Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-12-2022, 19:31   #1
Registered User
 
Zygodactyl's Avatar

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Desert SW, USA
Boat: Hinckley, Sou’Wester 59
Posts: 17
Best drones for boats

Anyone have experience flying drones off a sailboat? What are the best models and what features should you look for or seek to avoid?
Zygodactyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 00:41   #2
Registered User
 
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Panschwitz, Germany
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 3,416
Re: Best drones for boats

Start flying at anchor in calm weather. Landing on a moving boat is not easy.
If you want to fly from a moving boat, have a very good helmsman or autopilot who can maintain a steady course.

Ideally you can focus on flying and someone else catches the drone.

We have a DJI Mini 2, primarily because it can be flown in many jurisdictions without a lot of hassle.

Make sure your drone can handle the wind.
Floats are important if you have a DJI insurance contract. They give you a new drone if it falls in the water and is damaged, but you need to return them the damaged one.

These are perhaps a safer bet:

https://www.swellpro.com/

&

https://gannet.co.za/collections/gan...t-ii-max-drone

For retrieval of these, add a large zip tie, land beside the boat and lick them up with a boat hook.
Franziska is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 00:48   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: San Diego
Boat: Jeanneau 349
Posts: 457
Re: Best drones for boats

DJI Magic Mini 3 Pro here with the added floats mainly for something to grab when sailing.
Letterkenny is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 00:54   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boat in EC, Body in AU.
Boat: Westerly Sealord
Posts: 7,854
Re: Best drones for boats

I have experience flying drones - I have a Mavic Pro- but have never been game enough to 'land on' at sea .

Although dated I like the DJI Phantoms with their big bedstead undercarriage which makes snatching them out of the sky fairly simple - also cheap second hand so no big deal if it 'buys the (fish) farm'.

The drone on my Santa List is the DJI Mini Pro 3.

A submersible drone isn't a lot of use if it misses the flight deck when you are poking off down wind at 7 or 8 knots.
__________________
A little bit about Chile can be found here https://www.docdroid.net/bO63FbL/202...anchorages-pdf
El Pinguino is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 01:37   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boat in EC, Body in AU.
Boat: Westerly Sealord
Posts: 7,854
Re: Best drones for boats

You may have noticed that DJI is the brand of choice.

Models under 249 grams keep you under the regulations in many countries including the US.
__________________
A little bit about Chile can be found here https://www.docdroid.net/bO63FbL/202...anchorages-pdf
El Pinguino is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 03:03   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2020
Location: Eleuthera/Lennox Head
Boat: Seawind 1260
Posts: 179
Re: Best drones for boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I have experience flying drones - I have a Mavic Pro- but have never been game enough to 'land on' at sea .

Although dated I like the DJI Phantoms with their big bedstead undercarriage which makes snatching them out of the sky fairly simple - also cheap second hand so no big deal if it 'buys the (fish) farm'.

The drone on my Santa List is the DJI Mini Pro 3.

A submersible drone isn't a lot of use if it misses the flight deck when you are poking off down wind at 7 or 8 knots.

I have a DJI mini pro 3. You set the return to home to the controller as opposed to the GPS position it took off from and it comes back to the moving boat. No side sensors so if you have a little space no problem to land on a boat. Good wind performance and excellent battery life. A great unit for a boat.
I looked at the swellpro drones but the video quality was not great as well as having a relatively short flying time. But it can capture underwater video and pics. Horses for courses I guess.
Alistair242 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 03:10   #7
Registered User
 
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Panschwitz, Germany
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 3,416
Re: Best drones for boats

By the way with the Litchi App from the Android (and perhaps Apple) store you also have the option, that a Mini 2 can follow the controller.
This is possible since DJI released the software development code for the Mini 2 and many others.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ere.visionplus
Franziska is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 04:32   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Little Compton, RI
Boat: Cape George 31
Posts: 2,520
Re: Best drones for boats

On a recent trip, the photographers had 3-D printed legs they'd attached to their (may have been Mavic? I'm not a drone guy) drones for catching. While underway, one would lean out with heavy gloves and catch while the other flew. It was pretty ticklish, especially in a seaway with breeze. I can't imagine doing it solo.
The legs essentially provided helicopter skids that were easy to grab. However, the drone could not be folded with the printed legs in place.
__________________
Ben
zartmancruising.com
Benz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 05:46   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: www.sweetruca.com
Boat: J Boats J/46
Posts: 74
Re: Best drones for boats

We mostly fly a Mini 2, as it is easier to handle on board and carry on land. For higher winds, the heavier Mavic is a little better and easier to control.

Landing on the boat takes some practice, and mishaps will surely happen unless you have an aircraft carrier cockpit like a VO70 to land in. Remember the boat has leeway under sail and swell may move the boat up/down a significant amount in relation to the drone.
SV_Sweet_Ruca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 18:40   #10
Registered User
 
Zygodactyl's Avatar

Join Date: May 2019
Location: Desert SW, USA
Boat: Hinckley, Sou’Wester 59
Posts: 17
Re: Best drones for boats

Thanks to all for the informative replies. I’m focusing on the Dji mini pro 3 for multiple reasons and the tip about setting it to return to controller is huge. I assume crew could that way catch it on approach, with gloves of course. I’m wondering if you can pre-program a landing GPS coordinate so it could just return to some nearby land spot for later retrieval?
Zygodactyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2022, 20:49   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 107
Re: Best drones for boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zygodactyl View Post
I’m wondering if you can pre-program a landing GPS coordinate so it could just return to some nearby land spot for later retrieval?
Read about the “return to home” feature and how you can set the home point. It’s really a safety feature in the event you lose contact with the drone. I wouldn’t want to rely on it for routine use.
Chris31415 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2022, 01:06   #12
Registered User
 
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Panschwitz, Germany
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 3,416
Re: Best drones for boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris31415 View Post
Read about the “return to home” feature and how you can set the home point. It’s really a safety feature in the event you lose contact with the drone. I wouldn’t want to rely on it for routine use.
Correct, but do not try to use the standart "return to home" to try to land on a boat. It goes back to a predefined GPS location, usually the take off point.
Boats tend to change positions, even at anchor.
Franziska is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2022, 03:04   #13
Registered User
 
double u's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: forest city
Boat: no boat any more
Posts: 2,452
Re: Best drones for boats

if you even think about flying (& landing) from (on) the moving boat at sea: practice on a slowly moving pick-up truck. &practice&practice...
we lost one in mid-Atlantic, little swell, wind maybe 10kn, broad reach.
It went so fast we were open-mouthed:
I missed catching it standing on the coach-roof, it went past the second person in the cockpit, through the spokes of the slowly turning wheel, in between lifelines & windvane-lines straight into the drink & sank immediately.
Our son the drone operator was pretty experienced...
__________________
...not all who wander are lost!
double u is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2022, 03:20   #14
Registered User
 
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Panschwitz, Germany
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 3,416
Re: Best drones for boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by double u View Post
if you even think about flying (& landing) from (on) the moving boat at sea: practice on a slowly moving pick-up truck. &practice&practice...
we lost one in mid-Atlantic, little swell, wind maybe 10kn, broad reach.
It went so fast we were open-mouthed:
I missed catching it standing on the coach-roof, it went past the second person in the cockpit, through the spokes of the slowly turning wheel, in between lifelines & windvane-lines straight into the drink & sank immediately.
Our son the drone operator was pretty experienced...
This speaks very much for the waterproof drones I mentioned previously.
In not to harsh conditions you can pick them up with a boat hook if the fall in the water, as they can float too.

As someone further mentioned I agree that the Spry+ by Swellpro could have better video quality.
But, one could add a GoPro to it to overcome that.
Franziska is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2022, 04:03   #15
Registered User
 
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Panschwitz, Germany
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 3,416
Re: Best drones for boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
This speaks very much for the waterproof drones I mentioned previously.
In not to harsh conditions you can pick them up with a boat hook if the fall in the water, as they can float too.

As someone further mentioned I agree that the Spry+ by Swellpro could have better video quality.
But, one could add a GoPro to it to overcome that.
Like to add they have mixed reviews..
Franziska is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
Drones for Cruisers micah719 Marine Electronics 67 24-08-2016 19:25
NOAA Drones Busting Boaters Crimea Cruiser Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 36 19-06-2013 20:43
How cool is this? Sailboat drones.... H Romberg Multihull Sailboats 4 01-05-2013 06:46
Drones for ocean work River Cruiser Cruising News & Events 4 27-01-2013 10:30
Unmanned Drones to Patrol Africa Patient General Sailing Forum 25 02-10-2011 15:01

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:05.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.