03-22-2013Submitted by: Will
Reviews for Harken Hoister
Based On: 38 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased two 7803 Harken Hoister Systems from Discount Marine Source via eBay. The prices (including a combined postage rate) were very competitive and the firm's service was superb. The items were sent almost immediately and arrived at my doorstep in Australia in less than a week.
The Harken Hoister System is an incredible block & tackle system specifically designed to hoist heavy canoes or kayaks and other items. Everything is included in the kit except for the cross beams should you need them (see online instructions). If you decided to make your own, I doubt whether you could buy all the parts at a cheaper cost (let alone find similar or more functional items).
After carefully studying the instructions, it took less than 1hr 30 mins to have the first system running perfectly for my Hobie Revolution kayak. Here are a few hints that I would like share to help make the job a little easier:
With this experience, setting up the second system for my canoe took less than 1 hr. The system works perfectly and is easily rated 10/10
07-28-2011Submitted by: ZachE
- Make sure that the length of the block & tackle system side is equal to or longer than the height you wish to raise the craft;
- Having initially threaded all the black drop ropes through the organiser pulleys and their respective individual pulleys make sure you extend the block & tackle system to its fullest extent by pulling all the drop ropes at once and loosening the cam operated hoisting rope;
- Adjust the length of the webbing straps to suit your craft before you attach them to the black drop ropes;
- Slip a small piece of foam lagging over the webbing to cover the buckle if it is likely to come in contact with the craft – this could be done later on if you wish;
- Mark (a white-out correction pen is good for this) each black drop rope where you wish to attach the webbing so that all sides are equidistant – remember to apply downward pressure on each drop rope when measuring and marking; and
- The figure-eight knot is easy to tie and adjust (for climbers anyway) and having the white marking (see 5 above) enables you to get a perfect set-up first time – no fiddling around!
- Rating: 10 of 10 There are many models of Harken Hoisters to choose from. The model 7802 that I purchased is rated to lift 25 to 90 pounds with a 4:1 mechanical advantage. If you forgot your high-school physics, a 4:1 mechanical advantage means that you are lifting 1/4 of the weight of your boat when you use the Harken Hoister. This model provides a maximum 10-foot lift. There are other models with longer ropes and with different weight ratings.
The hardware and ropes that come with this product are top quality. You raise and lower your boat by pulling on only one rope. The hoister has an automatic brake that stops the boat from falling if you let go of the rope.
To get the full 10-foot lift with this product, you must have 10-feet of space in front of the ceiling-mounted "rope organizer". Make sure that you can meet all of the installation requirements before buying. You can call Harken customer service or download the instruction manual if you have any questions.
If you cannot meet the installation requirements to get the full 10-foot lift, you have the option to lower your boat onto saw horses or tripods (not included). Under very specific circumstances, you could raise/lower the boat directly from your car. But that would depend on a number of factors, including the size of your boat and garage and the height of your garage door. If you drive a SUV or minivan, you probably cannot fit under your garage door with a boat on your roof.
You can find cheaper hoisting products, but they may have the following problems:
No matter what type of overhead hoisting product you use, I recommend installing independent safety lines. By independent, I mean not sharing any attachment points with the primary hoisting product. Even the Harken Hoister's brake cannot stop a boat from crashing to the floor if a screw eye comes loose from the ceiling. Since you are not lifting any weight with the safety lines, they do not need a complicated pulley system. The safety lines can be run through simple screw-eyes.
03-07-2011Submitted by: dgkula
- Use cheap rope that you will need to replace;
- Requiring pulling on two ropes simultaneously to raise/lower your boat;
- Not have an automatic brake;
- Use only two attachment points on the ceiling and consequently not raise your boat high enough to walk under it.
- Rating: 10 of 10 I agree with other reviewers, this is a great product. Using a studfinder was a necessity for me as my garage ceiling is finished. Finding studs and mounting the 2 x 8s took about an hour but once that was accomplished, the installation of the Harken life was straightforward. Installation and fine tuning took 45 minutes or so. I am using this system to store my 14.5 ft Wenonah Vagabond in my garage. May buy another one for my Old Town Guide.
11-11-2010Submitted by: baron555
- Rating: 10 of 10 Purchased a Harken Hoister for my Souris River 18.5. Easy to follow instruction, maybe one hour installation in the barn. Works like a champ; very easy to hoist and lower the canoe. Highly recommended.
11-09-2010Submitted by: sierra1
- Rating: 10 of 10 I picked up a Harken Hoister for my Bell canoe a couple of weeks back and finally got around to putting it up this weekend. It took about 2 hours of work to get the device on the ceiling and working but it's worth it.
The directions were clear and material was well made. The eleven page instruction manual was laid out well and easy to follow. The only problem I had was mounting the first board on the finished ceiling of the garage. After that was up the second one went on quickly. Installing the pulleys and ropes was a breeze. The only possible issue would be the attachment of the straps to the hoist ropes. Unless the knots on the ropes for the straps are placed at the same point on the hoist ropes quite a bit of tedious adjusting may be necessary to level the object being hoisted.
Once it's set the hoist is fantastic. It gets the canoe to the ceiling without the hassle of the two rope system. The cam lock works as advertised to hold the rope in place. I don't think I could imagine a better system to get your canoe/kayak out of the way and stored year round.
07-29-2010Submitted by: surfdude
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've been using this system for over 2 years to store my 16' Wenonah canoe in my garage. Great system for getting your boat out of the way. I highly recommend this product. If your ceiling is dry walled, my suggestion is to get a stud finder.
04-28-2010Submitted by: shaggy3505
- Rating: 10 of 10 What a Great Product. The only difficulty I had really was finding the studs/joists in my garage to properly secure the thing. But that's my deal, not theirs. I used the 4 point lift system that's designed for a large canoe or small boat. But I'm using it for 2 kayaks. So the only thing I found not easy to set up was to level the cords' knots that are actually holding the boat straps up. It only took about a half hour to fine tune and has worked great since.
11-08-2009Submitted by: RKorday
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just received my Harkens 2-point hoist system and was pleasantly surprised with metal buckles on the straps. I almost ordered replacement straps before receiving the hoist, but I'm glad I waited. Not installed yet, but don't foresee any problems. Will re-post if I do run into any. Very well made!
09-11-2009Submitted by: bwiedenbeck
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my three Hoisters, two 7800B's for my bikes (Trek road and mountain bikes) and one 7801B for my Thule Atlantis 16 box in use since May ('09). They were easy to install, but I also had read the online instructions prior to purchase and again in anticipation of delivery; I had all three installed in under an hour!
I think these are great units: easy to use, quick, and rugged. All of mine have metal clips... My bikes go up and down almost every day (at least one of them!) I definitely plan on getting another for my SOF kayak once I get it finished!
09-10-2009Submitted by: Vee
- Rating: 2 of 10 I have had my Harken Hoister for several years and the plastic connectors always concerned me. During the off season I would use my Thule car top straps as safety straps. Today my worst nightmare happened I was lowering my Tampico 140l on to the roof of my car and I was not quite down fully into the roof racks and when I went back to give it more line the kayak swung to the side of the car and both plastic clips broke dropping the kayak from about 5 feet to the concrete floor. Whatever you do get rid of the plastic clip straps now even if they have been working for you. DO NOT use them under any circumstances. The have held up my 16' Valeey and now the Hurricane Tampico but just finally decided to let go. I guess it could have been worse they could have let go at the ceiling instead. Why plastic? Did they save 20 cents?
05-30-2008Submitted by: GWM
- Rating: 8 of 10 You have to ask why the instructions are so vague. Shouldn't be that hard to redo. I struggled trying to figure out which way the block/tackle was to be set up. Once I finally figured it out, the rest went up quickly. I used ceiling joists and did not attach a separate board as in the instructions. Hoists my Q500X into my garage ceiling very well! I wonder about long term usage of the narrow web straps on the hull, anyone have any thoughts?
05-22-2008Submitted by: dhs4
- Rating: 9 of 10 Completely agree with other reviews... this is a great product and works very well... once one has deciphered the incoherent instructions and got it assembled properly. Fine-tuning the lengths of the four lines that drop down to the sling takes a while. Also agree that it is important to put a cleat below the wall pulley and to secure the long line once the canoe has been raised, so as to ensure that there is no possibility of an accidental drop due to slippage.
Score: 10 for the product, minus 1 for the "instructions".
11-15-2007Submitted by: js4ester
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought the Harken Hoister 90lb. version, got it home from the store about noon and had it fully installed and operating like a charm by about 2pm.
However, I'd spend a couple of days prior to that studying the online manual from Harken's website and measuring in my garage, so that when I did get the hoister home, I already had a plan. The hardest part was adjusting the "black" hoist lines, setting the block and tackle to the correct starting positions and adjusting the web straps so that the boat was level and went as high as I could get it, since I only have an 8.5' ceiling in my garage. The instructions were a bit vague there. I also added a cleat below the hoist lever so that I can tie off. If it can slip, it will... eventually. Anyway, no complaints about this product.
07-23-2007Submitted by: Jane Tee
- Rating: 8 of 10 I've bought 3.
Pros: comes in different models for different weight limits, works great once it is installed properly.
Cons: Virtual nightmare to get it installed correctly so all points are spaced properly and item lifts all the way to the ceiling.
07-02-2007Submitted by: nermal
- Rating: 10 of 10 All of the boat hoisters now come with metal buckles and Harken unofficially puts the breaking point of these new buckles at 500 lbs. To lift multiple boats and gear, create a floating mezzanine and use the 200 lbs system to lift the whole platform
06-11-2007Submitted by: Eric
- Rating: 8 of 10 Once installed, the hoister is great. Installation was certainly a pain--I wish I could say it took me only a couple hours as some here have "complained," but it took me considerably longer than that. The mystical instructions were certainly a contributing factor, though I must also blame the fact that the ceiling in my garage is close to 12" high, is finished with sheet rock, and (as I discovered) has the rafters going perpendicular to what the instructions assume. I spent a good deal of time measuring and remeasuring and transferring measurements from ceiling to floor via a plumb line, because I didn't want to miss a joist. So I had to improvise on the already mystical instructions quite bit and ended up making at least three trips to the hardware store for things I was missing. Now that it's been installed for many months, however, the frustration of that Saturday is long forgotten and I love it. It works great, hoisting our 73 lb. Eddyline Whisper CL like a charm.
04-24-2007Submitted by: surfdude
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'm using the Harken Hoister to keep my Wenonah 16' Royalex up out of the way in my garage and it works like a charm. With the canoe weighing 64 lbs I went with the 90 lb model. It does have metal buckles on the nylon webbing which are heavy duty to say the least. True the instructions that come with the hoist leave a lot to be desired but go to http://www.hoister.com/assets/4907.pdf and you'll find a 12 page instruction manual in a pdf format that will make it extremely easy to install. It took me about 2 hours to install and about half of that was trying to find the rafters that are covered with sheet rock. It seems my stud finder does not like to work up side down. I looked at other systems but this one seemed to be the best. I've worked with marine products in Florida for years and Harken is a trusted name when it comes to marine hardware. That and the design is the reason I went with this model as some of the other lifts I looked at seemed a bit on the cheesy side. The only reason I give it a 9 is due to the time I had to find the instruction manual on line and print it out. At over $100 it seems that Harken would include better instruction along with the product. As far as the lift system design and ease of operation, it's a 10.
12-26-2005Submitted by: bK
- Rating: 4 of 10 Holy smokes. Had to read the instructions several times before I could figure out how to set it up. These are the most hilarious instructions I've ever seen. Totally incoherent. Anyway, all the pulleys and screw-eyes are now in the ceiling. I'm now trying to figure out how to weave the ropes...couldn't figure it out and was hoping to discover some photos on line.
10-06-2005Submitted by: mfb
- Rating: 10 of 10 10 of 10 BUT - go the local Ace Hardware store and get 4-2 to 3 inch steel rings and about 20 ft of nylon webbing. Make 2 web straps with a ring on each end cut to the proper length for your boat and use these as a safety strap. I may be over cautious, but I could not sleep soundly knowing my Eddyline was being held up only via a plastic connector 24x7. I use these straps as a safety measure on an otherwise fine product. When in place, I slack off on the Hoister so the main strain is placed onto the backup straps. To lower, I just tension the Hoister, remove the safety straps using a broom handle (to reach up to the ceiling), and lower onto the car. Total cost less then 10 bucks. Peace of mind - priceless.
10-03-2005Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I installed my Hoister this past weekend. It took a couple of hours. To clarify the previous review, the distance from the accumulator to the wall has to be AT LEAST equal to the distance of the lift height. The Harken instructions do say the distance has to be equal, but as long as it is equal or greater, things will work fine. For instance, if your vehicle is five feet tall and your garage has a ten-foot ceiling, you'll need a five-foot distance from the pulleys (accumulator) to the wall. In essence, to lift something five feet, you'll need to be able to pull the rope at least five feet.
I attached the anchor pulley to a side wall rather than the wall opposite the garage door. Whatever wall it is attached to DOES need to be solid enough to hold the weight. The hoist works like a charm. The pulleys have ball bearings, which make for smooth operation. The catch on the pull rope is very well made and seems solid. I highly recommended this product.
06-13-2005Submitted by: bill_stevenson
- Rating: 1 of 10 The Harken hoist has an important limitation that is not clear in their product description. The distance from the point where the lines are all gathered together (called an accumulator by Harken) and the wall where an anchor eye is installed (usually the wall opposite to the garage door) must be equal to the lift height. Also, the wall where the anchor eye is installed must be strong enough to bear the weight of the lifted item. If the distance from the lift point to the wall is less than the lift height desired, or if the wall is not capable of bearing the load (both were true in my case), the Hoister cannot be installed.
In fairness to Harken and their product, this is a limitation of the construction of the garage more than a criticism of their product. The people at Harken were great. My motive in giving this review is not to slam the product or the manufacturer. Rather it is to let potential customers know that they should make sure that there is enough room between the place where the lift will occur and the wall to get the needed lift, and that the garage wall itself is strong enough to hold the weight. In new construction here in South Florida, interior walls constructed of steel studs often have no headers and are not capable of holding any kind of load at all. For example, they can't handle the weight of a plasma TV hung on them and they can't hold the weight of a kayak anchored to them. This type of wall is more of a room divider than a real wall. Obviously this is not Harken's fault, but it precludes using this product.
Harken customer service was superb and they gave me a full refund.
05-06-2005Submitted by: Sissel
- Rating: 10 of 10 I set it up in about two hours. They must've fixed the instructions because I had no problems even though I am not very mechanically inclined and generally leave this kind of thing up to my significant other. Thanks for this great product harken. It really frees up some space!
To the person who had problems with the buckles: there's a reason they have weight limitations. For the recommended weight I had on it, it doesn't seem there was any chance those buckles would break and it seems unlikely you'd have two that would break if you weren't doing something wrong.
I do agree with the others though. It's kind of expensive but worth it if you can spare the cash.
05-06-2005Submitted by: gregoryjacob
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've had my hoister for almost two years, installed twice as I moved during that time. Great product, very poor instructions (maybe that's resolved now). The price is about twice that of one offered online by LL Bean that does the same thing, but I haven't had the chance to actually handle the LL Bean model. The Harken is excellent. If you are hoisting a light kayak, you might consider the LL Bean model. If you have a lot of money invested in what's being hoisted or there's a weight issue, you cannot go wrong with the Harken Hoister.
05-02-2005Submitted by: VeenstraR
- Rating: 7 of 10 Worst directions ever. Instead of advertisements on the installation guide, how about real installation photos. Works great but concerned about the lightweight plastic buckles.
02-11-2005Submitted by: WJP
- Rating: 9 of 10 Its a great product, however, for half price you can get a modified bike hoist that can hold up to 200 pounds. For small kayaks (30-60 pounds) it'll do just fine.
07-26-2004Submitted by: TedKlug
- Rating: 8 of 10 Works well and is easy to use but beware the plastic clasps. I have had two break. Both times the bow came crashing down. Harken replaced the defective part but so what the damage was done. I now use a backup strap and will replace the clasps with carabiners.
04-02-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 I bought this product at one of the local paddle shops and I think it's been one of the best buys I've made. I'm currently using the hoist to store my We-no-nah canoe, but I'm going to buy another hoist for the kayak. This product allows me to hoist the canoe, almost all the way to the ceiling...way out of the way! My father in law and I put it up in about an hour. Just like several of the other posts...the directions were not that great...we found ourselves using the pictures more than the directons. Anyway, I'd highly recommend it.
04-02-2004Submitted by: Eyore
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have purchased three Harken Hoisters so far. Two are securing my two 17' Current Design Sea Kayaks to the ceiling of my garage and the third, and most impressive, is holding our 130lb. Laser sail boat hull. I have a great sense of comfort knowing my kids bicycles won't fall on our kayaks, no one will 'accidently' bump the hulls with the lawnmower or that mice will make their winter home in the bulheads. I'm also grateful (and so is my back) that I don't have to struggle to get our Laser up onto a storage rach or move it around the garage.
As other reviewers say, installation takes some time but when you compare it to the time you'll save not moving the boats around in the garage like you used to have to to make room for bikes and lawnmowers, it's worth it. I just ordered two more hoisters for my road bikes. A great product that, while expensive, is worth it.
03-31-2004Submitted by: leebob
- Rating: 10 of 10 Great product! We get a chance to utilize space in the garage which would otherwise be wasted. I wish it was a little cheaper but I'm pretty cheap. My directions could have been a bit better but these have probably been improved by now.
03-31-2004Submitted by: mlsphd
- Rating: 8 of 10 I installed the Harken Hoist this past weekend. It joins the 2 Eagles Nest hoists in my garage. In comparison, the Harken installation was more complicated. It also lacked some of the convenience/safety features found on the Eagles Nest: a winch based hoist and a separate set of straps to secure the boat once the hoist had done the work. That aside, the Harken works as described. I am using the 2 point version to hang my yak on the side. I am planning to install a couple of 2" straps affixed to eye hooks to secure the yak when raised and take storage tension off the hoist. I agree with the others about the less than stellar directions. Also, I have a garage ceiling with exposed joists. I mounted it directly to the joists with a small 2x4 piece on the joist to offset the organizer guide.
Recommendations for Harken improvements:
1. Instructions for mounting on unfinished ceilings. 2. Wider straps 3. A second set of straps to secure boat for storage and take tension off hoist.
Ordering direct was easy and quick. They responded very rapidly to an inquiry about modifying mounting instructions for an unfinished ceiling.
03-30-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Well, I'm only an Electrical Engineer and not a Mechanical Engineer and it only took me an hour to install and hoist my 17' sea kayak. Either the instructions have improved dramatically or someone needs to find a new engineer. Kidding of course. Great product and extremely useful for freeing up space in the garage!
06-18-2003Submitted by: carbonkayak
- Rating: 10 of 10 I no longer store my kayak outdoors under a kayak cover. I recently bought a Harken Hoister 7803 and now store my kayak in the garage. It is so easy to hoist the kayak out of the way. The installation was very easy. I spent most of my time cleaning out the garage and moving things in the garage to make space for the kayak. I really like the hoister.
03-10-2003Submitted by: michael tjo
- Rating: 10 of 10 My wife actually did the installation and had no problems. We keep out "old-school" river-runner boats in these. The "new school" boats are so short, we don't need to make room for them.
01-27-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Once it's up, you will love it! Pull it up and the boat is out of the way with its gear inside. Lower it down and you can work on the boat.
Installation takes a little time to figure out the instructions. There are pictures of it attached to two separate boards spanning the width of the boat. This is easy to do becuaes you measure the location of the lifting eyes on the ground and screw them in. The 2 pulley lifting rope guide mounts in the middle of the rear lifting eyes. Another attachment eye is screwed into the wall of the garage in line with the 2 pulley rope guide. Then it is a simple matter to string the lifting ropes, attach the belly bands under the hull, sdjust them for an even lift, and you're done.
It is simple once you visualize it. Working with someone who can't visualize it will take you twice as long. You have to teach them how it goes.
As an alternate, forget the two boards and screw the lifting eyes directly into the ceiling joists. This works equally well if the ceiling joist run the width of the garage.
If you have a low ceiling as I do, I hang my kayak under the roll up garage door. I am afraid to take it to the ceiling and reaise the door because the door probably doesn't have enough clearance to open under the bottom of the kayak.
01-20-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I love this thing. Only negative is price. Works great. Easy installation.
11-04-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just installed a Harken Hoister (7802) to store my 13 foot Old Town Castine on the 9 foot ceiling of my garage. While the directions were a little less detailed than I would have preferred, I had no difficulty in following them and the installation went very well. I am completely satisfied with the product and am recommending it to anyone who will listen. The block and tackle arrangement works like a dream and is very easy to use. I installed a tie off on the wall, below the lift line as an added security feature, and think that it would be nice to see Harken include a simple tie-off in the package, just for peace of mind. All the components are high quality products that have solved my kayak storage problem.
10-07-2002Submitted by: Donna
- Rating: 10 of 10 A friend with a mechanical engineering degree and I set out to install my Harken Hoister this weekend. What we thought would be a 2 hour installation actually took about 5 hours. The instructions are lacking in clarity and require time consuming deciphering during the installation process. The photos included with the instructions are not very helpful as well. That being said, the product is working well and hoisting my 15 foot kayay up 8 feet to the ceiling of my garage. As it is performing well I give it a 10 in function but a 3 in installation instructions. My advice to Harken is improve on the instructions and include a cleat to tie off for added security.
09-04-2002Submitted by: jlaresen
- Rating: 10 of 10 Harkin Hoister works great for storing our 17 1/2' canoe in our garage. As our garage has a 10' ceiling and I wanted to have the slings 9' apart, I order the 7802B.12 model directly from Harken. The directions could be better. The company said that they are improving them. I place the canoe on 2 saw horses. I can then raise or lower the canoe in a few seconds with little effort. I can lower the canoe to work on it and raise it back up with no effort.
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