yakima - hully rollers

hello. i was curious if anyone uses or has had experience with the yakima hully rollers. i was planning on using them front and rear. i was curious if its possible to fit two boats side by side on an avg. size suv roof. the boats are about 30" in width, i’m just not sure like how much overhang the rollers permit. any input would be much appreciated. thanks.


Just use them for loading from the rear. Mako saddles work better.

Just in the rear.
And be sure your bars do not rotate in their holders. Several suggestions have been posted here for eliminating rotation (such as wrapping abrasive material around the bar).

mako saddles
I also use the combination of Mako saddles in front and Hully Rollers in rear. It works very well.

for the suggestions. i read some reviews and it does seem like thats the best combination. still trying to figure out if i’ll have adequate room to fit two boats on the roof with identical setups. has anyone been able to accomplish this. thanks again.

Bar length
It depends on the bar length you are using and maybe on the vehicle as well. With the long bars (72"?)on my mid-sized pickup I can get three 23" wide boats on using saddles and rollers.


i’m just using the factory bars on a z71 tahoe. i know i’d need obviously 60 inches at least in width to accomdate 2 boats, just wondered if the facotry rack would be enough to accomodate two boats, given there will be overhang. thanks.

For two boats…
…you will probably need to buy a rack. I have the Mako saddles and hully rollers on my Dodge Caravans factory roof and don’t think I could add another set due to lack of width. Your roof may be wider so I can’t be certain. I do however have enough room for the “J” saddles.

easy on easy off
We use the Hully Rollers rear and Land Shark saddles in the front. We have a four door Toyota Tacoma and can just barely get our two Carolinas loaded. We are currently using the 48" bars but may go longer next season. We have not had any problem with bars rolling. We have the control towers in rear attached to our camper shell and in front we have Q towers. We love the system other than the expense of getting into it, yet do feel our boats are secure even in mighty winds when rolling down the highway.

hully rollers and bar lenght
I don’t think using Hully Rollers would work front and rear. I doubt they would offer enough support and not enough friction to keep your boats from sliding fowards or backwards even though the rollers do lock.

If your boats are 30" wide the standard 58" width bars are probably going to be too short. You can get 66’ long bars that would probably be long enough. And with a SUV you will be OK with the length. A big problem with bars longer than your car is wide is that you will bang your head into the ends if they are not over head hight.

2 boats W/Std Rack bars
I have the Yakima Rack system on my Dodge Dakota 4x4 Club Cab. I have a 22.5" wide kayak, and my wife has a 24" wide kayak. I fit them both on the standard length bars.

I like the Mako Saddles with felt pads front and rear for my composite kayak. The added flex in the Mako saddles protects Composite hulls from cracking if you hit a hard bump in the road.

My wife’s kayak sits on Mako Saddles in the front, and Hully rollers for the back. This works OK.

You would not get two wider kayaks on the standard length bars. There is only about 1" between hers and mine (at the most) when they are both on the roof rack. I have been pretty happy with the set up.

I take the rack off over the winter, to protect it from freezing damage if water got where it shouldn’t be and freezes.

Good Luck!


yeah. it looks like
i only have about 46 inches worth of factory cross bar. the 60 required to accomdate each kayak would give me about 14 inches of total overhang, 7 per side. i’m just curious if i mounted the rollers out as far as possible, would it not be ok to have that 7 inches of overhang per side? i guess it obviously depends on how the rollers fit on the kayak hull. i might be understimating how close you’d have ot put the rollers together to acheive that 7 inch overhang. anywyas, i may end up having to get the entire system. thanks for everyones advice.

Hully rollers in center area, of side
I started out putting the hully rollers in the approximate middle of each side under the hull. Then I adjusted them for best fit.

If the hull gives when the straps are tight, then you want to move them apart farther. The hull gets stiffer near the sides of the kayak. If you move them too far apart, the kayak keel might hit the cross bar. I put a piece of brown pipe foam insulation on the cross bar, and held it in place with plastic wire ties.

If the rollers are too close together, the kayak may fall off one side while loading.

Experiment and see what works best for your kayak.

z71 tahoe
I tried using the factory cross bars on that same vehicle and with only one kayak, about 45 lbs., there was a lot of bounce. I don’t think those cross bars will handle the weight of two. I installed yakima mounts right into the roof (had a body shop do it) and cut the yakima bars to fit inside the side rails. It works great, but might not be wide enough for two kayaks using rollers and saddles. You will also be able to get the rollers farther back this way than you will using the factory cross bars.

by the way
at the time (2 years ago) yakima hadn’t come up with anything to fit the side rails on the z71 for attaching the bars, maybe they’ve come up with something since…

Alternative to Expensive Crossbars
I use Hully Rollers on the rear and Yakima saddles on the front–the combination works great for my boats.

Several other posters mentioned about different crossbar lengths. After spending way too much money on my first set, I experimented with varying lengths of 1 1/8" black iron pipe, heavily painted up with Rustoleum for wrought iron furniture. It’s the same pipe that’s inside the Yakima crossbars but lacks the grippy rubber coating that also increases the pipe OD. I overcome this by wrapping the contact points with 2" wide black electrical tape.

As for preventing crossbar rotation, I simply drilled a small hole through each tower and into the crossbar, then pounded a slightly larger sized roll pin (a split and rolled heat treated steel pin commonly available at any hardware store for $.03 each) and it works like a charm.

Use rollers on the back only. Mako saddles provide much better support, so use them on the front. I use both in this manner. Next year, I’ll be looking for a Thule Hullavator, which they say, should be available with an improved design, at the beginning of 06.