Submitted: 06-25-2008 by llma
This device would be great and has been great to load my kayak from the back of my Subaru Forester, if it would stop disconnecting from the crossbars, which I also had to purchase. I purchased the Showboat in 2 different stores, the 1st one I brought it back and got my money back because they apparently didn't install it correctly and it was difficult to get the Showboat (the roller part) to pull out from the crossbars. I didn't like from the beginning, that the store where I purchased it, used WD-40 oil on the crossbars to get the Showboat to slide easily & questioned them about this, stating I didn't want to have to carry WD-40 Oil with me in order to maneuver the roller part when I needed to load or unload my kayak. The store told me, the ease of operation would fall into place once the parts were moved back and forth a few times; well, this didn't hold to be true and the more I had to tug to get the Showboat (the roller part) to pull out to load my kayak, this is when it disconnected from the crossbars. After calling Yakima and revealing all this to them, they agreed, that WD-40 oil should not have been used to make the Showboat easier to slide out from the crossbars. Yakima said the store probably didn't make the crossbars evenly spaced in the front and back and felt this is why the roller part was difficult to pull out to load the kayak.
Yakima was very nice and called the next store I decided to go to, to have the Showboat installed correctly; Yakima even made a deal with the other store so I received a 25% discount on the Showboat and Crossbars since I had such a bad experience at the 1st store. Unfortunately, after 2 hours of installation and much hard work by the owner and his assistant at the 2nd store, I'm experiencing the same trouble I did with the Showboat and crossbars; Showboat (roller part) difficult to pull out and it was like this after the 2nd store installed both pieces, which got me concerned, but after they worked for 2 hours installing it and also moved my Yakima roof racks to a different position, thinking that this would correct the problem that the 1st store did not do, I felt guilty not purchasing the Showboat so I brought it and paid over $100.00 in addition to giving the owner a tip of $30.00 since installation was free!
This past Sunday, when I went to load my kayak after paddling, I thought I was going to yank my back out trying to pull the Showboat (roller part)away from the crossbars and guess what happened, the Showboat disconnected from the crossbars. For those of you familiar with Yakima's Showboat, yes, the red clamps were opened as they are supposed to be when pulling the roller part away from the crossbars to load the kayak. There was a man who came to help me place the Showboat back onto the crossbars and he said, as I knew, the screw that holds the clamp on the Showboat, was as tight as it could possibly be; it couldn't be tightened any more, so this would not solve the roller from disconnecting from the crossbars.
I called Yakima again and reported this 2nd same problem. The Yakima dealer wasn't as nice the 2nd time around as he was when I initially called him. He told me he hasn't gotten any other complaints like mine from others who have purchased the Yakima Showboat, but did tell me as I tried to troubleshoot with him, that if the Crossbars are damaged (dented in any way) that this could be why the roller part is so difficult to pull out from the crossbars. I then checked my crossbars and it does look like they are a bit dented toward the front so I will show this to the 2nd store owner tomorrow.
I would really appreciate hearing from anyone else who purchased the Yakima Showboat and Crossbars to hear if you have or had the same difficulty that I've experienced twice from 2 different stores.
If the Showboat would operate with easier pull out from the crossbars and not disconnect from the crossbars, this piece of equipment would be a gem for any Subaru Forester or higher vehicle.