Just wanted to give an update on a previous post I made. I answered the question for myself.
I had asked about various carriers for sea kayaks and which was best. I had been using various methods but had not decided on what was best.
Well, here it is from my experience. I have a truck with camper shell and 16 foot glass boat. I tried three different methods: mako sadles, mako saddle and hulley roller in the rear, plain old round foam pad on the bars with straps and no carrier.
Here is what I found:
- Worst: Hulley roller set up. Sorry guys, but this is a gimmick. They are no better for loading and unloading than the plain Mako saddles with felt surface attached. Boat slided just as easily on the mako saddle. Plus, I had a few mishaps with the hully rollers. First, I dropped my glass boat off the top of my truck while unloading. I was sliding the boat back and it slid off the rollers and bounced off the ground. Not good for glass! Second, I had the boat actually partially blow off the rollers on the highway. Winds were really high—30mph and I was driving highway speed. Wind blew the boat off to the side of the hulley rollers causing a very unstable position despite tight straps. That was the end of the hully rollers (thanks ebay)
- In the middle is the set up with the 2 pairs of mako saddles. Boat slides up fine onto them (I have a truck with camper shell and load boat from behind). Boat is supported on the sides while loading and unloading (prevents boat falling off top of truck). They hold the boat okay, but set up wobbles a lot and requires bow and stern tie downs. Overall: okay system, but…
- Best set up hands down: foam pad on the bar. I bought the Yakima bar pads (whatever they call them) for $25 a pair or you can make your own. Boat slides on and off easily. Strap it down like you were strapping down a canoe. Rock solid. Don’t need bow and stern tie downs. Cheapest option. Does not clutter the top of your vehicle with crazy looking attachments. Simple to take off your bars if you need to put on a bike rack etc.
Bottom Line: The mako saddles and hully rollers really don’t do anything for you but cost you a lot of money. Just use foam and you will be much happier (provided that you don’t have a hull shape that is a deep v etc. that requires the use of some sort of cradling—then use the Mako Saddle set up).
I am sure I will have many who will disagree but this is my experience.