The Boat

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The Kiteboat is designed with safety as a priority.

The design allows the boat to be piloted transoceanic by a relatively inexperienced crew of two, yet provide great scope for learning the skills required to maximise performance.

The Design Criteria

  • Capable of unsupported ocean passages
  • To meet the requirements of the EU Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) Category A – Ocean (defines amongst other things standards concerning stability, integrity and structural requirements)
  • To be piloted by relatively inexperienced crew, yet provide scope for learning to maximise the boats performance potential
  • Accommodate a minimum crew of two and provide scope for a third crewmember inshore  
  • Trailerable and possible to launch on a slipway/launch ramp
  • Self-propelled in order to reach open water prior to launching kite (no reliance on tow boat)
  • Must be possible to fit two boats in a standard 40" shipping container (logistical considerations for organised race series)

Specifications and Equipment

  • Physical dimensions – LOA 7.02m, beam 1.95m, displacement 700kg.
  • Hull/deck construction – Foam core composite sandwich construction. Outer skin comprising layers of glass and aramid fibre cloth for durability and impact resistance, inner skin comprising layers of glass fibre cloth with carbon fibre reinforcement for strength and stiffness in specific high load areas. Vacuum infused epoxy resin used to produce a very light and stiff hull and deck assembly.
  • Kites – the kiteboat is designed to be powered using conventional water relaunchable LEI (leading edge inflatable) kites with larger kites being used in light-winds and smaller kites being used in stronger winds.
  • Kite attachment/control – kite lines are attached through a block running on a transverse curved deck mounted track allowing the heeling moment caused by the pull of the kite to a kept to a minimum no matter what tack the boat is on. From the curved track mounted block the kite lines are attached to a manually operated winch via guides and sheaves. The winch is designed to allow the kite to be controlled whilst increasing line length during kite launching and decreasing line length during kite recovery. A conventional bar system is used to control (steer) the kite.
  • Underwater appendages – directional control and resisting the sideways pull of the kite (leeway) will be achieved using a single rudder and twin retractable asymmetric foils. The asymmetric foils incorporate a 'wing-tip' which is also asymmetric in shape, but acting in the horizontal plane it works to keep the boat from heeling over due to the heeling moment generated by the sideways pull of the kite.
  • Electric drive motor – a 2kw electric motor is incorporated in the boats design to provide a means of propulsion in confined areas i.e. departing a marina, and to assist with positioning the boat relative to the wind and kite during kite launch and recovery. Powered by two 24v batteries the range of the drive motor will be limited by battery capacity, thus it will be of insignificance during racing conditions. When not in use the drive motor will be retracted inside a motor well to eliminate propeller-induced drag.
  • Electrical power – in addition to proving power for the electric drive motor the two 24v batteries will also provide power for navigation and communication equipment, lighting and to recharge portable electrical equipment. The batteries will be charged using a hydro-generator, which will be capable of fully recharging the two batteries in less than 10 hours once the boat is averaging in excess of 8 knots under kite power. Similar to the electric drive motor it will be possible to lift the hydro-generator from the water to eliminate drag from the hydro-generator propeller when the batteries are fully charged.

Want to know more?

Please follow the links below to find out more information on the Transoceanic Kiteboat Race Series.

Events / Race Series

Take a look at our complete list of all upcoming events and races on our OKB-Racing site.

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Register your Interest

If you're interested, then make sure you're up to date with our latest news & events.

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Boat Gallery

Have a look at the design, development and production of the Kite boat.

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