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maui95



Joined: 18 Aug 2001
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not necessarily a head-turner, but I find the Honda Odyssey hard to beat for any wind obsessed soul living in the SF Bay area. In addition to the many perks outlined above, it allows you to fit easily 3 boards, 4-5 sails, AND 3 passengers, an essential feature to be able to use that carpool lane!
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SWE106



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
Posts: 264
Location: San Mateo

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for the FORD TRANSIT CONNECT dude! I'll explain in a minute why it is better than any minivan, truck or any other car for that matter. It is the ultimate (urban) windsurf vehicle. But first: what do you mean with "built in the US"? Is it a US car brand (like FORD, DODGE, etc), or can it be for example a KIA (korean) built in a factory in south carolina??? Since many ford's etc are build overseas and imported, like the transit connect. (chassis built in turkey, engine from UK). But, it's certainly a very cool and unique looking car (especially here in the US; I have been asked and commented on it almost every single day for the past 1.5yrs, and I don't know of any other car you'd get that much awesome attention) and it is certainly big enough to sleep in (I am 6'4" and fit with space to spare).

I have attached some pics of my set up. I have the XLT which seats 5 persons normally. It has standard AC, cruise control, electric windows, hands free, etc). Since the rear bench is a 2/1 split, I took out the 1 split bench (just 2 bolts to the floor) as to great a 6 ft long space for my sails, booms and masts, next to the 2 split bench seats left (see pic). that bench is perfect for seating my kids or 2 adults.

I then, with help of friends, installed a rear bench in the back. It creates a great cover and organized storage as you can see. In essence you get all floor spaces back with the bench while using the floor. Perfect. note that that floor is standard covered with a solid, water proof, rubber matt all the way from the back doors to under the back seats: no worries about ruining your precious $40K minivan's interior here. this is meant to be abused. super utilitarian.

On top of the bench, I installed a rack that can you can fell down. My 2 boards fit side to side and rest with their noses in the compartment in front above the windshield. this compartment is standard. the boards rest with their tails on the rack that have straps to securely fasten the boards. Since the car is so tall, there is plenty of head room for everybody. As said, i am 6'4" and have easily 2+ inches to spare between me and my boards both in the front and back seats. amazing! I have even let people try there old naish 8'4" etc and they all fit. so no need to worry that only the latest and greatest shorter boards will fit.

i can fell the rack can down to easily take my boards out and put them back in the car. no sweat. super convenient. then the rack is locked in place with two interlocking locks. it won't ever collapse since one lock goes inwards, the other outwards.

here comes the best part: i made a 2nd bench that fits between the rear "permanent" bench and the front seats and that i can install when the rear 2 split bench is either removed entirely (just 4 bolts and thus creating huge floor space) or when folded down. with this removable bench installed (it rests on 6-7 stilts) i have an over 6ft long and almost 5ft wide second floor that i can sleep on. I put a twin-sized mattress in and voila. the boards and everything can stay in the car, but if you want some more space, take them out.

and if that is not good enough, i get on average 25-26 mpg. always. with pure highway driving and not going over 70, u'll get 30mpg, and with city only around 22. it's a 2.0 L gasoline 4 banger with plenty of power and giddy up. it drives like a car, parks like a car, but has the space of a van/truck with a 1600lbs max payload. considering your gear is only a few 100lbs total you've not even started to tire the engine out.

the passenger area is a like a minivan with very comfortable captain seats, etc and the rear is windsurf van. what more do you want. beats anything else out there (for now). i wish it came in 4wd diesel; that be sick.

oh did i mention that i drive regularly with 1-2 other guys to Waddell and have all their gear in the van too and we still can sit comfortable with only the noses of their boards sticking out in between me and the passenger seat. AND still 25mpg!! only a full size pick up will spare you that "trouble" but you'll pay for it at the pump with a dismal 10-15mpg... what a joke. otherwise, there are inserts for roofracks so that's always an option too.

Yes, this is the ultimate urban windsurf car. I am actually surprised i haven't seen any other windsurfer drive them yet, especially considering they retail new at low 20s for a fully equipped xlt and have been available since early 2010. Now they even come in a fully windowed version; even more family friendly. or what about the full electric version (too bad it only has a 80-100miles radius...).

i hope this helps and good luck car hunting, though according to me look no further... Smile



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matterhorn



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SWE106 you are quite the writer! And then you even add pictures that say more then thousand(s) of words.... Smile Just can't wait to see that quad in the back of my truck.... pb
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inarchetype



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SWE106, do you know what the max length is for the overhead board storage? Also, how long is the compartment for masts/sails/booms?
thx
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jsampiero



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 677

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pics dude.

So can you buy the ford transit *anywhere*? or are they tough to track down?

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smit



Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can fit a 10'6" Paddle Board inside my transit, though I can't carry a passenger when I do because it goes over the passenger seat . You could fit two eight foot board in a rack that goes over the driver and passenger's head. My 248 cm FSW fits in that way. Very Happy
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inarchetype



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

smit wrote:
I can fit a 10'6" Paddle Board inside my transit, though I can't carry a passenger when I do because it goes over the passenger seat . You could fit two eight foot board in a rack that goes over the driver and passenger's head. My 248 cm FSW fits in that way. Very Happy


Thanks, good info...
is there enough extra room on your 248 that a 276 (as in flow Very Happy ) would fit (i.e. another foot)?

I'm assuming my Basset 8'2" would go.
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smit



Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote]Thanks, good info...
is there enough extra room on your 248 that a 276 (as in flow Very Happy ) would fit (i.e. another foot)?

I'm assuming my Basset 8'2" would go.



I'm sure a 276 would fit somehow, but not suspended from the roof. I saw a Transit in Maui that held four good size boards by resting the tails on a platform in the cargo space while the noses went in to the "loft" area above the driver and passenger seats. The 8'2" would go in the suspended roof rack system if you put it in diagonally.
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koogzah



Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 527
Location: right here

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget about winter. If you ski/ride then AWD/4WD is a key attribute of the perfect Bay Area vehicle, imo. Dealing with chains in the freezing rain and digging a vehicle out of a snowbank are not high on my list of good times. Toyota Sienna has an AWD option, I think.
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dsgrntlxmply



Joined: 16 Jun 2010
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just happened to look at a Ford Transit Connect last night. It is built in Turkey with stated 65% Turkish-origin content, and with an engine from Spain.

Unfortunately, the dealership was closing for the evening so I did not get a chance to do interior measurements. Measuring from the exterior suggested that my 252x78 cm board would not fit inside unless perhaps I removed the front passenger seat.

I'm still looking for something long, low-profile, and utilitarian.
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