As these a “bad idea”?

I was looking around for the J-shaped holders but so far folks want almost-retail for them. Again, the lifting is not a problem, this will go on a utility trailer, much lower than car-top.

(Cannot tell you what boat they’ll be for, I’m setting up transport for when I find a boat – probably rec.)

Blazing Saddles is best. But those
you pictured are probably OK. Yakima has been through several saddle attempts. I have one of the earliest, and once adjusted to the boat, it is OK.

Cheap! Wow.
Those are really inexpensive! I bought a different kind on ebay and they work great. A good set of saddles can keep your boat from oil-canning when you torque down the lines to hold it firmly. But you need to make sure that the clamps/clips that hold the saddles to the crossbars actually will fit your crossbars! Sizes do vary considerably, so measure both first to be sure.

There good
I use a set of those.

saddles on round bars
but you need to attach the round cross bars to your vehicle by other means, either directly to some feet that are supported on the roof or to an existing rack. I’d go to the Yakima web site to see what those will cost. The price being asked appears very reasonable. Make certain there is no dry-rot.

I have them.
They are great if you want to slide the kayak on them.

I also like the width of them.

I also have J cradles.

If you want to carry three kayaks, the J cradles are the way to go, but if you are only carrying two of them I would go with the saddles.

Jack L

For use on a utility trailer…
…you want something to hold the boats that has some give to it, as utility trailer suspensions are geared to hauling heavy loads, not lightweight kayaks. If you mount your boats too rigidly, the trailer can beat them up. I’m pretty sure that the saddles pictured are pretty flexible, so they would be a good choice on a trailer. Keep the trailer’s tire pressure low, too.

Saddles & trailers
OK, good feedback and I’ll check into this set or another if already sold.

Good point about the trailer’s bouncy ride, I wonder if, when I adapt the rack to the trailer, I can incorporate some kind of damper/cushion. I have not damaged anything yet while bringing it home, but don’t want to start.

On edge.
First, when hauling kayaks on a trailer, it is going to be much easier on the boats to haul them on edge. If the boat/boats are longer than the trailer and stick out behind the trailer, it is important to haul the boats at a height that will not allow them to drag on ramps such as driveways etc. The boats should also be high enough that following cars will not run into them at stops.

I haul most of my boats on a flatbed utility trailer, which I have built wooden bunks for. The boats ride on edge on wooden members that are thickly padded with carpet padding and then covered with nice thick carpet. The sea kayaks stick out considerably behind the trailer; on edge that puts the tip of the stern at about 4 1/2’ off the ground. Depending on the length of your trailer,very long boats will only work if loaded on the center of the trailer. Don’t forget your red flag and possibly a red light for night driving, or whatever your state requires.

I appreciate all the input, especially on trailer applications. We picked up these saddles last night, they appear to be in good shape. Alas, I don’t think I saved much money overall as, considering it was late and far from home, we stopped off at a restaurant… which was French. $$$

Now that we’re closer to boat shopping… what holds the boat in place on these saddles? Bungee cords? Ratchet straps? Are there pre-made tip straps? How tight? (I have a torque wrench but don’t see how I’d use it on a strap ;^)

I use cam straps to secure my boats. I have also used rope with a trucker’s hitch knot. For me the ratchet straps make it a bit too easy to over tighten the strap and damage the boat.


Most people use cam straps from either Thule or Yakima but there are other suppliers also. Keep in mind when buying straps the inexpensive ones don’t seem to last that long. Pairs from Thule or Yakima typically retail for about $30 a set.

Use rope
If you really are interested in securing your boats, use soft nylon, or dacron ropes. Learn to tie a proper hitch. If you haul your boats on a trailer, they don’t have to be tied down as tightly as if hauled on your vehicles roof. In any case, you should never tie them down so tight that it deforms the boat. My rule of thumb is to tie the boat to the saddles just tight enough to hold them in place, the fore and aft ropes are much more important to keep the boat in place in case of rapid acceleration, or deceleration.

I realize that many will argue about which is better–ropes, or straps, but I have used both and I’ve never had a rope come loose, whereas I have had straps come loose. If you choose to go with straps–don’t go cheap. You can buy a lot of very good rope for the price of good straps. If you happen to know someone who works in a paper mill, they might be able to get some dryer rope–free. It doesn’t get any better than that.

no, just a few extra pounds

“If you happen to know someone who works in a paper mill, they might be able to get some dryer rope–free. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Odd, never heard of it and I buy a couple of hundred truckloads of paper annually. Alas, little from domestic sources.

I might be visiting my local REI on straps and end-tie-downs; I have NO faith in my ability to ever learn to tie a knot that I’d trust.