|The potential kite power vessels will have many applications for fishing, powering ferryboats, and barges, to providing emergency power to motorboats. The sky is the limit for the future of kiteboating; the ocean is waiting.|
|KiteBoating in Hawaii|
|Dan Tracy, Kite For Sail LLC|
In Hawaii, consistent trade winds offer sustainable solutions to combat global warming. A new form of deep-sea fishing is being developed off the island of Maui. Kite For Sail is not only breaking ground with new sailing techniques using kite-sails for power, they are using their kiteboat to troll for open ocean fish such as ono, mahi mahi and tuna. These fish are caught while trolling across the wind. Kite-sails harness higher winds above the water, reduce wetted surface with a lifting force, and improve hull stability. Kite power can be used on all vessels to reduce fuel consumption.
After years of kite system development, Dan Tracy and Ian Fisher decided to have some fun and go fishing. They arrived at a small protected bay with their 24-foot kite fishing vessel. The conditions looked perfect as the light trade winds were picking up. The kite system took only 15 minutes to set up. Using a small outboard engine, they motored out of the calm bay and into the brisk winds where an eighteen meter kite was launched.
Immediately the boat powered up as the kite reached operating altitude. The engine was lifted and the boat began to sail at 8 to 10 knots, a perfect trolling speed.
Several lures were deployed and set into a tempting pattern. Unlike conventional sailing rigs, kite-sails stabilize the hull with a lifting force. Dan and Ian kicked back to enjoy the smooth stable ride as they sailed out into the Pacific Ocean.
Birds were spotted diving into the water as they devoured small fish being forced to the surface by hungry tuna below. The boat was directed through the feeding frenzy. Suddenly, one of the top poles with a small lure took a strike and a small aku was quickly reeled in. The lures were reset as they continued up the coast to a spot that had produced large fish before.
Upon reaching this area more birds were spotted and the short lure took a massive strike. Immediately the kite was maneuvered overhead and the kiteboat was steered windward to slow its speed. The other lines were cleared and soon the silver color of an ono appeared under the boat. The fish was leadered in by hand and a gaff was used to bring the fish on board.
Dan and Ian felt fortunate to have caught such beautiful fish and attributed their success to the quiet running of the boat. A few more fish were caught before they sailed downwind, back to the bay. The fishermen were pleased because they had caught fish and trolled for three hours with no engine.
The potential kite power vessels will have many applications for fishing, powering ferryboats, and barges, to providing emergency power to motorboats. The sky is the limit for the future of kiteboating; the ocean is waiting.