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2021 Kite Proa

Kite Sailing Prototype Nr. 1

Early 2021 I build my first Kite Proa. With the dream in mind to build a boat myself I stumbled across the stitch and glue method which I thought was great. A quick CAD drawing gave me a geometry to cut out and “stitch” together. It looked so go that I decided to just extend it to 5.8m long to be my main hull. First I thought the parallel midship is a great idea – being simple to build and very scalable. Later this turned out not to be the case. It creates more drag and a curved section is stiffer and nicer to work on. This I could see clearly with the outrigger of my second hull. Wich has been fully curved. The outrigger created less drag and was a much better hull. The crossbeams I made were too complicated – a nice I profile, still have to find a way to simplify them. Unfortunately I never totally finished every detail of the rig on it nor did I finish all the structure in between the hulls. But I learned much about boatbuilding with plywood, epoxy, and glass fiber and about the proa.

Kite Proa, Kite Sailboat Prototype Nr. 1
Kite Proa, Kite Sail Testing Before Sunset
Kite Proa Prototype Nr.1 Testing

Unfortunately, I never got to test the kite sailboat my first kite proa prototype probably. I did not have a suitable kite and realized that the test setting and weather conditions must work well. It’s important to have clean wind – no land shelter, no turbulence. Then it should be protected you do not want to be blown offshore or it helps to have a second boat to come and get you back home. At the spot where I build the boat, it often had strong offshore wind which made it impossible to paddle back home. Not to speak of the 5m tidal differences and currents. So much to learn. Well and likely I was a bit scared of that harsh reality check ripping my dreams to pieces.

A friend and skipper had the great idea to just tow the proa by the halyard from the top of the mast to simulate the kite. This worked great and we could simulate the shunting. I was amazed at how clearly the proa reacted to the shift in the attachment triangle.

no wind shunting test