Windstar Kayak Rack

I have a 2003 Ford Windstar with a factory rack. I’m trying to find a kayak rack that will work with the factory rack. I’ve called a bunch of companies and looked on the Thule & Yakima websites and can not find any solid info as to what will and what will not work. One company told me I need a bunch of adapters and would be looking at about $500.00 to get a rack to fit. Does anyone have a Windstar with a Kayak Rack installed? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

what is
so special about Windstar rack? Describe it - spread between rails, distance between crossbars and roof.

Also, how many kayaks do you indend to carry?

Same type
as the other Ford factory racks, isn’t it? I have a Ford Escape and own/use both a set of Malone J-cradles and Malone GullWing carriers. They have the adjustable “Jawz” that works on square Thule, round Yakima, or “oval” Ford factory racks. You can get them for about $75 or so just about anywhere.

Contact them at this URL:

Remember to use bow/stern lines for added safety in high winds or at freeway speeds. Others may tell you that you don’t need them, but its better to be safe than sorry.

By the way, I am not affiliated with Malone other than as a satisfied customer.



2 Kayaks
I don’t know what is so special about the Windstar Factory racks but when I go to the Thule or the Yakima websites there is nothing that will attach directly to the Factory racks. When I’ve called the various rack companies I get conflicting info as to what will work and what will not work. I have two kayaks that I plan to carry on top.

2nd that
I use Malone Autoloaders on Subaru Factory oval/flat crossbars. Crossbars are ~2 wide, 1/2 thick ( very approximate ), MAs attach with a very sturdy looking metal bracket.

malone brackets shape…
does anyone know if the autoloader brackets were ever specific to one shape of crossbar (ie was it ever necessary to buy separate adapters for square/oval bars)

Malone adapters
We purchased our first set of Malone’s in 1997. At that time you had to buy a different adapter for each shape (round, square or oval). They created the universal system a few years ago.

Not sure if the individual ones are still available.

are the universal brackets available?
and can they be interchanged with the “old” cradles?

Have experience with Ford and Suby
The Forrester factory x-bars are relatively beefy, and can easily acept the weight of two boats.

The Windstar x-bars I have seen are somewhat wimpy. A friend’s WS uses Yakima Rail Riders bolted into the factory channels, which works acceptably. If you decide to mount saddles to the factory bars, heed the advice to tie bow & stern.