Stabilizing Tempest on short cross bars.

Ok, here’s the situation. I have a Yakima rack with a required exactly 30” spread between the cross bars, and an 18 ft boat, Tempest 180. Right now I strap it down on pool noodles. I’m not worried about the hull. I think it takes it fine. I also use a single front and single back safety tie down. There are four available tie down eyelets, almost all the way to the left and right under the front and back bumper.

Thing is, traveling on the highway through wide open fields, heavy cross winds will blow the bow sideways some. The rack’s plenty stable. But I need to stabilize the boat some more. That’s a lot of torque, 18’ tied down on a 30” spread. I’m thinking saddles won’t create as much drag and noise as J cradles when I’m not hauling a boat. Also saddles might provide a little more contact along the hull, front to back, to effectively add to the 30".

Anyone know which saddles fit the contour of a Tempest hull better, Yakima Makos or LandSharks?

I could also just use two tie downs in front, one to each end of the front bumper, to stabilize the bow.

Lastly I could choose J cradles rather than saddles. I’d probably go with the Yakima HullRaiser Aeros.

Again, my main goal is to stabilize the boat against cross winds on 30” spread cross bars.

Looking forward to tapping into your experience. Thoughts?

Paul S.

I recently purchased
a set of Malone Autoloaders due to the many positive comments on this board about the product.

Haul a cedar strip and a T-165 with them.

Very pleased with them. Doubt I’ll ever do the saddles again, foam or otherwise.

Take care.


Another solution
If you’re happy with the way pool noodles support the hull, no need to change that. If you were to secure the hull in saddles or cradles, the bow of the boat will only suffer more torque in a crosswind, even though it doesn’t move.

As an alternative, you can limit the shifting of the bow by using hood loops and an inverted “V” tiedown arrangement. Hood loops are just small loops of rope or webbing that are permenantly secured to fixed points under your hood and stick out on both sides of the hood just enough to thread a hook or rope through.

The inverted “V” rope arrangement can be pre-tied for quick use. Get 3 “S” hooks at any hardware store. Take a length of 1/4" rope and tie a butterfly knot in the middle. Put one “S” hook through the small loop created. This will be the hook that attaches to your bow. Thread each end of the rope through the other “S” hooks and tie adjustable taughtline hitches. Now crimp each of the “S” hooks where the rope is threaded. You now have a pre-tied adjustable inverted “V” that you can attach to your hood loops in less time than it takes for your current tiedown.

Thule Set to Go
I use them on a Yakima rack with a 32" spread and a Tempest 170. They do a great job of supporting the hull and providing a secure hold on the boat (and yes, they’re designed to accomodate Yakima’s round bars).

i have a tempest 170
and on my roof i have the Malone gull wings and the stax-vertical stackers…

i have carried 4 tempests on my roof in this way without any problems…if i am only carrying one tempest is use the gullwing (now made as the malone seawing)…love it…never had any problems…


Malone J racks
I used to carry my boats on the foam blocks over Yakima racks and was always concerned about the boat shifting around in cross winds. I’ve since upgraded to Malone J racks and the boat is very solid now. 75 mph, no problem. You mentioned noise, it’s not a problem.

described your quickest and cheapest solution perfectly. If you are happy with pool noodles, an inverted “V” front and back will stabilize the boat well.

What type of vehicle are you driving? It is possible to make anchors that are closed in the rear hatch or trunk lid for the rear V.

And I am a fan of Malone Autoloaders.


We put 2 tempests (170 and 165),a squamish and a cappela all on our van roof using 1 malone autoloader, 1 malone j rack and 1 malone stacker - feels like it conforms nicely to the hulls unlike our thule hullaports and never had a problem on their sides.

inverted V on Toyota Solara,
I have a Toyota Solara. The inverted V rope arrangement sounds interesting. I’d love to see a diagram of that. Haven’t found one yet with google.

I’m familiar with the idea of putting permanent tie down loops under the hood and trunk using 1” tube strap. I do that on my Honda Odyssey minivan (thanks to suggestions here.)

On the Solara right now I have permanent eyelets under the bumpers, one on each side of each bumper. I have ropes pre tied with a small carabineer (cheap version, not climbers quality) to hook to the eyelet, and a loop in the rope, ready for a trucker’s hitch. Putting two die downs, one from each of those eyelets under each side of the bumper would make inverted V’s right?

Is the leverage better though if coming out of the hood and trunk? Maybe less downward force on the ropes and more sideways force, when the wind is pushing on the bow.

Is it better for the tie downs to come out of the front of the hood or sides of the hood closer to the windshield? There’s a nice crossbar under the hood back toward the windshield that would be easy to put tie downs on. I don’t see anything right away in the trunk.

Paul S.

Tie Down
I use Thule Set to Go saddles on an OEM rack that I got with my small hatchback. There is only 26 to 28" between the front and rear crossbars and I have no trouble at all securing either my 18’ Heritage Shearwater or my 16.5’ Hurricane Tracer.

Malone vs HullRaiser

– Last Updated: Aug-25-06 11:43 AM EST –

Wow, people love the Malones! I had posted before on best J cradles and there were a lot of Malone fans. Can anyone give a specific comparison of Malone vs Yakima HullRaiser?

I find the metal tube construction of the HullRaiser appealing for rigidity, long life, and maybe lower noise, over the injection molded plastic of the Malones. This is all theory as I haven't seen either up close. I'm sure the Malones hug the hull better. I did see the one comment about no noise with the Malones.

The way the straps go under the crossbar in front of the kayak on the HullRaisers seems secure too. Not relying just on the bolted connection between the crossbar and the Js. Maybe that can be done on the Malones also.


Paul S.

malones are great
i personally do not like the j cradles from them…but that is just me…i have the gullwings and they fit ANY boat, or ladder for that matter, i can put on the roof…although i did get the stax for the surf boat sot aht the fins do not dig into my roof anymore…oops…

long boats i do not usually use tie downs for around town…highway i use a bow tie down and that is it…never had ANY problems…

You’ve got the right idea
Using hood loops (compared to lower anchor points) increases the angle in the inverted “V”, so there’s more resistance to side-to-side movement. Also, using hood loops keeps your tie downs short, and can avert disasters like having a loose tiedown get stuck under a moving wheel. When viewed from the side of the car, your front and rear tie down should both angle slightly inward from boat to car, or slightly outward for really short boats. The idea is that your boat wouldn’t move much if your rack or components suddenly became loose.

Here’s what I’m gonna do.
I think I’m gonna buy Malone Js. Sounds like the Thule saddles would conform and hold well too. (Interesting that the Thule site has a Wilderness boat in the photo for the saddles.) Looks like the Js will load really easy though and will also hold the boat in place, just like saddles would. I’ve been curious to try Js anyway, so I guess that’s why they win out for me. If I don’t like them I suspect an add here that says something like, “Malone Js, used once, $60 to your door” will get rid of them quickly, and chalk it up to a $50 experiment.

I’ll also experiment around with straps coming out of the hood and inverted V rig.

Thanks as always.

Paul S.

Here’s a question
Tried the Malone Xv Js as I mentioned in another post. Fit wasn’t too good. They flex quite a bit on the rack too.

Here’s a question relating to saddles vs Js.

Which orientation of the kayak do you think catches more cross wind out at the end one third?

I would think flat down on the cross bars would catch more cross wind. Anyone who cartops with both Js and flat on cross bars have observations about which orientation the kayak bow tends to wag more in a cross wind?

Paul S.

Wow – Thule Set To Go saddles!
Solid as a rock. Several reasons, in my estimated order of priority.

  1. Each side of the saddle bolts down separately. For my boat the left and right side of the saddles are anchored about 14” inches apart along the cross bar.
  2. The curvature of the saddle is adjustable to fit snug against the hull.
  3. The rubber is thick and soft (yet tough) to grip well against the hull.
  4. The system is designed to have the straps attached to the cross bars, not to the saddles. That may be the case with most saddles, I don’t know.

    When applying a reasonable amount of force with my hand all the way out at the nose of the bow and stern, the boat moves about +/- a quarter inch. That’s solid! Actually moves a lot more in the up down direction because of cross bar flex. With noodles, the boat would move about +/- one to two inches from foam flex, and it would slide too in high cross wind. The flexing gave the wagging in the cross wind to the tune of about a 3 inch amplitude oscilation–unnerving. In the Malone Xv Js the boat probably moved about +/- two to three inches out at the end.

    Negatives on the saddles, are the usual:

  5. More difficult to load of course than Js. I’m a moose though as kayakers go.

  6. Takes more space on the rack. If I take two or three yaks or people though, I’ll use the minivan. This set up is for me, alone, on the car I love to drive, short roof and all.

  7. The saddles want to rotate front to back quite a bit when loading. (Mounted on Yakima round bars.) I just have to straighten them after putting the boat on.

    I don’t think the Malone gulls would be nearly as stable as the Thule STGs be cause the gulls are a single mount point.

    Also I think the Yakama Js would have been medium solid as the mounting bracket covers about three inches along the bar rather than the ¾ inch of typical mounts. Also the tube steel construction is rigid. I decided to go with the STGs though as I was pretty sure they would be very solid, and the boat and mounts are lower profile with the saddles.

    Just my experience with my situation…

    Paul S.

Paul, don’t do saddles!!

I would highly recommend you DO NOT USE SADDLES, ROLLERS OR J SADDLES.

I think you’re doing it the right way with the pool noodles (I use rubber pipe insulation covered with duct tape).

Look around at all the EXPERT boaters in your area. Karl, Steve “flatpick”, Jon, AJ, and more. You’ll find they do not use saddles. The padded bars give you so much more flexibility.

I throw our boats on the bars and strap them down with two straps. One across the front deck and one across the back deck. If I’m driving a further distance, then I add a bow and stern safety line. example:

With saddles you’re limited on how many boats you can haul. With paddled bars, I can rotate the boats to their sides and use the stacker and get many more boats on the car. When I had a Ford Expedition I easily hauled 6 sea kayaks. With the Cayenne I often haul 4 sea kayaks.

The padded bars will save you tons of money and provide much more flexibility.

There you have it, that’s my $0.02 worth… Good luck


Hey Wade.
I know. That’s why I went with pipe insulation and duct tape, then noodles (noodles are superior) in the first place on my camper shell on Toyota pickup, and on the Honda minivan, and tried to do it on the Toyota Solara. On the Solara as mentioned above the spread of cross bars is fixed at 30", very short. At least the saddles give me great stability. Yeah, they look rookie, at least around Portland ;-).

I was just mentioning to my wife tonight that I might only use them for the long trips to lakes, bays, coast, and take them off for local river and pool sessions. They go on with door knob style hand nuts. Easy to steal for that reason too.

Yeah, maybe a stacker bar would stabalize well too. I dunno, at least this works. As I mentinoed also, if taking two or more people or yaks I’m gonna take the minivan anyway.

I have seen a small number of experienced kayakers use one set of Js when carying two yaks of fiberglass or wood. Certainly Js or stackers are the way to go for a plastic boat.

Paul S.