Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-08-2015, 05:17   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Marina del Rey
Boat: Hunter 31
Posts: 437
Quadcopters and boats

What do you think could be a good use of a quadcopter on a boat? I was playing with one the other day and came up with the following ideas:

VHF repeater. If you put a custom VHF repeater on it (tuned for channel 16 for example, assuming the power requirements can be met) it could extend VHF radio range to 100+ nm. However, if it was only for this use, one could probably think of a repeater mounted on a balloon. This must have been tried before.

Exploring nearby islands to choose a good place to anchor.

Moving small packages between boats.

Any other ideas/uses? I understand it is a toy but a cool toy.

Vassil
__________________

__________________
Pizzazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2015, 05:25   #2
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Quadcopters and boats

Inspecting masthead rigging, - it's often difficult to trace the lead or wrap of a halyard with binoculars.
__________________

__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2015, 05:33   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 315
Re: Quadcopters and boats

Unless you are flying it following the rules and guidlines for safe opperation (AMA in the States) the only use is target practice!
As far as the antennae extension I have no idea if the 2.4g signal from the TX will interfere with VHF, never heard of any issues at distance, having eveything right close together not sure.
Been an RC pilot and sailor for a long time. I only fly at designated fields. Love the RC sailboat in the evening at anchor.
__________________
Siberianhusky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2015, 06:18   #4
Sponsoring Vendor

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Heathsville, VA
Boat: Gemini 105Mc 34'
Posts: 1,459
Re: Quadcopters and boats

For taking great sailing shots/videos for your blog. Here’s a new one coming out that you don’t even need to control with a joystick…just “throw and shoot:” VIDEO: World's first 'throw and shoot' video camera located in General | Waterway Guide News Update
Waterway Guide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 11:18   #5
Moderator
 
cabo_sailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 1,905
Re: Quadcopters and boats

One thing I would not do is fly over other boats in an anchorage or any where near them. I've always enjoyed skeet shooting and the drone is a lot bigger than a clay pigeon. Or you might end up with a bunch of really angry people visiting you.
__________________
cabo_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 11:31   #6
Registered User
 
Dsanduril's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: South Pacific
Boat: Outremer 50S
Posts: 1,448
Re: Quadcopters and boats

I have wondered, but have not tried, if they would be any use at getting that all important overhead view when transiting coral head (bommie) waters. Us old salts climb the ratlines with a pair of polarized glasses on, but it would be cool if I could put up a drone at 50-100 feet, have it autopilot 4 or 5 boat lengths in front of us, and give a real-time bird's eye view of the coral.

I suspect I'd spend too much time paying attention to the drone and not enough to Mk I eyeball and thus increase my risk of running into the hard, crunchy stuff
__________________
Dsanduril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 11:33   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
klmmicro's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Encinitas, CA
Boat: Catalina 36, Mk I
Posts: 252
Images: 6
Re: Quadcopters and boats

I agree with flying over boats (other than your own) at anchor or at marinas. People on the docks around me get a little testy having drones coming by while they are sunning themselves on deck.

Antenna extension might work, but a kite would be as effective I would think. Checking the top of the mast is one that I had not considered, but makes sense.
__________________
Thirty Six Seas, Ahoy!
klmmicro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 11:48   #8
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: Quadcopters and boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post

Exploring nearby islands to choose a good place to anchor.
With Active Captain, Google Earth and all sorts of cruising guides available, the need to do so seems unnecessary.

PWCs are the mosquitoes of the water. Drones are even worse. If you must, go somewhere, somewhere far, far away from others.

The poster who mentioned using his RC planes in a designated field should be applauded. That's why they are designated fields...

Time to start practicing my slingshot technique. Don't wanna start another gun thread!
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 11:52   #9
Registered User
 
ReMetau's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Marathon, FL
Boat: Hans Christian 33
Posts: 648
Re: Quadcopters and boats

I would think that there may be opportunities out there to photo other boats at sail with their permission. Maybe go out sailing with them in order to video or take pics of their boat under sail.
__________________
Don & Diana
s/v ReMetau - a Hans Christian 33
http://www.remetau.com
ReMetau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 11:59   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 38
Posts: 563
Re: Quadcopters and boats

You won't be able to carry a VHF repeater with any significant battery life on a quadcopter drone, so you can scratch that use. As a "masthead camera" they would be pretty good as long as you had a compass/bearing overlay on the video so you knew exactly what direction it was pointed relative to ship's bearing. I'm sure there's an app for that.

Otherwise, portraiture of boats underway is a good use, and something that's otherwise really expensive without a lot of planning.
__________________
mstrebe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 12:09   #11
Registered User
 
MBWhite's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Illinois
Boat: Hurley Alacrity
Posts: 370
Re: Quadcopters and boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
I have wondered, but have not tried, if they would be any use at getting that all important overhead view when transiting coral head (bommie) waters. Us old salts climb the ratlines with a pair of polarized glasses on, but it would be cool if I could put up a drone at 50-100 feet, have it autopilot 4 or 5 boat lengths in front of us, and give a real-time bird's eye view of the coral.

I suspect I'd spend too much time paying attention to the drone and not enough to Mk I eyeball and thus increase my risk of running into the hard, crunchy stuff
That does sound like a reasonable and handy use! Especially when the autonomous set-and-forget ones get cheap enough to be considered disposable if a gust comes along while they are hovering-ish in formation at a fixed point ahead of the bow.

In regards to extending antenna range, I think that at present it would be best done by kite. Especially one big enough to haul a cross band walkie talkie* a couple hundred feet up in the air.
__________________
MBWhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 12:18   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,866
Re: Quadcopters and boats

I'm liking the ballon idea more. Assuming the wire is small, you should be able to hard wire it providing near unlimit run time. Then it's just a matter of keeping it clear of the rigging.

Run time for a drone becomes a problem assuming it isn't waterproof checking for coral heads.

The only issue with the baloon is a mechanism to provide PZT capability as the baloon moves around.
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 12:33   #13
Registered User
 
elaak's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: San Francisco
Boat: Outremer 55 Light
Posts: 50
Re: Quadcopters and boats

Obvious but without a doubt videos. It adds a huge dimension to typical sailing videos filmed from the deck.

Sailing with the spinnaker up 800nm north of Hawaii (end of video):


Various sailing shots between Hawaii and Tahiti here:
https://vimeo.com/128220955

Some overheads of sailing on the south san Francisco bay:
https://vimeo.com/120291612

Careful to not fly them in too much apparent wind. I've sacrificed one so far to Neptune when the wind picked up faster than the poor quadcopter could fly.
elaak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 13:14   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Chicago
Posts: 68
Re: Quadcopters and boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I'm liking the ballon idea more. Assuming the wire is small, you should be able to hard wire it providing near unlimit run time. Then it's just a matter of keeping it clear of the rigging.

Run time for a drone becomes a problem assuming it isn't waterproof checking for coral heads.

The only issue with the baloon is a mechanism to provide PZT capability as the baloon moves around.

Balloon idea might be tough.

The envelope would need to hold enough helium to carry your payload, so what are you going to do with the large balloon when you are not flying it? Additionally, helium balloons, if left inflated, will lose a percentage of helium each day - even when using a decent envelope material.

Helium filled balloons that would be large enough to carry all but the smallest payloads will have a lot of drag, and will 'dance' quite a bit (though, with the right shape and some fins you could get some lift). Eventually, the stressed material will fatigue and will no longer be able to hold helium. Worse, your balloon along with your electronics could end up in the drink.

Not saying a drone or kite is any better, though I think the drone would be fun.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
BlueChicago is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2015, 13:26   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,003
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Quadcopters and boats

Can see the benefit of using a drone to navigate inside the lagoons and/or reefs of tropical islands and atolls. If you are lucky, a channel to the village on an island will be charted and/or marked but the rest of the water is no man's land. The only way to move around these areas, and they are huge often usually way larger than the land area, is with someone in the spreaders spotting the coral heads. Hard to do as a single hander even with an autopilot and a remote control. The real achilles heel for all uses of these drones is their short flight endurance. 20 minutes won't get you very far.

For those thinking of using the drone for target practice, might think twice. Someone is already facing charges for shooting down a neighbors drone. Last thing you want is a criminal record for shooting down someone's irksome plaything.
__________________

__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Production Boats vs Custom Boats seaturkey Monohull Sailboats 64 07-01-2015 08:23
Quadcopters - Video shooting hoppy Off Topic Forum 38 01-06-2014 18:52
Pro's and con's of timber, steel and fiberglass for older boats. Phil S Construction, Maintenance & Refit 5 26-02-2014 05:20
Power Boats/sail boats Seagull111 Our Community 17 06-08-2013 11:16
buying and owning boats long distance capt lar Monohull Sailboats 10 29-03-2005 08:15



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:29.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.