Why did Maine Roll-On go away?

I was sorting through old kayaking magazines and saw the ads for this rooftop-assistance device, which attached to a rear crossbar. It had a roller on arms with two positions, an inactive one for most of the time, and an active one that locked into place when loading or unloading a long boat.

Price was very reasonable and it was sooooo simple. Did “the Big Two” buy them out to force people to buy much more expensive and proprietary systems?

is this like the Malone system?
Sounds vaguely like it…and an idea I like better than the thule loaders.

I don’t think so
The locking arms that held the roller part would swing down and back of the bar: no contact with the rear of the vehicle at all.

I like that better
There has to be a better mousetrap than the side-loader that thule has.

Link to a former seller

If this were available now, I’d buy it.

who knows

– Last Updated: Jun-27-11 4:39 PM EST –

Thule 884 Roller looks similar to what your link shows

Edit - Thule 887XT Slipstream is takes the idea a bit further

"Fits Thule square bar rack system only"
Definitely not the same type of product:

  1. The Maine Roll-On fit both Yakima and Thule bars
  2. The Roll-On was strictly a loading aid, not a required assembly of proprietary bars, saddles, and loading aid.
  3. The Roll-On was wide enough to accommodate two boats. You did not have to buy two $240 products incorporating two sets of unwanted saddles.

Possible supply
I saw a couple of these at the Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine. They might have one or two left.


looks like yakima got their paws on it
Select the link to the yakima product. Looks pretty similar…

I got lucky…
I picked up a barely used 884 system for 60 bucks(even had the straps with it)…Being that I own a fat, stubby rec kayak I modified the rear roller using some PVC pipe, making the roller about 3 feet wide…Not that any of this helps you…But this might




I threw this together pre-thule rack…I had it attached to my factory roof rack…I was planning on “refining” it until I came across the 884 system…

Basically it consisted of two side tubes with inserts that telescoped out past the end of my jeep and locked in place with pins…A piece of PVC within another created the rear roller…For about 15 bucks and a half hour of time it worked surprisingly well…It never got past proto-type stage…but the potential was there…With a little more effort, I know I could have improved on it greatly…Just an idea…

How did you attach the PVC tubes to your factory rack?

Always good to see simple, useful contraptions that most people could make.

cable ties…
I slid the PVC tubes under the roof rack cross members, along each side…attached them at the cross member contact points and to the rack towers with heavy duty plastic cable ties…

While I did experience some flex in the tubing…it wasn’t a problem given the short length of the extention…I later had some simple ideas that could have strengthen the whole system considerably…If interested I’ll explain more

I don’t understand that 887
It’s shown being used with the Glide n Set system. Once you get the kayak up onto the rear felt pads, it slides forward easily. Isn’t it just as easy to put the kayak on the felt pads as onto a roller?

Maine Roll-On
I have had one for 10 years or so and it is great. I easily load 18 and 20 foot wood and canvas canoes by myself with it.

People stand in awe at the boat ramp when I heft the canoe and roll it right onto the roof.

Like most things, someone makes something that really works, and then they fade away.

Try here. :slight_smile: