DJI Mavic, Air and Mini Drones
Friendly, Helpful & Knowledgeable Community
Join Us Now

Launching/landing from a water craft.

Mt-Ed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
48
Reactions
19
Location
mt
I've reviewed some previous entries here re launching/landing from boats. I feel my plan is much much simpler than than those I've read about. What I would like to do is maneuver my boat to a point off shore (but very close to shore) and anchor it. I then wanted to take off from the boat, fly the land area of interest, then return to my boat, land by hand or on the deck itself (there's a 6' x 7' flat open area to land). I would not be attempting this in any wind or with any waves. Can anyone provide me with what potential problems I would run into given these variables? Having not done this before, I was planning to do some test runs where I was anchored right at the shoreline (as though I was at a dock) to get a feel of the procedure, and then work my way further out from shore. Thanks in advance for all guidance!!
 
I would not be attempting this in any wind or with any waves
If the boat is moving at all, it might be easier to hand catch your drone.

Can anyone provide me with what potential problems I would run into given these variables?
By not attempting to fly from a moving boat, you've eliminated many of the common problems resulting in accidents. Make sure you always start with a full battery and don't attempt to fly the entire battery just in case it takes longer to return home than expected.
 
I would get the Rescue Jacket for your Drone and make this a much less stress full , the hand catch will be much easier and there is room for saving your drone if you need to land on the Water. Its also a lot easier to see in the skies. We make them for most DJI drones and consider it the #1 utility tool for a boat..

Screenshot 09-26-2020 14.21.14.jpg

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain, Or land on a boat.
 
Last edited:
On a boat I'd be inclined to hand catch and launch ever time but, if you are very close to the shore, why risk flying from the boat?
Is there a legal constraint relating to the shore line?
If flying from a sandy beach then it would be hand catch and launch for me.
 
I've done this numerous times from a drifting boat in light winds with a quarter or less of you landing space, with no issues. I've landed on a small portion of deck and done hand catches. You've got a huge landing zone. In your case, try to get a feel for how your boat is swinging around on anchor and pick the best approach when returning. It should be very doable.
 
i would attach a simple hand grip
That one could be a tad disastrous if the OP ever needs to actually land on the ground (or other flat surface).
 
I'd consider myself an advanced drone pilot, but I had a serious problem trying to land my DJI Mini 3 Pro in a 2-man Kayak, even though I was able to launch no problem. Here is a video my buddy took of me trying to land my drone in my hand - it was pretty difficult:

The problem turned out to be that I had left obstacle avoidance turned ON. That was a mistake. The constant waves in the water confused the drone. There are many stories about this on drone forums that I found after the fact. I would suggest you turn OFF obstacle avoidance right before you try to land. You did not mention which drone you fly. If it has no downward sensors, this won't be a problem.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hansenn
...What I would like to do is maneuver my boat to a point off shore (but very close to shore) and anchor it. I then wanted to take off from the boat, fly the land area of interest, then return to my boat, land by hand or on the deck itself (there's a 6' x 7' flat open area to land). I would not be attempting this in any wind or with any waves. Can anyone provide me with what potential problems I would run into given these variables?...
When anchored the boat will swing around the anchor point even in very light variable breezes - so the drone's home point would not be reliably over the boat. Therefore I'd be very careful about any use, inadvertent or otherwise, of Return To Home.

I'd consider myself an advanced drone pilot, but I had a serious problem trying to land my DJI Mini 3 Pro in a 2-man Kayak, even though I was able to launch no problem.
The big problem I see there is that because you're sitting down in the kayak you have to get the drone within a few feet of the kayak in order to reach it. I have no problem hand catching a drone while standing because I can do it with the drone more than a few feet from the ground. But if I was sitting on the ground I wouldn't be able to reach it at the distance where it would stop descending due to obstacle avoidance.

The other complication, of course, is that you have basically no mobility at all - i.e., no ability to move yourself to reach the drone. You have to maneuver the drone towards you rather then just get it at hovering height and moving toward it.

For anyone else considering launching and hand-retrieving a drone from a canoe or kayak, I'd suggest practicing by sitting on the ground and trying to hand-catch the drone. That'll give you experience in (a) how to disable obstacle avoidance so that you can get the drone within grabbing distance, and (b) how to maneuver the drone to you (without hitting yourself with it) so that you can grab it. I suspect this will teach you that it's best to use "C" mode when doing this!
 
I 2nd the rescue jacket, it can save your drone if all else fails. I also recommend to fly in reverse when attempting landing, the controller movements are the same as the drone. Less to stress about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jephoto
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
129,918
Messages
1,547,497
Members
158,984
Latest member
coyoteincanoe