Question about Mako Saddles

I have been using Quick & Easy raingutter mounted towers with 2x4s to transport two 10’ rec boats (deck down)on top of my 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport.

I recently added a 14’6" Old Town Cayuga to my fleet and would like to get a Yakima Mako Saddles/Hully Roller combo.

If I add these Tube Holders and 1" crossbars to my Quick and Easy Towers, will the Saddles/Hully Roller fit the 1" Q&E bar?..even though it says that Yakima bars won’t fit through the Q&E Tube Holders?

Essentially, would the Saddles/Hully roller be able to tighten sufficiently around a slightly smaller diameter crossbar than Yakima’s?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Probably not
The hulley rollers will not compress enough for a smaller diameter bar. The Mako saddles might, they have a different setup/grip than the rollers.

I would guess
neither would tighten-up properly on a thinner bar. The way the plastic clamps are made is that when fully tightened the two ends meet. That indicates that if they meet sooner (due to a smaller bar), they won’t be as tight as necessary.

But as you say, for the saddles it might not matter since once they get attached to the boat they stay in the correct position. The rollers on the other hand will tend to flop down even when fully tightened on round bars.

I suppose the old beer can trick from the Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance could be adapted here to shim-up the thickness of the bar with something…

mako saddles
It won’t matter that the saddles are not a tight fit on the bar while the kayak is being transported. But if you try to drive without the kayak, the saddles will bounce on the roof of the car. You may be able to wrap duct tape around it as a spacer. Or get a smaller mounting bracket. John

I wondered too if the Q&E bars were significantly smaller diameter than Yakima add-on components, could I use thin rubber gasket material around the bars to shim. This could also prevent the slippage I’ve heard other users of Hully Rollers complain about. I’ve used this method to shim up a clamp system for my GPS on my bike handlebars and it worked ok.

Hardware stores
sell patches of rubber in the plumbing section that might just be the right thickness and toughness for a spacer. Comes in sheets that are about 6"x6" or so and I’ve seen it in reddish-brown colors.

They might also have some hoses of just the right diameter that you might cut a few inches lenght, split and wrap around the bars: the clear tubbing seems pretty sturdy and comes in a number of diameters - one might jsut fit…

I use all kinds of combinations
and I imagine you would have no problem at all if you just wrap duct tape or black electrical tape around the smaller bar until you get it the thickness that you want.

I use a inch wide black electrical tape.

One of the places I used it was on bar extensions for my Yakama bars. A 1/2" diameter rigid pipe fits nicely into the Yakama bars. Then I would build up with tape where I was putting my Yakama brackets.

Jack L

I’ve had good luck
cutting strips of the grippy rubber mesh you see used for shelf / toolbox liners or jar openers.

Good Luck


I’ll let you know
Thanks everyone for your input. Guess I’m going to give the Q&E setup a shot. If it doesn’t work out, I guess I’ll hafta break down and buy Yakima towers and bars.

Follow up
I was able to successfully “shim” the Quick-N-Easy bars by wrapping the bar with a strip of rubber (2.5cm wide x 1.15mm thick) at each Yakima attachment bracket. The Hully Rollers and Mako Saddles now fit nice and snug and there is no slippage whatsoever. Loading/unloading my new 53lb Cayuga on top of the Jeep is a piece of cake. Thanks everyone for your input.