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Don't Launch from a Boat

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Don't Launch from a Boat

Postby Skookum » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:31 am

Some friends and I had long thought that a boat launch would be ideal and alleviate all the issues of newbies having to walk back upwind, the danger of being inadvertently dragged into hard obstacles on shore, being able to spend all the time jumping rather than getting back upwind. Seemed beautiful.

So, one fortunate day we had a boat at our disposal and thought we'd give it a try. We inflated the kite, dropped it over the leward edge of the gunwale and started unwrapping line from the bar.

Surprisingly, it seems there are situations where the wind on the boat causes it to drift downwind faster than the kite; so we were quickly in a situation where lines started heading under the boat, we all started trying to grab lines out from under the keel, the engine was quickly started to tension the lines then stopped just in time as we realized that someone was going to get sucked into the prop along with all the line.

Unfortunately the combination of lines and props didn't cut it. The dream died, but fortunately we didn't. Good to test that adrenal gland now and then, but better not to involve gasoline.

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Postby zfennell » Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:04 pm

Even good ideas may have a few setbacks.

The advantages of a boat are still valid.

search older posts on some other potential problems,
along with working solutions.


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Postby GreenPat » Sat Jul 31, 2004 6:41 am

Haven't tried it myself, but discussed it with a few who have and this is how I intend to do it when I get the chance:

* Setup kite, bar, lines on land
* Pull lines and bar into bucket starting at kite, bar in last
* deflate leading edge
* go out in boat (take pump as well as rest of gear)
* pump up leading edge, give kite to other person
* take bar from bucket, and board, swim out from boat, at appropriate angle to wind, until lines taut
* check no tangles, signal for kite release
* and we're away

Anyone got any other suggestions? Depending on size/type of boat one may not need to deflate leading edge, I would assume, but I am just thinking it may make it easier.

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Postby gorillatested » Tue May 31, 2005 9:28 pm

I like the method mentioned by GreenPat, sounds like it should work fine.

I've launched a kite from a 30ft sailboat several times. A sailboat has an advantage over a powerboat because the keel gives you some control over direction - the wind is less likely to blow the boat downwind as long as there is some forward movement.

The method I used was to:
1) Lower the jib and set the boat on a slow beam reach under mainsail only (jib only could work too)
2) Inflate the kite on the rear deck, and have a friend hold it off the back of the boat
3) Unwind the lines off the back of the boat into the water, keeping them separated so they don't form a rats-nest
4) Bring in the lines one at a time and attach to kite
5) Get ready to lower mainsail, attach a leash, and jump into water with bar
6) Drop mainsail, and steer boat on a beam reach, speed should be very slow at this point
7) It's best if boat stops just before the lines tighten
8) Swim to tighten lines, check them for twists, and launch kite.

This has a few potential problem areas. There is the possibility of tangling the lines, although I have avoided this problem by keeping the boat speed very low, and keeping the lines widely separated. You also have a tricky situation if the boat is moving when the lines get tight - either the person on the boat lets go (giving you a live kite with potentially tangled lines), or you have to drag while the lines are checked and the kite launched (could damage the kite doing this).

In any case, I would not hook in until the kite was flying and checked out. And I would use a leash, plus check to make sure it can be released under load. Better to lose a kite than your life...


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Postby windshreder » Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:24 am

ever thought of using an anchor?

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Postby imnadid » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:58 pm

Anchor? Brilliant!!!

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Postby windshreder » Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:11 pm

imnadid wrote:Anchor? Brilliant!!!
Just like Guiness! Brilliant!

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Postby sq225917 » Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:22 pm

sometimes the simplest ideas are the best solutions.


Postby fokiten » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:55 am


For boat launching that bucket idea is good...

Consider putting the rider over the side with the bar,,,boat keeps the kite,,,

putt-putt away slowly,,,,as the lines become tight you should have been on a beam reach (launch position)...

I'd say check the lines but it's almost impossible as the lines are in the water,,,so just launch it...

If he has twist? he'll just spin it out...

To retrieve the mark,,,,have him land the kite at the edge of the window,,,he'll let go with his up hand,,,,the kite will just sit there all day long,, it's parked,,no worries

Boat gets the kite,, boat shuts down, rider winds himself in...

It's not hard or dangerous if the boat always keeps the kite...

hope that helps

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got boat

Postby bongflyer » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:05 am

ifs ya got a boat ditch the kite and dawn a wakeboard. sup?

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