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 Post subject: Traction kites vs sails
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:41 pm 
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Hello from Oz.
Can kiting and kayaking mix? And would the kayak characteristics that suit sailing also cover being pulled along by a traction kite ?
The kites I refer to are used in kite surfing. For the kayak I am proposing to try the type from peterlynn kites.co.nz - in particular the TR OR TRAINER SERIES. There are comprised of longitudinal air cells filled by wind pressure and have cloth valves so that when and if the kite lands on water it stays afloat for quite some time so that I could be relaunched. Deploying the kite from the cockpit of the kayak on water is the challenge but at least in rolled up form it is transportable in the kayak. The other model of kite surfing kite requires being pumped up on land then launched and reverse procedure to pack it up.
All these type of kites are flown through on arc and so have some upwind ability, I cannot quote an angle.
The pull is therefore not constant in direction compared to the wind in sailing and kite boards tend to be short in length with twin underwater fins for tracking and manoeuvrability. So .. Is it a short rather than long, and wide than narrow kayak that would be the best compromise for both sailing and traction kiting ? Assuming rudder is used and ? Lee board. And ? Outriggers or no ?
Note: to maneuver the traction kite both hands are needed on the control bar As the bridling gives two kite lines, one each end of the bar, however the middle of the bar can be attached to a point, in the case of the kite board rider to an up side down hook on a vest worn by the rider so that when hooked up the kite stays central at a high angle allowing the rider freedom to attach the board straps to his/ her feet etc. How and where to attach the control bar for the kayaker is a challenge, as attached TO the kayaker could lead to him/ her being pulled up and out of the kayak in a heavy gust, and on the kayak there are, I presume, the risk of damaging frames etc. I propose making a sling which fits under the kayak and attaches to a spreader, which articulates with the mast step say at foremost part of the coaming. The central control bar can be attached, with some form of quick release mechanism to the spreader.
I would value any comments, ideas, references, recommendations and hope the above provides a challenge, as always, to ingenuity.
The Aussie kite guy


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:05 pm 
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Hello to Oz!

Take a look at this kite-kayaking video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrZhvwPndaY

I have a HQ Hydra II 4.2m^2 in initial dry-land testing at the moment, looking to deploy on various hulls, including folding canoes and kayaks once the ice breaks up around here (half way up the NH/VT line on the Connecticut River). Same idea as the Peter Lynn TR/Trainer as you describe it, i.e., closed cell kite foil with one-way "valves", which make water launches and restarts feasible.

In anything much above 12-15 mph it is not possible to hold this H-II 4.2 kite with mere body weight (approx. 92kg, still mostly paddling and rowing musculature, though ageing). I do look forward to flying it on the water, however, preferably with someone else's steady hand on the tiller or rudder pedals.

For use on a single kayak this kite is probably a bit large. In any case, I'd want to run the lines through pulleys that can jointly travel across the boat on a "horse", a line that spans gunwale to gunwale and allows the kite forces to engage on the leeward side of the hull -- at least that's my thinking so far, without having any on-water experience. If that horse happened to be located on or close to some lee-boards, that wouldn't hurt either, i suspect. And bear in mind that the kite produces a positive vertical force component, which will tend to lift the leeward gunwale, which will make a "leeboard" that much more effective on the windward side of the boat -- exact reversal of the situation under sail pressing the boat down to leeward!

If you experiment with suspending the bar from a lanyard at the bar mid-point, bear in mind that the bars were not designed with that in mind, and the forces generated by the kite may overwhelm and break the bar at the lanyard attachment point. A bridle attached further out towards the bar ends and running through a pulley on the harness (or a centre line hard point in the boat?) might do the trick.

It is possible to fly a bar kite with one hand by holding the bar at or close to its midpoint, but with the kite I have you'd be flying at the lowest end of the wind speed range, else you would not be able to hold it. should work well with a harness, as suggested above, however!

By the way, given the rather nifty and easily controllable depower function of the Hydra II, I have been able to deploy and retrieve the kite without outside help, albeit so far only on land (actually snow and ice) -- simply put an appropriate amount of tension on the depower line, float the kite just above the ground, and start wrapping the lines around the horns of the bar. Well, OK, not totally simple: a) it requires a bit of practice, and b) you need to equalise the length of the left and right control lines before you start wrapping, all while holding the depower line at the appropriate length.

(I am not affiliated with HQ PowerKites or the RX Controller guys.)

Could you post a link to the closed cell Peter Lynn TR/Trainers? On their website I can only find open cell Trainers.

Ralph Hoehn


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:48 pm 
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Hi Ralph,

Try it on an iceboat, or are you afraid of breaking the sound barrier? Maybe on some downhill or telemark skis?

:twisted:

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Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:57 pm 
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Hi Ralph. Firstly, my apologies, when I checked the PeterLynn TR power kites I did not realise they did not possess closed cells, it is the All terrain Charger series peterlynn.com/kiteboarding which have them.
If you look at the recommended water wind speed vs size of kite one needs a large 18 M square for 5 to 15 knots ( all based on kite boarding of course.) And as you found a 4 square meters HQ Hydra has plenty of pull and the smallest Charger is 6.5 metres square.
They make it look so easy on the video ! But of course it is a two man operation and there is no detail about rudder, Lee boards etc but it does show deployment and retrieval are possible.
Use of an adjustable horse with two attachment points to the control bar sounds good. I would want the lines easily detachable in case of an emergency such as an unexpected gust, however.
In the 'good old days, 1950s and before, hospitals etc had bandage rolling devices and I wonder about some rotary device like them to roll in the lines one handedly. On dry land we sometimes resort to low powered battery operated drill sets attached to one end of the bar or spool etc to wind lines in.
I take your points about stress on control bars and placement of traction point perhaps to leeward with Lee board in place.
There are some chastening views raised by Peter Lynn - ' Peter Lynn himself ' about Kites for Yachts which I think can be very relevant to both our endevours.
To ease into the endeavour I have ordered a Kayakite which is a sled kite, with spars and open air cells on each side and is a single line kite. I can experiment with this and look at enclosing the cells ( which might help dispense with need for spars) and adding in a depower function and use it for reaching and downwind.
To ease pressures on the folder by any attachment points such as the horse I am still going to look at a sling under the boat as I remain a little hesitant about attaching the kite to myself.
I received a reply from the Netherlands where Peter Lynn power kites is based and they pointed out that previous attempts by kayakers using power kites had led to too much sideways drift and hence to them the use of a centreboard was paramount, so a Lee board makes sense ! This view is different in some ways to what Peter Lynn writes on the site mentioned above but the mass of a yacht might have something to do with it. He is also skeptical about use of multihulls where we might be considering Outriggers for stability etc.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experience , Ralph, and I will continue to post things as I progress I hope the thaw arrives soon,
Best Regards,
Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:45 am 
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Hi Ralph,
I just found out that Peter Lynn kites will be releasing a closed cell version of the impulse TR series.
Not sure of the date and they will have the three lines so winding out and in will be the challenging!
Best Regards,
Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:10 pm
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@ chrstjrn

Hey, Chris!

We almost tried Marquettes last Tuesday (http://marquette-backcountry.com/), but the wind was too gusty and the snow not quite deep enough to provide those weird things with enough of a bite to its edge. The other option we had brought along was a Mad River Rocket sled (http://www.madriverrocket.com/), but same concerns, as I was being lifted and dragged along on the soles of my boots. However, I have been wondering whether we're just being too cautious and whether actually moving would take some of the sting out of the gusts by turning them into forward motion. One of these days I'll get up the gumption to go for it, perhaps on a kicksled, hoping that the added weight of a second person on the back will a) help to steer, and b) will stop me taking off! Or we could just wait for less and steadier wind...

Ralph


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:36 am 
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Having a way to stop would be a good thing (when operating on land). Crash helmets would be mandatory.

I've been jonesing for one of those fast sleds for a while.

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Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:42 am 
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In terms of high speed winches to gather huge lengths of line, you might want to look at those used for launching gliders. They would probably be too big and heavy for your purposes, but worth a look-- maybe there are small versions, or useful aspects to the designs.

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Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:42 am 
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@ Rok345

This is the piece to which you're referring, Tony?
http://peterlynnhimself.com/Kites_For_Yachts.php

Peter Lynn makes some very interesting points about his vision of the ideal kite boat hull! It almost sounds as though he is describing kayaks. But he seems very much rooted in competitive high performance kite boating. I must admit that at this stage I have very little interest in that approach, I'm looking for cruising propulsion. In that context I'm looking for the least fuss, so will probably be quite happy to run an "underpowered" kite!

Here's an interesting approach:
http://tinyurl.com/IngoVoeglerKiteBoat
Note that Mr. Voegler uses a large kite and does not fly figures eight. Good for fun, perhaps less useful for cruising?

SkySails appears to be making a go of very large traction kites being employed on cargo vessels (just disscovered that Peter Lynn actually references these guys):
http://www.skysails.info/english/

Of interest:
http://kite-boat.com/index.php/en/produ ... mander-pro

A practical reel for the purpose at hand:
http://pacificskypower.com/products/ree ... ming-soon/
I have yet to find any real alternatives specifically for kayak and small boat use. I shudder at the price, however. One significant draw-back with this reel is the lack of ability to reef a depower line. While that could be added easily enough, doing so would obviate the auto-depower capability of set-ups like the Hydra II. That said, a tethered bar (with reel) would free up one hand from directional control and allow full time attention to the depower line with that hand -- scan the section on gust response in Peter Lynn's piece.

On our end, if all goes as hoped in our currently ongoing and envisioned future experiments and testing, the next step up from the Hydra II will likely be two Matrixx II (successor to the Neo 3), possibly a 12M and a 7M; if we were to end up choosing to go out in winds above the 30+mph referenced for the smaller of the two, we'd be using a storm sail on a short mast... but note that we're no longer talking about kayaks here! (In fact, for kayak use I might go with the 1.2m^2 practice kite that came with the Hydra II package, even though that little wonder has an open cell structure and would probably not be water-relaunchable.)

So much for a collection of excerpts from my online surfing.

Ralph


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:10 pm
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Ocean crossings by kite boat:

http://www.anne-quemere.com/?page_id=1428&lang=en
http://www.anne-quemere.com/?page_id=2456&lang=en

More on Anne Quéméré on YouTube.

Ralph


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:07 pm 
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Hi Ralph,
Thank you for all those references to kite sailing.
Yes, I would shudder at the thought of constructing a hydrofiol for a kayak and on ice one would need an anchor of some description. The Pacific sky power real makes sense but as you say is mighty expensive but something similar could probably be handmade.
For me I have decided to experiment with the Kayakite which as you will see from its description ( New Tech Kites) is a single line sled kite with lateral inflatable tubes. I am hoping to be able to fly it without the spars and whilst this would mean it collapses more readily. it would allow a second line to be attached ( suitably reinforced) to the geometric centre of the wind side surface. With a gust the flying line could extend on an elastic tether whilst the second line held and caused the kite to fold backwards. The second line could also be used to retrieve the kite is it landed on water and prevent the air cells filling up with water. At least that is the theory ! So two separate reels, maybe electrically operated.
I wish us both luck, good fortune and inspiration in our separate endevours and continued communication about successes and lesser successes
Cheers,
Tony


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:04 pm 
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I intend trying a bit of kite kayaking. I come from a land traction racing background, so lots of kites. My son was a sponsored pilot - he is now into kite surfing. I will probably use a race kite on bridles, no lines and without a harness. It will require the right conditions so that I can use a small kite. A NASA wing might be an option. The only one I have is about 0.3M and used in gales! The video posted above of the "EXTREME Kite Powered Kayak" isn't really very extreme btw, he's under powered and should probably he flying 3 to 5M as he's putting a lot of work in. Heading downwind can be tricky and requires that the kite is constantly looped in a figure 8 to maintain apparent wind-speed, otherwise it drops out of the sky, but can also power-up unexpectedly. So you are better using long tacks. On a reach you have potential for speed. It's not unusual while racing to reach 50mph without brakes :shock: I think that the record is 83mph :shock: :shock:

Closed cell and leading edge inflatables make relaunching from water relatively easy (race kites hate water), and they usually have the advantage of auto-azimuthing when released, i.e. they sit above your head without user input. However they tend to be "lofty" with lots of vertical power, this is great for tricks on boards (land and water), but not so good if you want to stay in your boat and on the water, but I could see kite kayaking with tricks as a sport. In the buggy world we call this having an obe, Out of Buggy Experience! Often followed by a walk (limp) of shame!

With a rear skeg, finding the sweet-spot in the boat will be interesting! Could be why the video shows lots of down-wind runs. Remember, you may well want to come home again! Many kites have very poor upwind abilities. Kite surfers make use of the board edge as well as skegs to get on a reach, hence needing more power than a land-based kiter. They also have the advantage of being able to dynamically balance the board by shifting body weight.

Buggys (and land yachts) on skates on ice is a thing! A fast thing! (snow skis too)
They are stopped, as they are on land, using the kite as a brake and turning into the wind, and pretty quickly with the right skills. Kites, if tuned correctly can fly backwards and upside down too.

Peter Lynn, who I met at the now defunct Bristol Kite festival, made a thing called a kite cat. Twin hull about 4m long, with a raised seat spanning the hulls. I know someone with one. It's spent very little time in the water, and more time being replaced/repaired, but potentially great fun.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:11 pm 
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This sounds like great fun and could be just what is needed for some of our members to branch out. Your description is very well presented and I hope some take up this way of sailing, at almost 81 it,s too late for me.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:21 pm 
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I though that I would comment on this:
"On dry land we sometimes resort to low powered battery operated drill sets attached to one end of the bar or spool etc to wind lines in"

A note to novices. You should not wind the lines around the bar/spool/handles unless you unwind them in the same manner, the reason being that you impart twist to the lines since the temptation is to pull the lines off of the end of the handle, or allow the lines to fall off of the edge of a spool. Allowing the bar to spin on the floor while pulling the lines can cause abrasion.

This twisting process can result in a 'knot' (or at least a very twisted line set!). I have quoted the term since the lines are rarely knotted until the user tries to unravel them! It's not unusual to see novices taking 20mins or more (or even giving up and going home in frustration) untangling lines. We always tell them (and show them) that the most important skill to learn, is how to pack up your kite! And usually show them that a race kite can be launched from the bag in about 60 seconds, even with the lines unattached (we tend to have different line lengths for different conditions connected to handles).

All "undoing" should be a mirror of the packing up, so windings should be unwound, and using the same hands! The best method is to use a figure of eight wind (putting on a left/right twist). Works very well on de-power bars. With the lines staked downwind or the kite sanded, one simply walks backwards lifting and lowering the handles to pay out the line. Secure the handles (brakes on), attach to the kite and launch! Note that arcs then to be launched at the edge of the wind window and so lines are paid out 'across' the wind.

An advantage of hand winding is that you tend to feel the lines, a frayed or knotted line can be very dangerous if it changes the line length or snaps under power; especially true of brake lines.

I experimented with a device that looked like a plasterer's wooden float with a D handle, and four dowels on the face. Again a fig 8 was used and only a twist of the wrist needed to pay out the line. Worked well, but was extra kit to carry. Nice for drying out lines.

Harness:
I would recommend, unless skilled at flying a traction kite without a harness, that a harness (hip/seat rather than waist) should be used in a boat, with the appropriate working safety release. Apart from stresses on shoulders, arms and back, the C of F will be lower in the boat. One rational for flying without a harness is "I can let go quickly if it goes a bit Pete Tong" The reality is that the worse things get, the tighter people hang on! Race handles can be used with so called "kite killers", a device that connects the flyer to the brake lines. In my opinion they are dangerous and should not be used.
I would suggest that you carry a knife strapped to your arm or leg since escaping from even a 60Kg dyneema kite line will be impossible.

If you leash the kite to the boat, then I would suggest that you leash yourself too (separately), since your kite could claim salvage rights and leave you bobbing in the water without a boat!

If you are interested in any form of traction kiting (and to see how mad we are in the south west), check out George Pocock and some of his stunts. ;) He's the father of traction kiting (just remembered, I was involved in a TV program emulating his work with a scaled down model of one of his paper kites. I was only helping and never made it to the screen :D )

If you want tip-top advice on any aspect of kiting or kit, contact UFO at Weston-super-Mare (no connection to me)

Be safe!

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