Just picked up a set of malone autoloaders. wanted to test them out. Bolted them on the roofrack, no problem. Threaded the straps through the top of the rack and put the boat on. Found it a little hard to get the straps over the kayak to thread through the front edge of the rack. Also found it awkward to get it into those slots as the edge of the kayak was there. I thought someone recently said on this board that the straps would “lift” the kayak. Based on my interpretation of the instructions, it appears that the straps stay on the cockpit side of the boat, and the rack itself is on the hull side. What do you do with the excess strap after you tighten it? Do most of you leave the racks on your vehicle all the time and just remove the straps? It would be more convenient to leave them on, but they really stick up high. I have factory bars, so I can’t rotate them down. I have always used saddles, and wonder if anyone has any pointers for me. Thanks
I don’t ever fully trust any carrier so I run the strap over the boat, down around the bar, up though the top slot, down over the boat, into the bottom slot them back up to the cam buckle. The extra strap I just tie in as many half hitches as needed to use it all up. I take the straps off when not carrying a boat but leave the cradles in place. If I’m doing a long trip without boats, I’ll sometimes take the entire rack system off to improve fuel mileage. The new autoloaders I have are a bit too wide for typical sea kayaks but I guess they did that to accommodate their many rec boat customers. Doesn’t appear to have any negative effect on security of the boat though.
I leave mine on my factory cross bars but remove the cross bars(easy for me to do)if doing any amount of highway driving empty.
Straps go through top slot with cam buckle staying up near the top. The lower end goes through the near slot, then the outside slot, then back up to the cam buckle. Extra webbing gets tied of in half hitches. The system is very secure. I’ve had straps break though, so replace them when they start to fade or get frayed. I leave mine on the car full time. I drive an Acura TL and go from 30 to 28mph with the rack on. Oddly, kayaks drop it by only another mph–efficient shapes these boats of ours. I like the old Malone’s much better than the new. New and old seem to work equally well, but there’s a lot of wasted rack in the new system.
Malones no problem
Bought mike this year to take my kayak and my canoe on top of the Trailblazer. BEWARE!!! Do not let the straps get behind the kayak to form a saddle so the kayak “floats” off the rack. I did this at the suggestion of someone on this site and at 70mph on the highway the kayak slipped with the coaming facedown. It did not fly off the car, but still not a safe situation. I called the factory and they suggested that the starps are designed to go over the kayak and hold it securely against the rack. No problem since. Great product. I have them mounted to my Thule racks and take the whole assembly off when not using it.
Thanks for your input. The picture on the box looked like the straps should go over the kayak as you stated, but I thought I had seen the same advise you referred to. Good to hear that is not recommended. Do any of you have a hard time reaching over the kayak while it is in the hooks to bring the straps over?
If you switch to 15’ straps you can walk them around the yak.
and put the straps on the top of the Malones before loading the yak…
I use a 9 foot strap. Thread straps through top slot and move front strap to hood and rear strap to trunk. Load kayak on rack. Pull straps over kayak. Pull kayak toward you and adjust strap so that cam buckle is in proper place–do this for both front and back. Then thread, tighten, and take up slack with half hitches. You can use the 15 foot strap to make it easier to move the straps around and just take up the slack by bringing the end inside the care holding it in place by shutting the car door.
Thanks everyone for your tips. Particularly liked the suggestion of looping strap around roof rack as well through carrier itself for extra security. Got to use it this weekend. Found the rack easy to use, and easier to load and unload than I feared. Very secure when driving. All in all I am happy with this purchase.