after reading through the 20 or so page pdf file they have (for cargo vessels), I have to say the system looks really nice. The computer control is actually directing a steering
mechanism at the end of the tether which alters the shape and such of the kite (which is basically a paragliding chute).
The biggest issue with a smaller vessel would be currently at least the size of their mounting equipment
. Honestly a retrofit kit would probably involve a near rebuild
of the bow structurally, but depending on how much extra strength is already build in may not be too bad.
Either way, it does seem like it would give you the advantages of wind
power without the massive cost of converting to a traditional sail rig. And, aside from the front deck
, you'd maintain all the clear deck
space that a power boat
allows. Not to mention, no probs with bridges as you could just reel it in an go down to engine
This thing shows a speed of between 10-18 kts for large cargo applications. I wonder what that would translate to on a smaller boat.