Best rack saddles for hard chine boat?

Well, carrying my Arctic Hawk upside down with pads on my bars works fine on my pickup - I’ve got wide spread between the bars, and the deck is just about flat (and rigid) where it hits the racks. However, I went to throw the boat on my wife’s Suburban yesterday, and discovered to my dismay that there isn’t enough spread between the bars to carry it this way. So, the boat has hard chines, and it doesn’t look to me like the saddles I’ve seen out there are going to work really well. Anyone else have a hard chine boat they’ve found commercially made saddles for? Any ideas?


Similar Issue
My poly boat has hard chines and I have a Suburban. I went with a J cradle rack system. I bought the Yakima Hullraiser. They work very well. And at least for poly boats, it greatly reduces the chance of oil canning. I already had the yak round cross bars mounted to the factory rack because of some other rooftop loads I carry.


Thule for my Greenlander Pro
I use the Thule Rollercoaster saddle for the rear and the Thule Set-To-Go saddle in the front. Both can be adjusted and conform well to a hard chined hull.

I concure - Thule Set to Go saddles
can be adjusted to handle a wide variety of hull designs. They make a vesion that will attach to most factory rack cross bars too, if you don’t want the Thule cross bars.

Thule Saddles
whatever they’re called work with my Greenland S&G. The front set is a soft rubber that conforms pretty much to the hull shape. The back set is two pieces of flat plastic with felt covering to allow sliding the boat on. These saddles are only good if just paddle touring boats because they don’t work with other boat types. Thus, I don’t use them anymore since I have to carry ww and surf boats as well. I think the “J” type saddle has more versatility accommodating different boat types.


Custom minicel
I carved custom minicel pads to match the chines on my boat and the shape of the saddles. Kind of fun, kind of tedious but the boat sits nice. Or did until I lost one. Gotta carve another, I guess.

Like this?

marco saddles
The best answer I know of for hard chine boats is a saddle made by Marco Saddle in FL. Each saddle looks like two flat “plates” hinged in the middle forming a “V” shape for the keel of your boat to sit in. They are easy to use. There is another version made in New England(?) but I don’t have a name. Good luck!

The older Thule saddles…
…with the all metal bases work well with hard chine boats. I just adapted some to my new Saris rack. I also have some Set to Go saddles (there are several versions of these) that I plan to try as well. It looks like they should conform just fine.