Hey. Go Fly A Kite!
Has anyone, who has Kite boarding experience and/or, as an owner of a TI considered losing the Mast and rig for the day and used either a Land based Parafoil or an Inflatable Kite?
With the Kite Master on the Fore, and a Helms person steering the craft, this should be an amazing experience for both crew.
This method could possibly enhance your sailing experience to another level:http://www.powerkiteshop.com/kites/ozoneimp05.htmhttp://www.surf-wax.co.uk/sports/kite_b ... urfing.htm
The 'Power Window'?
Please look at the graphic at the bottom this following URL yo get an idea of what Iis needed to make a simple kite into a 'Power Kite':http://www.bestkiteboarding.com/Best-NYC
Power kites come in two forms: land based or Water based. The land based kite will sink if dropped into the water, so you launch it on land and guide it as your crew keeps the boat steady as you step aboard.
The Water Kites have air bladders that you will need to inflate before you can launch them. Yet they will not sink if you drop one into the sea. You can pull a release line and relaunch the kite back into the air.
(note, AI owners can also do this, it's just that much more easier to have full control of a large kite with both hands free)..ie one person runs the kite, the other runs the directions. Based on need , the 'skippers' reverse, as the Kite Master becomes the lead to call out course changes.
Power Kites come in all sorts of sizes, in the same regard as any racing yacht has numerous head sails stowed below. As it is not possible to change kites on the fly on a small TI, your ability to read the wind and wave directions is crucial to make or break your day before you even start (also based on what is available in your quiver in the back of your vehicle).
The proper way to start is with a small 2 or 3 meter Land based Trainer Parafoil. Make it a very simple 2 line kite so you can learn to control it making figure 8 flying patterns as you test out your new power kite.
(If you ever bought kite flying lessons , that method will be job one:
Learn to fly a small parasail attached to 2 main control lines on the end of a small crossbar that you can attach to the hook on your body harness (or onto a hook fastened to your boat).
Remember safety first:
All Power kites need a means to have a safety release: That usually means a velcro wrist bracelet in case you need to drop the kite ASAP without losing the kite .
NO power lines close,
NO people (or pets) in the flying path of your kite,
If you get a shock off your lines as you touch them, STOP, you could get hit by static electricity...drop the kit and disconnect, a Thunderstorm is near
(the Spectra lines used to control these things are very strong and very thin....and under load can slice skin)
Read the instruction manuals that came with your kite and start out on a 5 to 10 knot day. Get comfortable with the Kite as you find the "Power Window" on a deserted beach.
Also learn the opposite of 'Power' as the kite is 90 degrees on either side of you. Learn that a stalled kite is directly above your head and simply hangs there and does not allow you forward progress. (However, if the kite gets behind you, the power curve reverses.....a rare (but very dangerous thing, where your kite is behind you, as the momentum of your vessel tries to keeps going the other way)
My last dual purpose kite was an 8 meter Hybrid (a parafoil with a bladder inside). I sold it as it was a pain in the ass to handle. That was 5 years ago.
I'm sure if you look around you can find your own better 'perfect' solution...
Once you've learned the basics, consider purchasing a beginner Kite package and let the dealer know that you will use your Hobie TI as your 'Kiteboard'.
Any reputable dealer will understand and steer you in the right direction.
As you progress in your learning curve, a 4 line controlled kite might be of interest to you. This allows a number of ways to control your kite (including running it upside down). The KISS principle for our purposes is still the best way to go, imho.
So, how do you get the kite back aboard?
In the matter of a simple parafoil, you just reel back the 150 to 250 feet of line onto your cross bar.
A water kite should also be reeled back onto your cross bar, but it is far easier just to simply get back to where you started from and drop the kite in shallow water with your lines as short as possible and 'offset' it; so the kite is not pulling wind. Deflate it and stow it away.
Yet considering that you also have an 18 foot TriYak to look after, I'm saying that a simple parafoil might be the better alternative, as the kite will fold up into almost nothing space in a stuff bag or even get dropped ibelow into one of your hatches as you use your Mirages to get ashore..
Yet there there are still old 'greybone' kayakers out there today that use a simple 1 line parafoil, and let the wind take them where where it may, (at 1 to 2 knots). (A single line kite has really no means to power it up or down, and zero directional control)
I'm not one of those people, as you I like control, or I'd be buying tickets on Carnival Cruise Lines. Look up the amazing advances that have been recorded on YouTube in the last few years concerning this fast, fun concept of Kites as an alternative to a mast and sail.
Your mast and sail are the given...yet, who says that is all your boat can handle?
Btw: As an owner of two spirit Sails (v shaped, self adjusting downwind sails, here's one TI owner who added one of these sails for downwind performance:http://www.spiritsails.com/forum/?forum ... um&forum=2
In truth mounting these sails on both amas could make a huge difference in weak down wind rails,
Thank you for reading.
(As you know my aim is to get these incredible boats as a platform for as many people, with all sorts of different backgrounds in every possible way)
'Cause I can!
Keep it in the Power Window, my friends