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Score: 10 for the product, minus 1 for the "instructions". I bought the Harken Hoister 90lb. 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. 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 Anyway, no complaints about this product.
Hoister/Canoe & Kayak 7806 Reviews
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. All of the boat hoisters now come with metal buckles and Harken unofficially puts the breaking point of these new buckles at lbs.
To lift multiple boats and gear, create a floating mezzanine and use the lbs system to lift the whole platform. 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. 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. 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. As far as the lift system design and ease of operation, it's a 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 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.
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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. 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. 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.
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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.
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.
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. Worst directions ever. Instead of advertisements on the installation guide, how about real installation photos. Works great but concerned about the lightweight plastic buckles.
Its a great product, however, for half price you can get a modified bike hoist that can hold up to pounds. For small kayaks pounds it'll do just fine. 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. 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 My father in law and I put it up in about an hour.
Hoister/Canoe & Kayak 7806
Just like several of the other posts Anyway, I'd highly recommend it. 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 lb. 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.
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