Forums > Kitesurfing General

Launching from vessels.

Created by Ragzilla > 9 months ago, 21 May 2014
VIC, 237 posts
21 May 2014 9:26PM
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Looking for any advice or technique that anybody has used, when launching from yachts or motor boats.

I will be starting a two month cruise with friends, and I'm bedazzled by how to launch when not docked.

Can anybody help.

The voyage will be on a 50ft catamaran, so there is plenty of room to set up.



VIC, 237 posts
21 May 2014 10:26PM
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Thanks golly.

I wasn't lazy, I did have a look for it.


WA, 1201 posts
21 May 2014 8:40PM
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As long as you can keep your lines tangle free I don't think the method you choose really matters.

What nobody talks about is what to do when things go wrong? Talking from personal experience when you start launching and landing on boats in deep water, the chances it doesn't go as planned is much greater and things can quickly get out of hand.

Your biggest worries are obviously line tangles but also lines getting snagged on the boat.

I don't mean to be a buzz kill but if you do this on a regular basis for 2 months, chances are pretty high there will be some issues at times. I would put half my efforts and preparation time in establishing a solid rescue and communication plan with your crew, meaning: what to do in case of tangle or other problems? Does everyone understand hand signals for ''landing'', ''I need rescue'', etc., how do you go about rescuing a kiter caught in a death loop? Who's going to do what in a boat rescue scenario? How do you rescue a kite that's been completely released? Do all crew member know how to handle a kite safely?

Obviously the more experienced kiters on board, the better. I would always be sure at least 1 experienced kiter is on board (not all kiters out at the same time). I would also make sure that everyone has a hook knife for cutting lines, just in case.

have fun!

WA, 431 posts
21 May 2014 9:39PM
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2 month cruise on a 50 ft catamaran!!!! The best solution is just to invites me along and i will help launch and land your kite for you

WA, 352 posts
22 May 2014 3:51AM
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no no take me. Il even pump it up for you!

NSW, 178 posts
22 May 2014 1:58PM
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I've tried 2 methods but both start the same way.

First lay out the kite deflated on shore, lay the lines out and connect them up. Wind the lines back up and pack the kite being really careful not to invert the lines.

Then the first method was on 1m wide transom bit of a boat with an 11m delta kite. Pumped the kite up, put it in the water and unwound the lines slowly holding one line more than the rest so the kite didn't power up. When all the lines were out relaunched as normal. That was a dodgy method but worked well.

The second method was on a small runabout with a flag mast in the middle and a 17m kite. Got the driver to reverse into the wind so the front bit of the front of the boat was downwind and the kite would flap over the water when pumping at the front. Got another person to hold the kite in launch position then swam into launch position with the bar unwinding as swimming. This was less dodgy.

The key is making sure all of the lines and kite are not tangled or inverted when packing and unpacking, and making sure the kite flaps over the water when pumping so it doesn't hit anything or anyone. Takes a second to figure out! Good luck.

VIC, 123 posts
22 May 2014 6:05PM
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You could get one of these


Seeing as you have a 50ft yacht, I am sure you have a tender/dinghy as well? You will also have lots of rope. And I assume you will have at least 2 willing helpers?

So you don't need to do a normal drift launch that someone with only one small fishing boat and a boat driver is forced to do.

Here's how I would do it.

1) Anchor your babe magnet near/slightly upcurrent to where you want to launch (or use sea anchors)

2) pump up kite on the huge deck you have there (I assume lines are already attached )

3) Do your best to confirm that lines are not inverted.

4) Put kite in dinghy with helper 1 sitting on it and securing it tightly from the wind

5) Have helper number 2 slowly pay out the (25m plus) rope attached to the dinghy so it drifts down current with the kite on top. At the same time unwind your lines, keeping them slightly taut (enough to avoid loop knots) and checking them all the way for possible inversion.

6) when the tender is far enough out that the kite lines are unwound, have helper 2 secure the rope, and do a careful check of both steering lines to check no line inversion.

7) When ready to launch, have helper 1 put kite in water leading edge down. in most wind/current combos you can sit on the dive platform with the kite edge down and use the steering line to drift it away from dinghy and confirm that there are no line snags on the dinghy. I would not recommend launching directly from the dinghy as it has lots of things to catch kitelines, and likely as not it will be in a position for a hot launch.

8) jump in and water launch as normal

Obviously careful briefing of kite handling and emergency procedures is required

VIC, 2673 posts
23 May 2014 8:59AM
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The Fiji system on the other thread is well proven and easy as long as you have helper/s.
the key is having lines pre set up.

Solo with preset lines are also easy but you have to drift kite out so having safety line deployed as you wrap up preset lines is important.
or assuming you are anchored you can let lines out overboard downwind of vessel let them drift back then lower kite into water to let it drift out.
have safety line secured to vessel so that if a tangle occurs you have the chance to swim out and fix it.

on a big enough boat you could so the Ski racer quick launch system Ala Southern 80. where you lay lines up and down deck using a piece of electrical tape to hold ends to deck. as kite drifts away it pulls each loop away in turn. Parachutes use a similar system for packing lines.

the main thing is having preset lines you know are correct. Knowing you know is the trick.


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"Launching from vessels." started by Ragzilla