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I have three kayaks: 1) a rotomolded 15.5 foot Necky (48 pounds), 2) a Wilderness Systems Ultralite 13 footer (38 pounds), and 3) a fiberglass/kevlar Epic V6 (16 feet, 34 pounds). I can use the BoatLoader for any of these kayaks without a problem. Strangely, the heaviest boat seems to be the easiest to load. The composite seems to slip a little, but it may be due to hull shape or the gloss.
I would give this a solid 10 except I, like another reviewer, have a little difficulty with the rubber insert that is supposed to hold the boatloader inside the round rack bar. I have to pull it as far as possible, then push it back in to find a stable point.
This has definitely been worth the investment.
I purchased the entire Yakima system for my Forester as it only had factory rails installed. I bought the round Yakima rails specifically so I could use the BoatLoader accessory. I have found the BoatLoader to be a great way for me to load my kayaks. My heaviest kayak is just over 50lbs and I have no problem loading it by myself now.
The BoatLoader seems sturdy enough. And I like that it doesn't stick out very far from the rack when not extended. When extended the width is just right for any of my kayaks. My husband likes that I don't have to always ask for his help now.
I love my BoatLoader by Yakima!
My down-rating comes from this... Unless your bars are new or nearly new, you will have installation issues! My bars were about 4 years old and had been left outside (mounted) most of this time. There was enough corrosion inside the bar to keep the "catch" from moving. (HINT - it took a great deal of cutting to get the plastic end plug off.) I eventually got one bar to slide all right (although roughly). The second bar was too badly corroded. I did remove the plastic catch piece, and now it slides in and out. However, I must watch for the hole (which would have held the catch), then move the bar back in a few inches
Oh yeah, the sand dollar graphic on the end of the loader is great!
The boat loader is easy once you get the hang of it - and makes it a breeze. Before loading was a long struggle and now I can get my kayaks up there fast and easy. It doesn't mar my car in any way and works like a dream.
My only wish is that when I bought the rack it would have been sold as an option - so I would have never have been without it. I have several car scratches from trying to load before the boat loader. Get it - you won't regret it.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
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