Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
on the rocks
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:55 pm
Has thanked: 22 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by on the rocks » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:50 pm

Significantly on long journeys? Two kayaks on Karitec on a T5

mcgruff
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:06 am
Location: Scotland
Has thanked: 22 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by mcgruff » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:05 pm

I doubt it. With two kayaks on the roof, you won't be driving at high speed.

Probably the way you drive has a much bigger impact: accelerating gently, driving smoothly & anticipating your moves in the road ahead.

Mrstratos61
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:16 pm
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 19 times

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by Mrstratos61 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:21 pm

Mine doesn't change much whether the boats on roof or not .Mazda 2 with dagger stratos.

jmmoxon
Posts: 5724
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 12:12 pm
Location: Sometimes Sunny Somerset
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 33 times
Contact:

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by jmmoxon » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:21 pm

Basically the cockpit should fill with some extra air & then the drag will be much the same. But will make more of a difference if stop start driving.

Having the boats fill with water whilst on the rack, could cause major problems though ...

Modern car designs should be noticeable difference between normal driving & having roof rack / boats on.

Mike
http://kayakworldguide.forums-free.com Links to websites with info on white water, touring, sea & surf.

Chris Bolton
Posts: 2878
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 80 times

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:04 pm

I expect there will be more turbulence at an open cockpit than one with a cover, and turbulence will mean drag, but even if it adds 2% to the drag on the boat that's probably 0.5% on the total drag on the car. As Mike says, however, modern car engines are optimised to work best with the drag of the car, and when we stick boats on it takes the engine outside that range, so there is a bigger effect on fuel consumption than there used to be when car design was less sophisticated.

I started using cockpit covers because it avoids the need to check that the cat hasn't climbed into the boat while I wasn't looking...

on the rocks
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:55 pm
Has thanked: 22 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by on the rocks » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:43 pm

Thanks all

Ken_T
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:26 am
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by Ken_T » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:53 pm

Hi,
I have a Vito campervan with a Karitek easyloader. I find a small difference in fuel consumption between 2 sea kayakaks & an empty loader (1-2 mpg), but no perceptable difference with or without cockpit covers, I use the covers to keep water out of the cockpits. I find similar results for my car.
Ken

User avatar
PeterG
Posts: 810
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:36 pm
Location: On the water, or in the woods
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 16 times

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by PeterG » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:52 am

Looks neat and you feel you are doing your bit for the environment. We believe it does make up to 5mpg difference, driving style and indeed wind direction make more difference.

We (Skoda Octavia 1.6 DSG) average about 60mpg south coast to Glasgow without roof load without trying too hard at the legal limit or nearly 70mpg if really driving for economy at 65mph average on the motorway. With 2 boats this drops to 45mpg however slowly you go, much worse at 70mph. Getting in to the lorry lane and keeping a steady 60mph tucked into the train gets you back to 55mpg, although this is only relaxing if the motorway is quiet. Doesn't seem to make much difference on how quickly you reach Scotland.

Fast Pat
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 11:16 am

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by Fast Pat » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:27 pm

You're driving a vehicle with the aerodynamics of brick, then you've bolted a scaffold tower to it and added two bin lids on top, cockpit covers will make negligible difference to fuel economy. But they will stop your kayaks filling with rainwater and overloading your bars, they also look better.

Easle100
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:40 pm

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by Easle100 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:34 pm

It depends on the speed. Its the same as having your windows down vs Air conditioning. Up to about 45mph it is more efficient having the windows down. After 45mpg it is more efficient with the windows up and A/C on. For long motorway journeys definitely cockpit covers on.

John Goldhurst
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:53 pm
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by John Goldhurst » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:26 am

I doubt it. However using one sure makes things quieter with highway driving and less work with unexpected rainstorms.

MikeVeal
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 10:40 am
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by MikeVeal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:10 am

On the Rocks wrote:Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?
No, not if you keep your lunch in your B.A.

Owen
Posts: 2148
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:42 pm
Location: Nr Stirling
Been thanked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by Owen » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:50 pm

Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Yes, you'll probably save a thimble full of petrol per 100 miles.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13855
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: Do cockpit covers reduce fuel consumption?

Post by Jim » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:07 pm

A boat full of water will definitely use more fuel to haul around.
I was glad our WWR boats were either in bags or had cockpit cover and sock on driving home from Dover last night in torrential rain. Mine was the one with cover and sock and was pretty well dry when I unloaded it this afternoon, no wetter than when I put it on the roof in Treignac the night before (it has an annoying ability to hide water no matter how much I sponge it out).
As a bonus, after pulling us aside customs decided that our boats were well enough sealed that no-one could have stashed anything in them and decided to let us go to the ferry without unloading them for a full inspection.
I would never carry a boat upright for long distance without a cover, just in case it rained.

Post Reply