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Old 04-27-2011, 11:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Suggestions for improving kayaking MPG.

Folks,

I'm a keen kayaker, and frequently load my car up with up to 4 kayaks on the roof. ( The boats are likely different shapes)

Needless to say this isn't particularly good for the old FE.

So I'd love some suggestions on how to improve the FE in this situation?

So far I thought of some sort of lycra sock to put over the front of the boats so as to smooth the 4 boats into one...good idea or waste of time?

Cheers

Steve

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What kind of mileage drop do you see with the boats on top? and how do you fit 4 kayaks on the roof of a car? I would go with a small trailer, but that is just me.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Easy: Cut up the boats into small pieces and put them inside the car!

Oh, wait--you want to be able to use the boats again later? Hmmm.... Nevermind.

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Old 04-27-2011, 08:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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slow down so the aero drag is less significant.

Or fair them all.

Inside of a faired trailer
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What kind of car and what kind of kayaks? (some pictures might be needed for some of us to have any idea of the size and shape of the kayaks)
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Try it all

I like the idea of the trailer and the lycra. Perhaps you could fashion it into a pseudo boat tail of your car.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's a pic of the sort of thing I talking about.

h t t p s:// picasawe b . google. com /marc.labuhn/RegentSJanuary2010?fgl=true&pli=1#5433038460316152 146

(remove the extra spaces from the URL to see it. I can't post links/pics yet)

The car is a Vauxhall Astra G Slushbox 1.6... I haven't really measured but the effect of 4 whitewater kayaks on the roof is at least 10mpg.

The boats themselves are about 6-9ft long (I take different boats at different times), & about 2 feet wide.

How do you fit 4 boats on a car? Easy.
1 roof rack
2 uprights in middle of roof rack.
2 boats on their side on each side of the uprights.
4 long straps.
Pull hard on straps....

As suggested a trailer would be ideal, but not practical for me as I live in a small flat/apartment with only 1 parking space on the street, so no storage for trailers.

I was thinking along the lines of some kind of fabric fairings to even out the irregular shapes that the boats present. Not sure if this would really make any significant savings though.



Cheers

Steve
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I like the idea of a fairing. Maybe fabric at first, but then maybe you could cook up something more shapely and substantial that would also serve some other purpose, like transporting bits of gear from the car down to the water's edge, or from your car back up to your apartment.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Instead of fabric to start I would get a tarp with eyelets and place that on the roof first then wrap it over the top and pull it tight to the straps that you are using. Doing this you might need to reposition the boats so they do not cause and pockets that will trap air and cause more drag.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Custom trunk-lid with kayak holes?

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