Well, it's a done deal. After many 100's of $$$, months of not sailing (injuries), sailing my friends boats, and scamming rides on other peoples trailers, (thanks Batman!) I finally loaded my AI and took it on it's inaugural ride atop the SUV from Hell.
As God and Kayak Bob as my witness, it worked!!
I ended up going with Thule glide and set saddles atop the large Thule Aero Wing Bars. You saw the Aero bars picture on the car earlier. They are expen$ive and have a few flaws, but I like them.
On this test flight, I loading the AI solo using the tall custom foam blocks.
Basically, I suction the 2 or 3 foam blocks in place on the curved glass, lift the bow in place and slide her up with barely any resistance.
I'm still a little wobbly lifting and pushing way over my head but when you get used to guiding the hull using the rear "glide" saddles, it goes on/off quickly.
The hull is strapped to/under the bars. The Amas go along side upside down. Straps go through the Amas and around the main hull.
Hey - I can still carefully open the rear hatch with the boat loaded! There's tons or room back there for Akas, etc and everyone's Hakas.
I was really concerned about the balance and need for extra tie downs but it turns out the load is tight and there is no rocking up/down or side to side. For insurance I added a couple ratcheting Thule tiedowns in the front.
There are NO tow bars and lots of thin plastic shroud under the SUVFH's bumper so I anchor onto the engine compartment frame. Clear tubing around the ropes, protects the paint job.
So, things look good. Between sails, I remove the Thule racks so I can save on gas and fit into any garage. They unlock and unscrew in under 2 minutes, using Thule's built in wrench tool.
The funniest part is that we trial loaded the AI in the dark, before a morning sail and found out that the boat JUST fit under the tallest section of my garage, with a breathtaking 1/2" to spare! (Bob has a picture somewhere).
Happy ending? I guess so. Hopefully it's the beginning of many great sails, now that I have finally pimped my kayak ride.