We tested the Kitefoiler today with the side T-foils and 25 sqm kite. Don, Richard, and Erika crewed while Joe is hurt. They also used the compressed air tank for the first time to inflate the kite, which worked very speedily. Damon made a special compartment on the starboard hull for the tank. The boat foiled very stably while towing, but had trouble remaining on foils with the kite up, due to unsteady wind and a combined 3-crew weight of 490 lbs.
Today we went to the beach to test the new 12 sqm kite that Pete designed. The bridle on this kite is designed to distribute loads in a new way, so the kite can take higher loads without deforming. As you can see from the profile, this kite is flatter than our other C-shaped kites, which is a feature we think will help withstand load.
The goal of this test was to gather information to improve upon the kite enough that we can scale it up for use on the boats. On Monday, Don kitesurfed with the kite on his own, and yesterday Pete and Dudu tested the kite together. Today Pete and Don both surfed with the kite, returning […more]
We tested the new J-foils on the Kitefoiler for the first time today. While towing the boat out, the Protector needed to be going about 20 knots in order for the Kitefoiler to start foiling, which is a much higher number than either the old J-foils (15-16 knots), or the T-foils (12-13 knots). While sailing with the kite up, it was hard to keep the boat on the foils. This poor performance was partly due to very choppy conditions and a lot of swells knocking the boat off course. We used the new 25 sqm kite with the Dacron trailing edge.
Photos show Don and Joe preparing Friday and Saturday for the race in Newport Beach on Saturday. The wind was so low that they needed to be towed out to the start and couldn’t keep the kite in the air for long. (See Jamie’s post for windspeed data). They were able to test out the Kitefoiler’s trailering capacities (very good), however, and to improve boat setup and takedown procedures. Thanks to Erika for taking photos!
Yesterday we took the Kitefoiler out to test it with a kite and three T-foils again. Additionally, we tested the newest hands-free radio prototype from Paul Larkin, who visited from InduComm to show us the system. The system fits inside one ear of a crew member and picks up voice through his or her jawbone, a setup which is meant to reduce wind noise. We taped the radios themselves to the outside of each person’s drysuit. There are one captain’s headset and several crew headsets. The radio has both push-to-talk and open-mic options. For our test, Paul wore the captain’s headset on the Protector, and Don, Joe, and Richard wore the crew headsets on the Kitefoiler. Paul attached a directional […more]