Boat tote question

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Boat tote question

Post by JeffreyMcGovern » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:15 pm

Just got a new to me Ford Transit Connect wagon as my regular driver. So the days of tossing the boat in the pickup are done for now on longer trips. I needed the covered carry space for our business. What is the best topper to carry a kayak or canoe? I've been told about a Thule Hullivator I think it's called but wanted some feedback from folks here. Also where is the best place to go for the right unit?

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Re: Boat tote question

Post by tadpole » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:44 pm

That's a pretty tall vehicle for hand loading onto a rack system, but you are a pretty tall guy. I use Yakima racks, and I have configured their stuff for several different vehicles. Thule and Yakima compete really hard and both have similar systems and lots of different attachments. Either brand has a variety of ways to connect to your vehicle, and then an assortment of pieces to fit you load. Biggest difference that I'm aware of is Thules has square crossbars and Yakima has round bars. BUt the Yakima attachments I have come with a square insert to fit Thules bars, and I think the Thule do the reverse......

That being said, I use the roller assemblies on the rear bar and the pads on the front. There are a lot of opinions about how to tie things down as well.

When it comes to attaching to the vehicle, here's what I did. I have a Ford Flex, and I know this approach works on the Edge as well. I do not know if Yakima supports this approach. At the time I did it, Ford did not offer roof rails on models with the Vista glass roof (they do now). The rain gutter in the roof has a cover that snaps on to some clips that are screwed down in the gutter. On a vehicle with factory rails, the ends of the rails are attached in the same screw holes as two of these clips. So I found the location of the screws I wanted to use, drilled a hole through the trim cover, removed the screw and attached the Yakima base through the trim cover and into the threaded hole in the roof. You can see the whole write up at ... 5&start=50

The pictures I posted of the process are no longer linked to the post, but I can send them to you if you want. There are pictures of other vehicles in the replies to the post so you can see how it looks. I leave the bars off unless I am using them, so the roof has the four "nubs" on it normally.

Good luck!

"Of course, folk fish for different reasons. There are enough aspects of
angling to satisfy the aspirations of people remarkably unalike."
-- Maurice Wiggin --

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Re: Boat tote question

Post by TaipanDuKayak » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:29 am

In answer to your query:
my $.02 ?
Personally, I'd put a small watercraft trailer into the decision hopper.
Why? Thule is great, but not cheap ... ( I started with a similar Yakima roof rack and other Kayak roof holders).

and Getting any kayak roof side can get problematic: weight; scratches, capacity of the SUV roof itself.
Might only be 100 lbs before you dent it (been there, done that).

If you ever switch to a heavier kayak or buddy up and get another kayak ...
"now what"?

Costwise? after all the accessories are added up, the spread narrows.

Coming back to shore? I struggled w roof attachments ... and watched the "trailer-boys" go zip zip zip... and outta there.

Feel free to pick my brain. I have two H PA's, and spent about 3 months on my own decision/design.
But it works for me.

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Re: Boat tote question

Post by WoodyHuband » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:55 am

I've started pulling my boat or my kayaks with my Class B RV. Trying to get a kayak on top of a tall vehicle is a lot of trouble and a sure way to hurt your back. If you find a trailer with a collapsible or folding tongue it makes storage a lot easier. By the time you add up the cost of a roof system with an assist, a trailer looks pretty good and it's more versatile.

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Re: Boat tote question

Post by JohnYaksJax » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:40 pm

Hey Jeffrey!!
That Ford Transit is pretty tall and the Hullivator "might" be a solution. Best option would be to contact Thule or see if their website has a "configurator" like the Yakima site does and see if they recommend it for the Transit....DO NOT exceed their recommendations.

Black Creek sells both of those brands and I would only trust one of the seasoned "rack guys" and Joe B. or Matt or Adam would come to mind.....they will not sell you anything that could damage your kayak by being outside of their recommendations!!
PS: Hobie also sells an electric winch system which requires virtually no lifting...and we can get them. Named the Rhino and they offer 3 21 of their newest Parts & Accessories Catalog...and should be on the Hobie website:
Good Luck!!
PS2: Rhino-Rack website: ... ct-vehicle

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