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Old 07-20-2010, 08:47 PM   #1
richard p
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Another Car Topping Question

I travel over 300 miles on the Thruway to get to Saranac Lake. This will only be my third trip with my pac boat (a Vermont Canoe Tupper)on Thule racks with canoe carrier. It seems to me that placing the boat with the rear facing forward would be more aerodynamic since the back is not as tall as the front. It seems most canoes are taller in front but I don't think I have ever seen a canoe placed backwards on a vehicle. Am I wrong? Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:23 PM   #2
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I think you should go with your instinct on this. It's almost always right. I may have loaded a canoe stern forward a few times if I had a helper with me. Upside down my canoe is hard to tell what end is what. Low in front sounds good to me!
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
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sure I have put canoes on bow front and stern front. It doesn't seem to matter. I have a feeling that downward force is more than upward. My boat is on the truck now backward..just drove 770 miles..waiting for ferry to Newfoundland with canoe on top.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:49 AM   #4
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You will be throughly chastised here if you don't tie the bow and stern so be careful with that!
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:18 AM   #5
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I know!

I know - I read the old thread!
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:53 AM   #6
charlie wilson
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propriety

It is an industry axiom that canoes and kayaks be tied on bow forwards, this is in part to eliminate the ignominy of being carried backwards and in fear that the myth of knots loosening if that much disrespect is shown one's canoe might be true.

On the other hand, it's easier to see stoplights with the smaller profile forward.

Whatever, get some Thule gunwale brackets but pitch their ratchets, and look up the web rabbit ears on the transport page of the Pb web site; the best way to secure the leading stem at road speed.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:54 AM   #7
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I always tie my marathon C-1 on backwards, mostly because my Dodge Dakota has a slightly downsloping roof line. Stern first maks it easier to see forward when driving, Aerodinamics may improve slightly but I doubt it makes any difference in gas milage. Our camp is exactly 249 miles from home. If I drive 63 mph on the interstate portion of the trip I get 20-21mpg (22 w/o boat) rather than 18mpg driving at 68 mph. Thats a huge % increase and the trip only takes 20 minutes or so longer, 80 miles of the trip are not on highways. By the way the only time I drive up W/O a boat or 2 on top is in the winter when gas formulations are different and we all get less milage. The winter formulations are to reduce pollution but if you get lower milage what is the gain?

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Old 07-21-2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by charlie wilson View Post
It is an industry axiom that canoes and kayaks be tied on bow forwards, this is in part to eliminate the ignominy of being carried backwards and in fear that the myth of knots loosening if that much disrespect is shown one's canoe might be true.

On the other hand, it's easier to see stoplights with the smaller profile forward.

Whatever, get some Thule gunwale brackets but pitch their ratchets, and look up the web rabbit ears on the transport page of the Pb web site; the best way to secure the leading stem at road speed.
Axiom, ignominy...?? let me dig out my Websters so I can translate that in plain english.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:58 AM   #9
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Axiom, ignominy...?? let me dig out my Websters so I can translate that in plain english.
Google works well too

Does it really matter aerodynamically? I remember a commercial from a couple of years ago when someone was told to put their skis on the roof rack backwards so their mileage would improve. I thought tips forward might give more lift and increase mileage (assuming the skis are right side up)

I always car-top canoes and kayaks for maximum visibility.

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Old 07-21-2010, 01:05 PM   #10
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wind tunnel testing?

I bet you could decrease the drag significantly if you put a cover over the top of the canoe or used a bag. This would also save time cleaning bug guts off of the canoe after every trip.

This discussion is going to add a whole new dimension to the “What’s the best canoe threads”. What’s the best boat for a person who wants to kneel, paddle flat water and up to class II rapids, do several portages on multi day trips, weighs 225 and is 5’9” tall and wants a canoe that is aerodynamic while traveling to paddling destinations? Swede or fish form, a Yost design, how much rocker?
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:54 PM   #11
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(edit bad rocker joke)
But seriously, I have a home spun "rack" mounted on my work rack so I 'tach em to that. When we bring tandems, I mount them bow first so that when they come off...and come to think of it-loading them, I can get under the yoke and see what I'm doing. The Hornbecks I mount stern first they lay better because of seat and thwart placement.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:51 PM   #12
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In all reality, the drag is mostly a function of the length in the direction of the highest velocity...

Which is why most folks are quite surprised to see me carry my boats vertical, that's right, vertical.
I've found that I can get a 0.02% increase in gas mileage, but that gain is usually negated by the cost of the special height permits.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:16 PM   #13
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In all reality, the drag is mostly a function of the length in the direction of the highest velocity....
Hmmmm.....food for thought.....coracle anyone???
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:12 PM   #14
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It is my personal, albeit baseless, belief that carrying a boat any way but bow-forward is committing "karmacide". The front of the boat belongs at the front of the vehicle. This is the balance of things, the Way It Is Done for me. Loading the boat stern first may be better for dynamics, but it is bad mojo in my world. This has worked well for me.
I am also not alone in this belief, not by a long shot.

Of course, when I am on the water, the canoe loses its bow and stern designation. The front of the boat is whatever end of the boat happens to be pointing in the direction I am headed. And this switches constantly, especially when I am poling.

Yes, I know. It makes no sense. And I am normally a person that gives such claptrap suspicions the short schrift they deserve. So take my views with a big grain of salt.

-rs
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:58 PM   #15
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.......Of course, when I am on the water, the canoe loses its bow and stern designation. The front of the boat is whatever end of the boat happens to be pointing in the direction I am headed. And this switches constantly, especially when I am poling......
Am I confused? or just all mixed up?....or is it the other way around? It sounds to me like your pre-eminently nautical vehicle uses proper nautical terminology for it's sundry parts when it is completely out of it's element, stranded on top of a land vehicle, perched for take-off into the wild blue yonder but once back in it's own element uses that same terminology like a dusty land-lubber that encounters water only from a tap.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:18 AM   #16
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under hood straps

I was looking for the other car topping thread, but this will do...
I finally took 10 minutes and installed my front straps under the hood.
I used parts from an old dog training harness. Seriously, it took 10 minutes, what was I waiting for?? This way, I can tie the front of my boats down easily, with no paint rubbing involved! Take a look
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #17
bethfit
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Mike,
We rigged up the the exact same thing on our last trip with the tandem kevlar canoe. It worked
great!! We,ve got the Nissan Xterra which has an excellent rack. For local stuff two good straps over the top are fine. On the open road three straps over the top, bow and stern lines with the loops coming from under the hood. The boat becomes part of the vehicle. No paint rubbing and the husband isn't on his back trying to tie a rope under the vehicle. It is the only way to go. Should have done it a long time ago!!
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:59 PM   #18
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I have often thought about the OP's aerodynamics question, and it makes sense to me to carry a differential sheerline canoe stern first. However, like Riverstrider, it kind of spooks me.

In this same vein of cartopping aerodynamic geometry, I think it's best not to center my canoes on the racks. I mount them 'fishform', i.e., with less overhang on the front bar and more on the rear bar. My theory is that this will cause less bow vibration and yaw.

Finally, for aerodynamic reasons, I also think it is better to mount my kayaks and outrigger canoe upside down than upside up. The theory here is that the air flow on an upside down kayak will tend to push it down on the bars, whereas the airflow on an upside up kayak will tend to lift it off the bars.
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