Kite Sails for Boats


Like the other money making ideas in this section, the concept of kite sails for boats is now really new. In fact a spinnaker sail is sometimes referred to as a "kite." Ideas are rarely as new or original as people think they are when they conceive of them. It seems likely that almost every idea for simple inventions is thought of independently by hundreds of people before someone finally makes it into something more than a thought or a few drawings.

My own idea for kite sails for boats came from playing with kites many years ago. I was sometimes surprised by how strongly the string was pulled as I held onto it. In imagined having one of my larger kites (I made several of them) pull me down the road on my bicycle. Then, when I was in the row boat being blown along by the wind one day, I realized that I could really make time--even without rowing--if I had a large kite flying out front. I would still have some ability to steer; perhaps as much as 30 degrees to either side of the wind.

What are the advantages of a kite versus traditional sails? To start with, a spinnaker sail is attached to the boat more directly, limiting its use somewhat. It requires a mast, and it can't help out much when it is calm down low but windier up higher. So even a sail boat might keep a large kite on board for emergencies involving a broken mast or calm weather.

But the real market for kite sails would be for people with boats which currently don't have sails. When a motorboat engine dies far from shore it would be nice to have a means of propulsion other than a wooden paddle. For adventurers it would be great to have a kite sail to pull a canoe or kayak for hundreds of miles along a great lake or an ocean coast.

I have experience with delta-wing kites, and these would work. But I suspect that the best design would be one that required no supports. Something like a para-sail that could be flown fairly low--to catch the wind more directly--or higher when necessary to catch breezes on calm days. Even a small one that could be rolled up and fit into a bread bag would pull a canoe at a good clip. A larger one would get a big motor boat to shore in time.

How Much Can You Make?

This question remains largely unanswered, as it does in all of these "money ideas" pages, because there isn't much to base any guesses on when an idea is mostly untried. But we still try to include a few "money notes" here.

There is little to go wrong with such a simple design, and it wouldn't be carrying a person like a traditional para-sail, so there would be few liability issues. It also would be relatively easy to manufacture. A small one could be sold profitably for under $100.

So one more person has thought of this idea. And someone may even be selling these somewhere (but not as far as I know). Now someone has to start making them and making money with them.

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