EDP Atlantic Mission - Francisco Lufinha crossed the Atlantic with a WingCommander RC

 

 

 

 
For only the second time in history, a vessel has crossed the Atlantic Ocean pulled solely by kite.
The Portuguese extreme sportsman Francisco Lufinha had a mission: a solo crossing of the Atlantic in a boat powered entirely by kite. And he did it! In a world-beating time of 21 days, he smashed the previous record held by Frenchwoman Anne Quemere since 2006.
After setting off from Lisbon with a stopover on the Canary Islands, his path led him towards Cape Verde and then west to the Caribbean. His goal: the island of Martinique. With top speeds of over 30 km/h, he whizzed across the Atlantic in his trimaran specially designed for this expedition, powered by kites ranging in size from 7 to 18 m2.
But how was this possible? – boats of comparable size need much larger sails to reach such speeds. In this case, there were two tricks: first, to raise the kite to greater heights on lines extending up to 150 m; and second, to fly the kite in a figure of eight pattern. Together this ensured much faster kite speeds, generating about 10 times the power of a conventional sail of the same size. “That’s a real
advantage when you’re aiming to beat the world record!” says Lufinha. But state-of-the-art technology is essential to be able to handle a kite safely under such conditions.
The innovation that makes this possible comes from the German company Wingit, based in Dresden.
Stephan Schröder, managing director of Wingit Kite Boat Systems, is the pioneer and developer of the WingCommander system. This features an electronically controlled winch unit with which the kite can be easily steered by joystick. The system also has an autopilot that can steer the kite over longer courses. The power needed to operate the system on Lufinha’s boat was supplied by two solar cells. For Stephan Schröder, the extreme conditions on such a small vessel in the mid-Atlantic, with metre-high waves continually breaking over the bow, were “the biggest endurance test our system has faced so far.” He goes on: “To ensure that the boat could be handled even if the batteries stopped working, we modified the WingCommander to enable the skipper to steer the kite by hand in an emergency.”

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Silent Yachts SY 60

LOA: 60ft

Beam: 29.5ft

Draft: 3ft

Weight: ca.29t

Solar Power Generation: 17kWp

Engine: 2x 340kW

Cruising speed: 6-8knt

Cruising with Kitesail(without engine support):

Wind:16-20knt

Kitesize: 9sqm

Lines: 80m

Speed: 5knt

Cruising with Kitesail(1kW per engine):

Speed: 6.2-6.7knt

Silent1

 

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 Silent5

M/Y Rock

LOA: 85ft

Draft: 7ft

Weight: ca.120t

Solar Power Generation: 17kWp

Engine: CAT 12.9 2 x 1000 HP

Cruising speed: 6-8knt

Cruising with Kitesail(without engine support):

Wind:16-30knt

Kitesize: 13,5sqm

Lines: 80m

Speed: 3knt

Cruising with Kitesail + engine 30%:

Speed: 6knt + 1knt from kite

 

 

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Sunnreef Damrak II

LOA: 70ft

Weight: 50t+

Engine: 2x 800PS

Consumption: 80-250l/h

Cruising with Kitesail(without engine support):

Wind:8-12knt

Kitesize: 21sqm

Lines: 140m

Speed: 6knt

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Damrak Detail1

 

 

 

Bertram 46.6 

LOA: 56ft

Weight: ca.25t

Engine: 2x 500PS

Consumption: 100-150l/h

Cruising with Kitesail(without engine support):

Wind:8-12knt

Kitesize: 11sqm

Lines: 120m

Speed: 4.5knt

Kite sailing Bertram 46 Yacht

Kite Boat Launch

KiteBoat

 

 

 

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Some examples of usage:

 

Sunnreef Damrak II

Sunnreef Damrak II LOA: 70ft Weight: 50t+ Engine: 2x 800PS Consumption: 80-250l/h Cruising with Kitesail(without engine support): Wind:8-12knt Kitesize: 21sqm Read More

Bertram 46.6

Bertram 46.6  LOA: 56ft Weight: ca.25t Engine: 2x 500PS Consumption: 100-150l/h Cruising with Kitesail(without engine support): Wind:8-12knt Kitesize: 11sqm Lines: Read More

Corsair 27

Corsair 27 Lenght: 8.25m Weight: ca.2t Sail area(conventional sail): aprox. 80qm cruising with Kite: Wind:6-8knt Kitesize: 13.5qm Lines: 140m Speed: Read More
  • 1

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