My Next Waveski/Kayak Hauler... Maybe

My south shore homebreak is 16 miles away, while my north shore homebreak is 14 miles away. Several kayak launches for the inner Boston Harbor is within 5 miles from my driveway. So, I don’t need to drive far. Given that, could this be the next (relatively inexpensive) hauler for the water toys?

I just broke 46k with my 2016 Honda Fit. I still got some years of usage for the Fit. But, I would love the ability to change out of my wetsuit after a winter session inside a van, rather standing next to the open hatchback with the hot air blasting.


Too bad vehicles like these micro vans aren’t offered in the USA. But they probably wouldn’t be safe with all of the big vehicles we have on our roads.

I want an EV too. A friend visited with his Chevy Bolt EUV. It would make a perfect boat carrier. In his case as a former GM employee plus the tax credits that loaded Bolt was well under $25k. I loved how it made you so conscious of energy usage. I love the Honda brand but just FYI the 2024 Honda Prologue EV and Acura ZDX EV will both be built by General Motors. The automotive business is basically a street fight and while many Americans seem to love to hate American automotive brands I think GM may soon emerge as a global leader in EV’s.

For a low cost EV that you can buy in the US now you might wanna look at an electric Vespa.

Likewise, the Chevy Bolt is high on my list and I have talked to my wife about it (we would need electrical work on the house for faster charging). What I didn’t share is that there is a part of me that wants a compact Nissan NS200 van so I can have the luxury of changing inside. But the gas mileage is worse than my Fit.

I hope that EVan makes it to the US so I have another choice.


I have friends who transport kayaks on a Nissan Leaf for shorter trips, and use a Prius plug in for longer ones. I agree though that a small EV van would be great.

Nice. It shares some design cues with the old Honda Element, which always struck me as a sensible vehicle. I think it will be awhile before EVs have a significant market impact in my neck of the woods, though. Long, cold winters kill claimed range, very few charging stations around, and coal still fires the power grid here anyway. Hybrids are gaining interest for sure, but not so much pure EVs. Yet.

Re: Changing at the parking spot.

You could get a changing garment that is basically a large terry cloth poncho with handwarmer pockets. Surf shops sell them. Change out of wet neoprene underneath it and also dry off with it.

Eventually you’ll be evaluating vehicles anyway, but since there is no rush to replace the Fit, maybe one of these poncho things would be a low-priced fix for the changing obstacle.


We ordered a Ford Maverick Hybrid in September 2022 and we got it from the dealer in August . I have put gas in it 2 times, and that includes a 1200 mile road trip to the Bay Area and back. Averages 43 mpg.

The cargo bed is only 56 inches long but it is wide and has designed slots so you can haul plywood etc with the tailgate partially down. It should be find for waveskis and whitewater kayaks. I’m keeping my Subaru outback for Utah Winter driving so I’ll have a rack for my longer kayaks. I was worried the bed was too small to be useful but we carried furniture to my son in the bay area, and I have been hauling old furniture etc to our church charity. So far I’m pretty happy with it, and it was cheap. I’ve owned several fords, never had an issue with my 92 Ranger, but other three were not the best quality compared to Toyota or Subaru.

Have to admit that my mind doesn’t go to Ford much because it’s “locked” in my head that the brand is about SUVs and the F series trucks. I think more about Chevy just because I associate it with the early EV, Volt, and now the Bolt.

When my wife started to do the 55 mile drive down to the Cape, 2 or 3 times weekly, to see my son and granddaughters, we decided to trade her 120k plus Kia Rio for a Kia Niro hybrid. We didn’t want to worry about her having mechanical problems highway driving back and forth. The Kia Niro hybrid has turned out to be pretty efficient, getting 50 MPG. But, that is 90% highway driving and minimal in the city.


This Memoril Day weekend at the WMCKA Symposiun there was a E-Mustang with dual kayak racks (for long boats) on the roof and attached to a small pop-up camper in the lot. I never came across the owners to ask how it did for range & pulling power. Too fancy/expensive for me & the Forester only has about 160K on it so far.

I wouldn’t want to lift anything up to the roof of that Honda. They are coming out with a e wagon in cahoots with GM but it will be in the $40k range.

We looked at a Niro this summer, it was marked up $7000 above sticker because hybrids are popular in California. We passed. When we picked up our Maverick, the dealer said they are marking them up $9000 above the 27K sticker because they only get a few truck that were not preordered by customer.

Curious about the weakness you see in that van.

In terms of a $40K E wagon, it’s a bit pricey for me. I am not a “car guy” and try to spend as little as I can for what fits my need – just a toy hauler that will get me to and back from a launch. Other than that, I really don’t use my car much.


The weakness is in my arms, not the van.

I can lift my boat up to the rack on my Forester after a long paddle but its not easy. Our old Corolla wagon was a breeze.

About a week ago I was going to a new paddling spot that I’d heard could be rocky so I decided to take my RM Old Town Camden. My partner was out of town so I had to load it by myself on my 4-Runner with Thule J cradles. I’m fairly tall and parked on grass so I could put one end up and then shove it up from the other. Two lessons: (1) There’s something good about doing things that seem out of reach. (2) In this case, once is enough! :hot_face:

Ok, got it. These days, I am appreciative and increasingly reliant on my Hullivators. My wish that such a van can accommodate either Thule or Yakima racks. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be optimal for me either.


Must be this Honda EV you are talking about:

I hope this is a “prologue” to other Honda Ev’s, like the OP mini van. The SUV has more space than my Fit, but not in configuration that I want. Hopefully, we can get less than a S40k MSRP with future Ev too.


Kia Niro hybrid should get better gas mileage for city driving than on the highway.

Honestly, don’t know. My wife drives that car. I sometimes help with the long drive down to the Cape. It’s “standard” hybrid, not a plugin where you can just recharge from a cord and use EV only for short distance city driving. On a longer drive, I see the car go into EV mode, drain the battery, and go back into combustion engine mode where the battery gets recharged. It cycles like this several times or more on a long drive.


“Regenerative braking is a way of taking the kinetic energy from a car’s momentum and converting this into electricity when you need to slow down. This electrical energy can be used to recharge your hybrid or electric car’s battery.” So says Mother Google. So in stop-and-go traffic, or on roads where you need to brake a lot, mileage should improve.

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