I just purchased a Necky Manitou 14 and transported it home on my newly installed Land Shark saddles. I couldn't have been happier with how the boat rested within the cradles and how snug it remained for the 1.5 hr trip home.
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.To everyone having a problem with the Land Sharks making grey spot on their kayaks, I came up with an easy fix that took no time and cost nearly nothing. Go to Walmart or similar and grab a set of 10inch automobile orbital waxer bonnets. They cost 5$ for 4, and fit the LandSahrk like a glove. It's easier than sticking on foam and it won't grab dust and rocks like the foam. Just remember to take them off when driving without the kayak.
$5 to save your $3000 kayak finish... worth it.I suspect the problem described below by robertec is created by the poly of the saddle and the poly of the boat hull chaffing, I first experienced this problem with another set of poly saddles (from a company on Long Island that is no longer in business.) creating gray patches on the yellow hull of my Loon 138. I tried solvents and rubbing compounds to remove them to no avail, will try some sandpaper. To remedy the problem I contacted cemented some closed cell foam to the saddles, gray foam appx. 1/8" thick with one smooth surface and one suede like surface (up) and this at least seemed to not make the gray patches worse. The foam did not seem to effect sliding the kayak on, but actually seemed to grip the hull better as they were cinched down. As the fleet grew I acquired a set of Thule Stackers and have the original saddles flanking that to support the hulls of the stacked boats and have not noticed any graying where the hulls contact the saddles on my two shorter yellow boats. (Yes I have a fleet of bananas, better to be seen by the power boaters and jet skiers, easily the most visible color on the water and not in the red/green colorblind range.)
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.I intended to buy Thule's Hull-a-port but changed my mind due to the reviews I read. Instead, I ordered Yakima's Landshark saddles and Mighty Mounts for my Pathfinder factory rack...they got almost universal raves from the reviewers.
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.This is an addendum to my previous review of the LandShark saddles. I'm upgrading them to a 10. Here's why...I called Yakima about the problem. Before I even got it out of my mouth, they asked if I had a gless boat. Yup! "Oh, so sorry, but the LandSharks are designed specifically for plastic boats. They'll eat your gelcoat if you put glass on them." So, used as intended, they get a 10.
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!