Looking for DIY kayak loader ideas - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2015, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for DIY kayak loader ideas

I bought my first kayak last week and plan to load it on top my new-to-me 2010 Outback. I have a pair of the Thule kayak racks for the OB crossbars but , since I'm small and not very strong, I'm worried about how to load and unload the kayak myself.
The rear loading Yakima showboat loader bar seems the most practical but is expensive. There are a ton of DIY ideas online for making kayak loaders out of pvc pipe, which interests me and my budget.
The problem I see with most of the pre-made units is that they don't appear to be able to clear the rear spoiler on the OB without putting pressure on it.
So I'm hoping to find some ideas from y'all who have used one on an Outback.

http://www.rackwarehouse.com/yakima-...FdgOgQodXRcApw

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2015, 11:49 PM
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I don't know about DIY, I tried the Yakima SweetRoll on my 2009. As you mentioned the kayak did not clear the spoiler. I returned the SweetRoll and found a ShowBoat on craigslist. The ShowBoat does what its supposed to, I have a heavier kayak, so the roller does bend down a little during loading, but it keeps kayak off of the spoiler.

I see there is one in Bethesda: Yakima ShowBoat Canoe/Kayak Loader Roof Rack

If I had the money I think I would rather have the Thule Hullavator.

If you're not too far from the DC area, you're welcome to try my ShowBoat to see if will work for you.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 03:27 PM
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I use the Thule Hullavator and my back thanks me every time I use it. The nice thing about the Hullavator is that they can be removed from the car easily just by pulling a pin. That way you don't have something catching wind or parking garage ceilings when you don't need them.

On the other extreme of cost is what a friend of mine does on her RAV4. She drapes a bath mat on the roof and slides the boat across it. The bath mat works well because it has the no slide rubber on the bottom to keep it in place, and plush carpet on top which the boat slides easily on.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that Craigslist link.It expired but i would have been all over it and I'm not too far from Bethesda for a good deal. How much were they asking just for future reference?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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I actually was thinking about using a bathmat! It certainly fits my budget
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 06:01 PM
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The one in Bethesda was $75 I think. I paid $80 for one about a year ago.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2015, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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I found this interesting DIY idea from some Pinterest surfing.
?J ??BLOG: ?????????????? DIY Kayak Loader
Looks like the design allows it to clear the spoiler and it isn't flimsy looking. The suction cups are a bit pricey from Amazon . Maybe the design could be adapted to only use roof-mount suction cups?

Maybe something like this would be easier to make and try first:
http://66.147.244.224/~geekfis1/wp-c...0-11-08-36.jpg
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2015, 01:02 PM
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If your handy and creative. You can rig up a flip out extension that gives you a bar that extends out off the side of the car, then you only lift one end of the kayak at a time. Example you set the stern on an old life jacket next to the car, then lift the bow and rest it on your extended flip out bar, so the kayak is resting next to the car bow up on the cross bar, then you lift the stern up and slide the kayak on to the rack.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2015, 02:19 PM
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2015, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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I like both ideas. I used a side extender bar with my Thule rack system on my Jetta for a paddleboard. I'm going to experiment a little this weekend if the weather is good and see if I can come up with something.

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