UK patent GB2508660

Now - the current prototype

The WindFly Rig has been developed through a series of prototypes to the current version which is designed to be mounted in place of an outboard motor on standard 'off the shelf' planing motor boats. This version of the WindFly Rig is currently undergoing sea trials. 

The current prototype includes the following features which have been successfully tested:

  • The boat is driven by the wind without heel;

  • A single 'keel-rudder' arranged so that the boat is driven by the wind without leeway.

  • Mounting on the transom of commercially available 'off the shelf' boats in place of the outboard engine.

  • Kite control using crew lines, this allows the kite to be controlled as the line length is changed, for example as the kite is launched or retrieved.

  • A load limiter to limit the maximum kite load.

  • A quick release system so that, in an emergency, the boat can be separated from the kite and the WindFly Rig.

  • An uphaul and bungee downhaul system to raise and lower the 'keel-rudder'. This arrangement allows the 'keel-rudder' to rise to pass over obstructions that are hit.

  • A tiller steering system which uses the same 'keel-rudder' to steer as is used to resist the sideways component of the kite load.

  • A spring arrangement to balance the self weight of the boom.

The current prototype includes the following features which have not yet been tested:

  • Facility to mount lines to provide automatic control of the kite to maintain the power and position of the kite relative to the boat.