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I've since purchased a set of Inno bars, which are the same as Thule (perhaps the ARE Thule), and the Land Sharks stay put. There's the advantage of square bars---nothing can spin on them. The Yak hardware (Snap-Arounds) works with square bars, so that's not a problem. As for discoloration on 'glass boats from the saddles, there are a few suggestions on the previous reviews that will alleviate that problem. My boats are plastic and they all float, so a few scuff marks are just part of the aging process, just like me.
So there's my review... Thule, Inno and Yakima parts together work very well for me... they all have their pros and cons. Take the Middle Ground and compromise and configure a set up that works well for you.
With my sunroof open, the Land Sharks do make quite a bit of whistling noise; but when the roof's closed, it becomes significantly quieter, to the point that you may even forget they're on the car.
I would definitely recommend the Yakima Land Shark saddles to anyone looking to safely secure their kayak for any journey.
$5 to save your $3000 kayak finish... worth it.
I purchased a set of Land Sharks to haul the Loon and as the gray patches didn't appear to worsen, I did not bother adding the foam pads. I recently purchased another banana and after the first trip did notice the same type of gray blemish. Back to the foam pads, and I did find a better (neater) of attaching the foam. It is a product called Visual Pursuits Galerie Mount, intended for mounting photographs. It is available in camera stores, marketed by BKA should your local store need to order it. It is available in 8X10 and 11X14 sheets in packs of 6, one 11X14 sheet does 2 saddles, and is a ultra thin polyester film on with contact adhesive both sides, covered with a heavy release paper. This also works well for adding padding in the cockpit or under the front deck. Make a cardboard template of the saddle and cut the pads to size with a scissors or exacta knife. Cut the Galerie Mount from the same template, remove the release paper from one side and press it to the smooth side of the foam, if you gently set it in place you an reposition it (same when applying foam to saddle) and once positioned, apply firm pressure for permanent seal. Repeat the same process on the saddles making sure they are clean and free of 303 or the such. I was able to mount the pads on the saddles mounted on the rack on top of my mini van. The whole process takes about 15 to 30 minutes and is much simpler than my instructions may lead you to believe.
The Land Sharks do hold the kayak extremely securely, had the kayak on the rack for a month long trip to Florida, with some warm sunshine without any oil canning at all. I agree with the previous poster ti would be advisable to keep the hull and pads as clean as possible and those with composit hulls may still want to use a soft cloth between the pad and the boat. My brother just purchased a set of Rode Gear Universal Saddles for his Surburban factory rack and we will be padding those this week. These appear to be made by Yakima (store brand?) with wide U-bolts and only $60 for the 4 saddles complete with straps and front and rear tie-downs included. Not much more than the foam blocks and a muchmore secure way to carry a kayak.
First off, I had a couple of misconceptions. I expected a soft, closed cell foam surface on flexible saddles. Nope. The surface is hard, ribbed plastic, and the vaunted flexibility is only slight. Still, that was MY misconception. They installed without frustration or tools in about 20 minutes. Great! I loaded my boat up and took off for a three week, 4000-mile trip. Fantastic trip, btw, but that's a different story. The boat rode rock solid, with never a quiver or vibration...it was like part of the car!!! And sound was no problem. It was noticeable but by no means irritating. All this without snugging the ties down so much as to distort the hull at all. So far, Raves!
Then I took the boat off the rack in Rockport, MA...what's that funny white powder on the saddles??? And why is there a big dull patch on my formerly pristine gel coat??? Bummer! Guess somebody should have warned me that these saddles require padding. As it was, I basically hauled my boat around on an automatic sander.
Still like the saddles, but I had to cover them with pieces of an old terry towel to protect the boat, though some damage had already been done. Fortunately, its not so bad that a good wax job won't cover it up...I hope. Bottom line...they are easy, solid and secure but no product intended to protect a $2000 boat should do that to the gel coat!!! The saddles would have gotten a 10, were it not for that.
Now about Yakima...They gave me full credit on the LandSharks against an upgrade to a set of Mako's with special pads to protect my boat from further damage. Since they can't do anything about the chafing that already occurred, I call that downright upright. I'll continue to do business with them for anything I need to carry my toys!
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