What I am looking for is a kite that can fly unattended if you lost your mast.
It should be able to stay up in varying wind conditions and should be cheap and easy to build and replace, when it gets into the water from heavy gusts it should just be a simple matter of reeling it in and let it fly again when wind conditions are more favourable. This way you can have 2 or 3 different kites on board for different wind conditions. My experiments so far were very encouraging and my KAP rig is ok. It takes time and practice but I am very sure that it will work well. In other words a small boat with a kite is MUCH better than to scull or row. From my experimentation so far I am confident that you would be able to broad reach reasonably well
Maybe a topspar or telescopic spar for launching the kite in light air. Also a super light, and big, kite for light air. I am not sure the helium idea is practical. I think you would add as much weight as you would create buoyancy. Also not sure if you would recompress the helium between flights. Neat idea though. You could store it in a bag in your buoyancy tanks so you might not actually have to compress it and recompress it. Less gear storage though. Put me down as a maybe.
Originally Posted by Jamie Kennedy
I'm thinking for light air you might want a super light drifter sail, if only because it wouldn't require as much string, and it would be more versatile as a wind-seeker. It could be very light and be designed for 0-5 knots. Just a big flat cut nylon genoa, on a light carbon whip spar that extends above the kite spar. The whip spar could also be used for initial launching of the light-air kite, which might be for 3-8 knots. The drifter / wind seeker would be better for less stable light airs where there are lots of holes and zephers. The light-air kite would be better for steady but light breezes. I agree that in many conditions it might be steady once you are up high enough especially in left over slop, and in warm winds over cold waters, i.e. high wind sheer. The telescopic or 'gunter' spar would not have to be heavy.
There's a telescopic mast for kite launching foreseen on the KiteTender 1010 in post #1Quote: ‘‘ Telescopic mast for Kite launching ’’
That should be OK for launching the kite when there is enough wind down below. But I don't think the telescopic mast reaches far above the ocean swell. So if there's only a little wind high up there, then the telescopic mast won't be able to reach it I think. So maybe the other above ideas could be more helpful in this situation . .
The ocean swell in windlessness is not left over slop, but is swell that travels there from long distances, it could come from a distance as far as the other side of the globe...
The dissipation of swell energy is much stronger for short waves, which is why swells from distant storms are only long waves. The dissipation of waves with periods larger than 13 s is very weak but still significant at the scale of the Pacific Ocean reference. These long swells lose half of their energy over a distance that varies from over 20000 km (half the distance round the globe) to just over 2000 km. This variation was found to be a systematic function of the swell steepness: the ratio of the swell height to the wavelength. The reason for this behaviour is still unclear but it is possible that this dissipation is due to the friction at the air-sea interface.
Now here's an interesting lifting application. Some guys working for the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (I.M.A.U.) have used a couple of Roks for scientific purposes, way down in Antarctica. Due to the extreme cold, these kites were specially designed to be rigged while the flier is wearing thick gloves. Their 2 meter and 1.5 meter Roks were used separately or stacked together, to provide the required lifting force in a variety of wind conditions. The payload was atmospheric measuring equipment, hoisted to the considerable height of 600 meters (2000 feet).
When French adventurer Anne Quéméré set out from San Francisco on November 4 bound for Tahiti, getting stuck in the equatorial doldrums (ITCZ) was undoubtedly one of her greatest fears. She was, after all, traveling aboard a 16-ft one-person craft propelled only by a special kite, similar to those used by kitesurfers.
Although full details have yet to emerge, an initial report indicates that Quéméré made the difficult decision to give up yesterday, after idling with no wind for 10 days. During the past month she had completed roughly half of the 4,000-mile voyage. Making matters worse, about a week ago, the kite was damaged by what we assume was a sudden squall (our French translation skills are a bit rusty) (from the below quote: ‘‘ the kite was torn and the pulley system permanently damaged ’’ ).
Although the Tahiti attempt failed, this same boat has already successfully conquered the Atlantic.
A cargo ship has been diverted to rescue Quéméré, but the rendezvous may be a challenge as her tiny craft, named Oceankite, no longer has power to activate its lights and nav gear. Luckily, the courageous French sailor was able to relay her abandonment message via a satellite phone.
In 2006 Quéméré successfully sailed this vessel across the Atlantic from New York to Ouessant, France. She previously rowed, singlehanded and unassisted, across the Atlantic — in both directions. Look for further details in the January edition of Latitude 38.
Anne Quéméré forced to abandon the Pacific Ocean kite crossing
11 December 2008
The news came during the night. Anne Quéméré was forced to abandon the Adrien Challenge of crossing the Pacific by kite and without assistance. "I must take this unfortunate decision and it is one of the most difficult taken in my lifetime" stated Anne, during the night.
She left San Francisco on November 4th, and travelled close to 3500 kilometres over the 7000 that had been projected. After a period of good sailing, Anne Quéméré joined the Intertropical convergence zone, otherwise known as the Doldrums.
Since her arrival in that area, aboard the Oceankite she did not succeed in advancing any significant distance. Then came the "shock" of four days past when the kite was torn and the pulley system permanently damaged.
"After the shock to the Oceankite over a week ago, I had great difficulty myself , recovering from this event. It's as traumatic as one suffers after an automobile accident. I've lost confidence in my equipment as well as myself. It's not pleasant but, its obvious. Without wind, one goes nowhere."
There hasn't been any wind for the past ten days or what wind there was, came from the South which was pushing the Oceankite back on its track. "In one night, I lost all the mileage I had gained in one week" she explained over the phone during the night.
And, if that wasn't enough, there's no more power on board, since this morning. Anne Quéméré was rescued overnight by the container ship « Cap Gris-Nez ».
The rescue went well as the huge container ship came by the small 5.5 metre Oceankite. Conditions did not allow to pick-up the small vessel which was ultimately abandoned.
Anne will be dropped off in Panama on Saturday December 13th where her father, Ronan Quéméré will meet her and accompany her back to France.
From the sponsor's point of view, Adrien, Bretagne International and Yslab, they have already made their position clear. The safety of Anne is the priority.
BTW, of course the biggest and also difficult trick for all sailboats is to sail a course where the barometer remains ± the same value around the doldrums, so you go around them without entering at the cost of some extra miles . .
What is interesting is that they get line pulls of 25 lbs
What I am hoping for is those kind of line pulls with a kite that attends to itself
As a backup device if you can get up to a 2 kn boat speed - you have increased your survivability substantially
My thinking is 3 different sizes of Rok's will get you to the next harbour
far far better than rowing or sculling for hours
20kg pull at 1.5m/s is 300w approx. which falls well within the scope of Freeship specs for the Ten
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