Submitted: 03-24-2003 by sotyakr
Earlier this year (2003) I purchased two sets of Thule Hull A Ports to carry an Ocean Kayak Scupper Classic and Scrambler XT on my Subaru Forester. The first used the older plastic mount clamps, and has the 'exposed' foam saddle pads. The other set featured the new metal plates and nylon covered pads.
After reading the reviews here by some users who had issues with the older clamps, I contacted Thule support and they offered to send me a set of new metal hardware at no charge. The support rep. said that most of the problems with older design were probably caused by non-use of bow and stern tie downs, and strongly recommended doing this, even with the updated mounting plates. A few weeks later I received the plates, installed them, and everything seems to be solid but I think I'll still be using tie downs just to be on the safe side. Just noticed Yakima is now making racks similar to the Hull A Ports and also recommend securing the bow and stern. Guess they're playing "C-Y-A", too.
In any case, thanks to Thule for acknowledging the potential problem and making good on it. Oh yeah, the racks are great!