Roof Racks

I am looking for some input on selecting new roof rack components for carrying my Shearwater 17 H on my Land Rover Freelander.  Right now I am carrying it in Malone "Auto-Loaders" clamped to Thule load bars.  These carry the boat on its side, leaving lots of room for my MC 16.5 alongside.  It is quite difficult for one person to lift the boat into the racks from the side of the car.  I recently had the boat slip and bounce off my front teeth.  Lucky to still have them all. 

The new racks will be for carryng the Shearwater alone.  I have been studying the various options from Thule.I don't want to get inot the expense of the Hullavator.  I am thinking of loading up over the back of the car using either the "Roller Coaster" or "Hydro-Glide" at the back in conjunction with the "Set-To-Go" up forward.

Advice from those with experience will be appreciated.


5 replies:

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RE: Roof Racks

I am using a system very much like you describe. Thule set to gos mounted on a forward load bar and hydro glides mounted on the rear bar. I load the boat from the back of the vehicle, resting the forward end on the hydo glides and then picking up the stern and pushing the boat forward onto the set to gos. I am able to load my Annapolis Wherry onto my pickup by myself using this setup and the Wherry is a good 20 lbs heavier than a Shearwater.

RE: Roof Racks

That is exactly how I would like to load.  I presume you are happy with the quality and workings of the Thule components.  Yes?


RE: Roof Racks

I sold Thule and Yakima products side-by-side for several years. I recommend that you mix and match. Thule makes the best saddles -- get a pair of their Set-to-Go saddles -- -- for the bow. Yakima makes the best rollers -- get a pair of HullyRollers -- -- for the stern. (You can use this Yakima product on Thule bars.) The Thule saddles fit many kinds of hulls well; the Yakima rollers fit many kinds of hulls well and are better than than Thule's HydroGlide pads, IMO. I've made this recommendation to many dozens of satisfied customers.  

RE: Roof Racks


I am pretty satisfied with the Thule components. I've only been using this setup for about 2 seasons but so far everything is holding up. The hydroglides are "fair" at "gliding", most notably when the boat is at an extreme angle, i.e. the initial push when you are first loading. I compensate for this by throwing a towel between the pads and the hull. This may be partly due to the weight of the boat plus gear (~90 lbs), perhaps a lighter boat would glide easier.


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