I purchased my Hullavator in April 2009. I use it to transport an Ocean Kayak Zest 2EXP tandem sit-on-top on my van.
The Hullavator does indeed work; loading my boat without it on the van would be impossible. It also has a certain cool-factor; other kayakers frequently ask about it. But it does have drawbacks:
Installing the Hullavator is an hours-long affair; once it is installed I leave it on all spring-summer and fall.
The metals used are not corrosion resistant. I conscientiously rinse the salt off my boat before loading, but I have rust problems on the steel parts.
The screws, nuts, etc used to secure the parts to the bar are not made of stainless steel, and have bent under the stress of use. I recommend treating all the hardware with rust-inhibitors before and after installation. I will be replacing all the small parts with stainless when I re-install next spring.
You will have to experiment to find the proper balance for your boat, since the arms are not connected and your boat will twist and torque the rack if not lifted with the correct technique.
Before lifting, you may want to use some short straps of your own to secure the boat to the lifting arms, or the boat could flip off and on top of you as you are lifting.
Once the boat is atop your vehicle, you will still want to use quality straps to secure to your regular crossbars. Flipping the straps around the Hullavator side arms on a high-profile vehicle is a bit of a trick. Easier for taller people.
Once up top and secured, I have had no problems and no shifting of the boat.
To answer the question; Would you recommend this product to a friend? I would answer with Yes; But.
I would encourage Thule to beef up all parts securing the Hullavator to the crossbars, and to use stainless steel liberally, especially considering that this is a rather expensive item.
I would gladly share photos and feedback with Thule.
1993 Mitsubishi Delica