I have an '09 subaru Impreza with the subbie after market rack. The bars are 30 inches apart. I’m concerned that hauling my 17 foot glass seakayak on such a narrow footing might not be best to ensure a long life for the boat. Does the 30 inch footing present any real hazard? is upgrading to the $300 Thule slipstream, which fastens to the factory rack but extends the boat support out to about 5 feet worth while?
check out keystonekayaks.com They have Vbars that are better than the slipstream, and half the price
bow and stern lines
If you’ve got J-cradles, and bow and stern lines, I don’t think there’s any need to worry about the life of your boat. I find the J-cradles more secure, especially over short spans, than the deck-up cradles, FWIW.
Felt the same way
I use a slipstream for our two 18’ boats. Couldn’t be happier with it. Think about the physics up there on the top of your car? Made sense to me. We also use ratchet bow and stern lines all the time too. Saved our ass, or I should say our boats, when we got rear ended, and slammed in to a truck in front of us! Totaled our Honda Element, but the boats didn’t budge! We now have the Slipstream on a Rack and Roll trailer. This is a real nice combo! Bought our Slipstream at “RackAttack” on line. Good prices and great service!
With the Slipstream you can adjust so the saddles are right below the bulkheads of your boat, the strongest part of your boat. This is where you strap your boat down too, so you really have the best possible spot to secure your boat to your car. I might be beating a dead horse here, but since we were in that accident, it really made me a believer. Those boats didn’t move and inch and weren’t damaged at all. Our Honda, Element was crunched in about a foot in the back and a foot in the front!