Boats and KAP

edited February 2006 in Technique
Does anyone have experience with kaping from a boat? Anchored in calm to moderate seas I am guessing that the wave movement should not affect the kite too much. I have an underwater case for my camera that should adapt to the rig with little adjustment. I am thinking there might be a water resistant gel that I could put on the rig receiver. In the event it goes fishing, I'd like to be able to salvage enough to continue. Moving the boat while flying may be something that will require alot of practice, trial, and error.


  • I've got no direct experience, but would think that salt spray is the biggest worry, so whether something goes for a swim or not, it will all need to be protected against the ingress of salt water. Some form of all enclosing plastic bag, with a hole through which the camera protrudes would seem viable perhaps?
  • Many KAPpers here have routinely flown from boats, myself included. It can be done quite simply as long as consideration of boat speed and actual wind speed and direction are taken into consideration. Once these are considered and the summation of them lies within the capability envelope of the system you fly, there is no reason not to give it a go. Dependent on the boat, deck space for line handling and retrieval of systems neds to be considered. Things like having long picavet lines when launching and retrieving from small boats needs to be thought out. Salt water is not good for cameras and some contingency planning may be appropriate. Whether that is a waterproof housing or simply a bucket of fresh water to immerse your salty-wet system into is up to you and a measure of your confidence.

    I recently had a bit of a problem immersing my Optio S6 in river water with no ill effects at all other than it needing a good dry out before working again. Key is to get batteries out fast..... Better is not to dunk it in the first place I guess.

    KAPping from boats is not that different in terms of risk than KAPping over water and most of us do that all the time.

    Give it a go!

    Simon H
  • I have been practicing flying my FF 16 from my 19 ft flats boat with the canopy down using a coke can to simulate the camera mount. I needed a tail to keep stable but now it is totally stable in a 10 to 15 knot wind. I went with the wind so the kite relative wind was about 5 k then into the wind to make it 20 k with excellent results.

    I recently retired and wanted to get an ultralight on floats to do aerial photography but before my first lesson the instructor crashed so decided this might be a better idea. I am just starting KAP but feel this method will work well. I live in Key Largo, Fl and want to take aerial photos of homes, reefs and boats primarily. I plan on using it in canals and along shore. Power lines are set back by the street so at the angle this kite flies should let me work in fairly close quarters.

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks. Doug
  • Tried some downwind kite flying today with no camera. The physics is obvious that when you start to go down wind the boat has to go faster than the wind by what ever relative wind you want over your kite so if the wind is 10 knots you must maintain at least 20 knots down wind to keep the kite in the same position. Also as the kite ascends the wind may be higher so even a higher downwind speed is required. Flying airplanes we could look at the GPS winds at 200 feet on approach and see sometimes well over 10 knots difference than the tower winds. Usually higher. The friction of the wind close to the ground slows down the wind.
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