Marco saddle users

-- Last Updated: Oct-09-06 12:36 PM EST --

What pros and cons have you found? Has anyone fitted them to the Thule, aluminum "aero" cross bars? I am trying to find a good, supportive fit for a new hard chined boat with shallow vee hull.

Mako saddles
by Yakima? If these are the ones, yes, I have a pair under my Necky Looksha IV when it’s on the road.

Hard chine, shallow v hull seems to fit just fine. Mine are on the Yakima bars, though…

Bought a pair of Mallone autoloaders for the wife’s boat, and am truly impressed with these.

A bit higher to lift the boat, but they grip the hull like King Kong’s cousin. Decent price, and I belive they’ll fit any crossbar within reason.

Check them out.


Marco - not Mako Saddles

I’ve been using them for about three years now. I use the “wing mount” and they fit fine on “Spring Creek” (One Tuff Truck Rack), Factory VW (Jetta), and Yakima round bars (although they can spin a bit without a boat on).

I’ve been very pleased with quality and performance. They are VERY easy to load, and with some good straps (always around the bars too) are the best you can get.

I have em, they are great but…

– Last Updated: Oct-09-06 9:51 PM EST –

I Have Yakima Makos. Not the Marcos sorry I misread, but anyway......

I found that in very high cross wind that they will spread (or drift apart) no matter how tight you make them and let the boat drop and become lose. To fix that I made flat aluminum bars and bolted them together with stainless 5/16 carrage bolts and the extra set of holes on the base of each saddle so there is no way they can move apart. It's also much easyer to take them on and off as a unit when they are bolted together.

If you have a composite boat the felt pads are a must.

Marco saddles
are very easy on/off and help make loading a breeze. The only thing I would not do is leave them on the rack as they are not aero dynamic and I believe will not withstand that kind of use. But they are so easy to remove and replace that after I get back home and drop off the boat I remove the saddles until next time.

I use them with Yakima bars but they have optional mounts available.

I use the Marcos because with the carpeting they are easy to slide a boat on from the back, I have the Marcos & the rear with custom formed cradles in the front. I have seen the carpeting come off the Marcos, and they do not offer much support for the boat, but they install quickly and make loading a breeze.

one keeps poppingup on ebay…never seen
it before…neat…

I just switched rollers to Makos

– Last Updated: Oct-10-06 7:49 PM EST –

The rollers (in the rear) really weren't anythging more than two points to tie each side of the boat down to. That required really pulling hard on the straps to maximize the pressure, somethng that always made me worry about damaging the boat.

With the Mako saddles and soft pads, however, you get both solid side support and good downward contact pressure on a boarder surface and with less raw contact pressure. But you have to use the Makos properly to really get the benefit.

* use the original two-piece straps or, with a one-piece strap, make sure to thread it through the saddles correctly rather than under the bars solely for pull-down force. That engages the thin center strip on each saddle and gives nice firm contact between the boat and the padded strip.

* set the saddles far enough apart on the bars so that when you tighten the (properly threaded) strap, it pulls the "wings" of the saddle up around the hull and gives excellent side-to-side "cradling" support.

I find that when I do both, there seems to be a bit more sideways play in the rear than when I just jammed it as hard as possible down on the rollers. But that extra play just reflects a little flex in the saddles themselves rather than any shortage of contact -- the boat is actually quite secure side-to-side.

So, used properly, I find the Mako saddles an almost ideal carrying system for a sea kayak.