idiot on a jet ski trying to run you over (or at least come close!). Good luck.
Dick

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:59 am 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Dick,

I shoot a Hasselblad V 503CW with a Phase One P-45Plus digital back for all of my work. Outstanding images with it and once you've had it, can't do without it.

As I'm at 6' 5" and 205 pounds I like the size of the Adventure, and really like the Island option. I've had 3 Hobie Cats in the past, 14, 16, 18 and have always been pleased with their work.

Thinking that the AI will meet the "fun factor" of the Hobie Cats without all of the bruises and scrapes I'd get when I was on the wire and screwed up.

AI seems like the ideal "toy" for my now 60 year old body.

Just trying to figure out the best way to carry two of them. I'll buy one initially and after my wife sees all the fun I'm having while she is sitting on the beach reading, I'll be stuck with having to figure out how to put a second one on the roof! :D

Best,
Jack


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:41 pm 
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Ahhh, a Hasselblad user no less--a mighty fine camera to be sure! I almost went with one myself many moons ago, but couldn't resist the lure of the new Nikon SLRs after several years of using the fantastic Nikon SP rangefinder camera (that I still have, BTW). Best of luck, and keep us posted on your Adventure adventures.
Dick

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 Post subject: Decision Made
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:35 am 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
I ordered the Thule Hullavator for the FJ. Should be here next Tuesday and I'll install it.

Now to purchase the AI!

Dick,
The new Phase P45Plus arrived two days ago - I had time to run some test with it yesterday and it blew away 4x5 film scanned on my 8,000 line drum scanner. The quality, dynamic range, resolution, color balance, etc. are outstanding. Frankly, they can stop developing - we really don't need anything more to replace 4x5 and below!

Jack


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 Post subject: Re: Decision Made
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:31 pm 
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Tao wrote:
I ordered the Thule Hullavator for the FJ. Should be here next Tuesday and I'll install it.

Now to purchase the AI!

Dick,
The new Phase P45Plus arrived two days ago - I had time to run some test with it yesterday and it blew away 4x5 film scanned on my 8,000 line drum scanner. The quality, dynamic range, resolution, color balance, etc. are outstanding. Frankly, they can stop developing - we really don't need anything more to replace 4x5 and below!

Jack


I see the decision was made, good choice. This along with a conventional strong roof rack would have been an alternative. Some carpet on the ground at the tail and the hull bow pushed up to the rollers makes this a 1 man operation.
http://kayakfishingstuff.com/Merchant2/ ... ry_Code=kc

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:37 pm 
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Quote:
The new Phase P45Plus arrived two days ago - I had time to run some test with it yesterday and it blew away 4x5 film scanned on my 8,000 line drum scanner.


Wow Tao--Looks like we are getting an experienced photog into kayaking. That is pretty wild about the P45Plus. Hope to see some of your work in the near future.
Dick

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