need help with rack setup

-- Last Updated: Nov-21-05 11:34 AM EST --

I'm in the process of setting up our xterra for hauling 2 kayaks. One is a dagger zydeco (wife's rec boat) and mine, a feelfree nomad SOT. Her boat is 9'6" long and mine is 9'8" long. I initially was thinking of mounting the Yakima X tower with a cross bar and 2 sets of Hullraisers. But after doing some research, I think I'm going to go with the Malone racks after reading some of the different reviews on each.

I have a couple of questions. The first, with the two boats I've got, would I be better off with their "J" style rack or their "gullwing" type carriers. I'm thinking from a gas mileage persepective, the gull wing would be better. But, will they be okay with the SOT? I've heard horror stories of SOT's trying to fly off of racks with carried upside down, but how about hull down?

The second question. If you think I should stick with the "J" type saddle, would you recommend I go with their "autoloader" or "super J"?

And lastly, either way, do you think the yakima crossbars with the X tower would be better than the factory racks?




All I can tell you is what I know.
I drive a Scion Xb and have a Yakima crossbar/Q Tower arrangement. I paddle a WS-T140 and my three boys have Perception Swifties. I have carried my boat by itself, hull-side down with no problems. I have carried the three Swifties all at the same time on their sides (Yak Stacker) with no problems. Seems to me that if the rack is strong enough (and Yakima crossbars are) and the roof is strong enough (almost all are) and there is sufficient spread between the crossbars (mine have 43 inches), as long as you use a good tie-down method (I use both cross-ties and bow and stern tie-downs) it should work. I have never had any boats try to “fly” away. They can’t; they are securely strapped to the rack/vehicle. Good luck; paddle often.

Xterra crossbars are flimsy
and the J bars make it really hard to load the boat. I use Yakimas on mine with foam blocks to carry my kayaks. Makes loading easier and is more secure than those silly saddles they sell.

When I bought mine…
I contacted the factory and they told me the Gullwing was originally designed for the wider SOT. I use mine with my WS Pungo 140 with no problems. If you go with the J cradles, the Autoloader is for kayaks 28" or less. Either way the quality is top notch.

Thanks to all.
I think I’m going to go with the gullwing on a set of Yakima crossbars.