Submitted: 06-01-2009 by JBS
I bought the Thule Slipstream 887XT because I have a SUV with a high rooftop and getting a 17 foot Kayak into J-Bars just didnít seem to work for me after a long day of paddling (ok so Iím not that strong). I liked the demos I saw of the product on U-Tube and it seemed pretty simple to install. But like all product demos, they are always done in environments that we probably wonít find ourselves in when loading or unloading Kayaks; such as FLAT parking lots, or places with no wind.
My 17 foot brand new FG Chatham FELL OFF the Slipstream 887XT while loading and unloading. It wasn't bad while loading because it landed on an open door of my SUV, but while unloading in hit the pavement pretty hard, yes I cried. I was parked on a flat surface loading and not parked on a flat surface while unloading; however it wasn't that bad an incline. I had to take my boat in for repair (the reason for the tears) and asked one of the staff people to watch me unload or load the boat to see if I was doing anything wrong or if there was anything that needed adjustment. The pads were spaced fine; they thought I might have been a little too quick to move the boat up or off.
I would say this is not a system that is fool proof, YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL LOADING AND UNLOADING and GO SLOWLY; BE PREPARED TO STEER YOUR BOAT. I would say that heavy poly boats would probably not stray off the system better than light slippery ones. I can tell you this fool will load and unload much slower next time!
I also bought one of these for my wife's minivan, and I am reconsidering whether it was the right purchase (I haven't taken it out of the box yet). I'll need a few more loads and unloads before I'm completely comfortable with the design.
It is extremely easy to install and very quiet on the roof. I have a Mitsubishi Montero Sport with Factory Racks and all I had to buy was the Slipstream, no other adapters were necessary. The Thule Web site was very helpful in determining what would be required.