felt pads for Mako saddles

I just bought Mako saddles. Felt pads were included. Since I have a polyethylene kayak, do I need to use these pads or are they just for fiberglass and kevlar?

Thanks for your advice.

If you need them, use them
They will make it easier to slide your kayak in the saddles.

If your load/unload technique requires sliding then use them. If not, don’t.

I would definitely use them. The paper backing doesn’t want to come off sometimes. If not very lightly put a slit in it to start the peeling process.

Ryan L.

I would use them just to make sliding

– Last Updated: Jun-15-11 2:50 PM EST –

boats on easier.
I have the older model Yakima saddles that didn't come with felt pads, and the first year I had them, I glued indoor outdoor carpet on them just for that reason.

Jack L

I’d say use them
I have had them from day 1 so I don’t know if they make sliding easier, but I would imagine they might.

After some time, they are likely to start to peel off. Once this happens, buy a tube of Amazing Goop Marine Goop and re-glue. Mine have not moved again since…

They tend to collect road grime but since the primary contact with the boat seems to be through the rubber pad, consider cleaning the rubber center piece on the saddles occasionally with soap and water. For plastic I have not seen marks, but the road grime stains my white fiberglass kayaks so the clean rubber makes a minor difference (the stains are easily removable from the kayaks, but if the pads are clean you don’t get stains in the first place)…

Pads for Mako saddles.
When I used Mako pads with my fiberglass kayak, I noticed the pads were abraiding the hull (white flakes on the pads). This was solved first by putting fleece pads on the saddles, and then later, by getting rid of the Makos.

But the pads …
… are not supposed to really touch the hull much. Most contact is with the rubber support in the center. I have not noticed any signs of abrasion on mine but I don’t go more than a few times per month with the same kayak so may be the process is slow…

Also, sand does tend to get in there (from the road or from the beach). If not cleaned, yes, it will probably scuff the kayak some. When well placed, there should not be much movement b/w the kayak and the saddles though, so not sure why you see that abrasion… I don’t think the pads are abrasive enough to make a mark on gel coat. With sand in them - may be…

no way
The felt pad on a mako saddle is not abrasive. Eitheryour pads were full of sand or there is something wrong with your boat.

Ryan L.