As I wrote about in my first kayaking post, being able to load, transport, unload, portage, launch, and store my kayak without assistance from another person is an important requirement for me. There are several transport options for single person operation. Obviously, a trailer works well. I opted against a trailer for a couple of reasons. First, they're pricey and second, I don't have a good place to store one. If I ever get multiple kayaks, then I may have to solve the storage issue, but for now I'll stick with a carrier system. Thule makes the Hullavator carrier which is a marvel of engineering. It's a rooftop carrier that rotates around the roof of your car so that you only have to lift the boat to about thigh height. It's an amazing solution, but at $650 not including the rack, I'd have to sell one of my children to get one. And the wife already nixed that idea.

After a lot of research, I opted for the Yakima SweetRoll. It's relatively inexpensive ($220 MSRP, not including the rack), but its design allows single-person operation. The carrier has four supports for the kayak that attach to the car's roof rack. It can attach to both original manufacturer and aftermarket racks.

Yakima SweetRoll carrier
The rollers have 4-way hinges so they can adapt to and cradle many different hull shapes. The rear supports have rollers that allow you to roll the kayak from the back of your car onto the carrier.

Rear support with roller
There is one minor complication with loading my particular boat onto the SweetRoll. The FeelFree Corona has a built-in "wheel-in-the-keel", FeelFree's signature feature that allows you to pick up the bow of the boat and roll it around easily. But with the SweetRoll carrier, the idea is that you pick up the bow of the kayak and place it on the rear of your car. Then you go over to the stern of the boat, lift it, and guide the boat into place using the roller supports. The problem is that the wheel-in-the-keel could roll your boat right off the back of your car before you get around to the stern, crashing your kayak onto the ground!

The solution, which I got from a YouTube video, was to attach a carefully measured safety rope between the rear towing hook on my car to the stern of the Guacamole. The rope is cut to a length that will keep the kayak from rolling away once I get the bow onto the back of the car.

Safety rope attached between the car's tow hook and the stern of the kayak
So the way it works is I roll the kayak behind my car, with the stern centered behind the car and the bow angled off to the driver's side and overlapping the rear of the car. Then I attach my safety rope to the car's tow hook and the kayak's stern handle using carabiners. I also have a small rubber-backed rug that I place on the rear of my car to keep the kayak from scratching the car.

Ready to lift the kayak's bow onto the rear of the car
Once the kayak and safety rope are in place, I lift the bow of the boat and rest it on the back of the car (on the rug). Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of that. Then I go around to the stern and the safety rope keeps the boat in place until I can get there. I lift the stern and push the boat onto the carrier supports and then adjust the placement of the boat so that its centered on the supports. The rollers on the rear supports make all of this very easy to do.

Since I only lift one side of the boat at a time, and never the entire 80 lb boat at once, it means that I'm never lifting more than 40 pounds at a time  That's a very reasonable amount of weight, and totally doable by a single person.

After the kayak is placed on the carrier supports, then I just have to attach the carrier straps and the bow/stern straps. Strapped down, the kayak is very stable and seems fine at highway speeds.

The SweetRoll is a very effective (and cost-effective) solution. It's too early for me to make a pronouncement about it's durability, but from a functional standpoint it is exactly what I was looking for.

Locked, cocked, and ready to rock