In my case I paid $1700, but the boat was worth $4,000+ new. In this case the $150 invested in the rack is insurance for my investment. It is easier to swing my 19' boat onto my roof and secure it while solo without risk of bumping while putting it up there or deforming while lashed securely.
If you have $400 invested in your boat and don't expect to get much more at resale, it's pristine condition is probably not so important.
I think the high end racks make it easier to secure well also. Not so much in my case as my SUV is tall and I am not so gettting the straps over the boat and under the bars take a little more effort than I like.
I think the nicer the boat the more likely you will see a high end kayak holder on the roof, or if the users are not as strong, swinging a boat into a nice kayak rack makes it easier.
Canoe / Kayak Anchors
Deck Rigging Gear
Cartop Kayak Carriers
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