Canoe Saddles

Hi everyone,

I need a recommedation on a canoe saddles to load my oc-1 on. I have a Thule rack for my 4dr civic and would like stable and a secure platform for transporting my baby safely. Also any recommendation for transporting the ama on the same rack is greatly appreciated.


Submitted by mishka on Mon, 08/29/2005 - 6:50pm

I have a 2 door civic with a thule rack and used to use yakima saddles on the normal thule rack-- but the saddles ended up being only about two feet apart. Because the saddles were so close the canoe would bounce a lot and it looked like there was A LOT of stress on just a small portion of canoe. To remedy the bouncing i tied a line around the front of the canoe to the underpart of the front of the civic (theres a hook on each side of the car), but everytime that i tightened the bowline i felt like i was bending the canoe. So with all of that i felt guilty everytime i drove with my canoe on my car (which was like 99% of the time), so to ease my stress i invested in an adirondack rack extender ( which clamps down to your thule racks and extends the distance between saddles to like six feet. I would highly highly recommend that you buy that system.
What i used to also do was just keep the whole canoe on my civic completely rigged-- you just need a small pad on the other side of the back rack for where the ama is going to sit, and you can just loosely tie it down so it doesn't bounce.

If you're going to put the canoe hull-side down make sure you pad the saddle with something-- i used to use the two small mats from the back of the civic-- they worked perfect, but can use anything.

#1 Mon, 08/29/2005 - 7:14pm

Wax the boat or just pull some 4-6 mil plastic tight across right where it sits on the racks..... glass over this area, starting with some 4 or 6 oz. first, then some heavy stuff or even uni, finish up with a ply of 4-6 ounce with another wrinkle free ply of 4-mil clear plastic squeegeed over the top of the whole thing to smooth out the backside of layup. Let cure, pull plastic and trim the glass to fit the hull. Only needs to come up and around a couple inches.... lay up as much length of boat as you feel ness. If one has a CRX, I would lay up the whole 3' so you can pull down on those straps guilt free. If better spacing is available, just make the glass pads 6" or so. Either bolt to existing racks or save $$$ or get rid of existing factory saddles and bolt new low drag glass pads ( saddles) directly to bars. Since you can now spread the load softer than your hand could hold the boat you can even think about carrying it upside down or rightside up if you always wanted to. Using foam below you can practically use rubberbands ( USPS, not those hooked 99cent store things) to hold the boat on. Honestly, the new 'racks' fit so well you only have to 'bump' the foam/straps a bit and boat is rock solid. Can mix art store acrylics into resin to match your car's color.

Get some of that "Ridgerest" foam and cut it to fit the new glass pads but do not bond it on as it will probably blow off while you are going 100 without the boat. Instead just put one or two of those velcro dots on the glass and foam to hold it there so the wind does not blow it off while you load boat. Since you can take the pads off, you can always keep them clean,grit, road scum and ozone degradation free.

#2 Tue, 08/30/2005 - 12:22am

Huki ( makes foam pads that you can glue to your yakima or thule rack pads to fit an oc1 or surfski snug without any hard surfaces. I've never used them but they look like a great option. I just use regular foam canoe pads that fit on the bare rack and cut grooves in the front one for the rails of the footwells for a secure fit with the canoe placed face down. It's worked great so far and is real cheap.

#3 Tue, 08/30/2005 - 12:01pm


I have the same car and use the Yakima LandSharks, they are much quiter than saddles. They work on round or square racks. I put the ama against the side of the Landsharks, and strap everything together. The shape holds the ama securely. I also have regular rack pads on the other side of the LandSharks to protect the ama. You can look at them at and best of all they cost less...........

#4 Wed, 08/31/2005 - 10:46am

Aloha Mishka,

What is the wind like in your area our the reas that you will be transporting your OC-1 to? I used to carry my Elua on top of my Nissan 200SX (similar roof line to a 2dr Civic) on a pair of foam saddles over my Yakama rack. The winds that I experienced traveling from Eastern OR/WA to the west sides of thess states caused tremendous stress to the canoe causing cracks in the gel coat requiring repair. Experimenting with transporting the canoe upside down or right side up did not help. My solution was to buy a used Jeep Cherokee to get close to a six foot spreed between my rack crossbars. If wind is a concern, getting this kind of spread between crossbars is a must. If I had this to do over again, I would most likely attach a towing hitch to my Nissan and get a Yakima Dry Dock system to use with my foam saddles and a crossbar at the forward end of the roof. Of course, the Dry Dock system was not available at the time I bought my Cherokee (came out the next year :x ) , but several of my club members are now successfully using that system. There are other ways to obtain that clearance, but the tow hitch will allow the use of hitch mounted bike racks, etc. Just don't risk carrying your kanu on a short roofed car in waindy areas.

#5 Sun, 09/04/2005 - 4:42am

Kayak pro makes the E-Z Vee carrier in various lengths, and it attaches to the factory racks. I have seen them, and they are very good quality:

I use home made foam cradles for my ama, although commercial carriers are available.


#6 Thu, 09/08/2005 - 10:51am

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