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Landsailers, UFO foilers, and drone videos...

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Spent some time watching landsailing videos, which in turn led to some other material as I surfed the web... iceboat racing videos, some beta on the UFO foiler, and some pretty cool drone video action at sea. Iceboats are radical, but the idea of iceboating here in the high desert is not practical, so I didn't include any iceboat racing videos, y'all can look those up yourselves. However, I did find a few landsailing videos worth posting, I guess these modern landsailers have class racing and everything... I remember seeing three of those BloKarts on the Silver Strand not long after they first appeared on the scene, some rich folk playing with their new toys, no doubt, but the little land yachts were still intriguing to this lifelong sailor. :cool:

During my web surfing session, I saw a video ad for the UFO foiler, so I went ahead and watched the video... I like what the Clarks are trying to do with this small foiling cat, but $7600 is hardly what I'd call "inexpensive!!!" Of course, I'm a cheap b@stard, and the little cat does have some interesting features, probably worth the money if ya happen to have $7600 lying around your house... check under your sofa cushions, maybe you'll luck out and find enough coins, LOL. Kudos to the Clarks for designing a small cartoppable foiling cat with enough "get up and go" to draw attention from sailors around the world... it looks like a fun little boat, and easy enough to sail as ya learn the finer aspects of foiling. :rolleyes:

Somewhere during my video travels, I stumbled across a drone video showing ocean racers from new perspectives... a bit long, but worth watching just for the kick@$$ views, LOL. I'll tell ya, I'm behind the times with all this newfangled technology, but it does my heart good to see folks using it for positive purposes. What can be better than drawing free unlimited power from Nature? Whether you're aboard a landsailer, iceboat, UFO foiler, or ocean racer? I suppose that's what draws all of us here to this site: this common bond in appreciating clean and abundant natural power. This common desire to "ride the wind"---no heller traffic, stinking fumes, bad attitudes or road rage, just clean and abundant natural power, free of charge!!! :)

Well, not exactly free... if ya wanna ride the wind aboard a UFO foiler, it'll cost ya $7600, LOL. And don't get me started on the price tags of those ocean racers... those bad@$$ carbon fiber craft ain't cheap, otherwise every bum standing on a corner would own one, AYE??? Meh, sometimes it's best to compromise and own something a little more humble, like a Laser or a Sunfish, or even a 'Sailbarrow'---LOL. Hey, you can STILL ride the wind, and it won't cost anywhere NEAR as much... and the principles are still the same, you're still drawing power from clean & abundant natural energy!!! Check out this clever little landsailer... :eek:

My Sailbarrow | Land Yacht Sailing Forums, page 1

Pretty cool, aye? Apart from the rig, one could probably build it from materials purchased at the Home Depot, LOL. And I might just do that... in the meantime, here are some landsailing videos, some shorter than others, I just like seeing the different ways these... er... not-quite-nautical heroes have rigged their craft. Even with class racing, there seems to be a bit of leeway as far as personal touches go... moi, I'd have to have a beer cooler bolted to my craft, and situated near at hand as I concentrated on outsailing the competition, don'tcha know??? If anything, I could hurl empties at passing skippers while being outsailed... maybe bust out the lever-action rifle and flatten their tires, LOL. ;)

Here's a little beta on the UFO foiler, followed by a short video:

Best Dinghy: UFO Foiler

And here's that drone video I mentioned, there are some nice shots in this one:



Upside down?
Staff member
The last one is especially nice. Can't get enough of those big breaking waves washing the deck almost front to back. Glad I am not one of the crew under those conditions.
I wonder how the drones are controlled and by whom?

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Some more videos for this thread, and anybody interested in landsailers... I like the one video showing the evolution of winged landsailing & iceboating rigs, that one is educational. Some of these designers are clearly aeronautical engineers, not just 'recreational sailors'---but their ideas are radical, and lead to speeds of 126 m.p.h. or higher. Not sure I wanna go that fast while drinking beer, LOL. :eek:

Technically, the craft in the first video is NOT a foiler, I'm not even sure WHAT I'd call it, except FAST, LOL... but I included it because it shows that folks are experimenting with fresh new ideas. Weird asymmetrical hull design and whatnot, like some futuristic outrigger. Meh, if it works, go for it... moi, I'm more of a traditional guy, a "nautical caveman" still mucking about with monohulls, and toying with the idea of building a landsailer for this nearby dry lake. :rolleyes:

Unlike these heroes in the videos who seemingly have unlimited funds, I'm drawn more to the aspect of improvisation, creating a functional craft on a budget... heck, that 'garage build' kit shown in one video was $1800, I'd like to build something for half or even one-third of that cost. Something like the Sailbarrow, but using lighter materials; according to experienced hands, lighter is better when it comes to landsailing craft, but material strength is important too. :cool:

I like those Manta landsailers, those look efficient, maybe I can rip off some design elements, LOL. I'll have to watch that evolutionary video again as well, that showed some really cool innovations over the decades. Remember those TV programs where timed crews built things using parts from a junkyard? Well, I may repurpose some materials, not necessarily from a junkyard either... get creative and build some sort of lightweight aluminum frame on the cheap. ;)

Use lighter wheels with precision bearings too... maybe some sort of offroad scooter wheels. Go with my usual Harken blocks and hardware, they haven't failed me yet, LOL. Find some modern windsurfing rig, maybe repurpose the rig from a small boat to power my craft... keep it lightweight and fairly small, like the BloKart design, just do it on the cheap rather than shelling out thousands, aye? :confused:

These are just a few thoughts I'm having on this beautiful high desert morning... it's very nice outside, but it's gonna get warm again today, pushing 100 degrees. Windy too, but there's more wind in tomorrow's forecast: 30 knots, or close to it, more than enough to power a small garage-built landsailer piloted by yours truly. Hey, I can wear my monkeybiking helmet when I cruise the dry lake!!! I still have it stored in my walk-in closet... D.O.T.-approved, too, LOL. :D


Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Whew... it's gettin' hot out there now, that's for sure. After watering the plants, I started working on those access & inspection panels for the crawlspace under my home, got three panels cut including inspection ports on the first two & kitty door on the third. I'm gonna use wire mesh on those inspection panels so I can see important plumbing sections and access the cleanout for my underground sewer line. The other two panels (haven't cut the last one yet) are simply open cat doors, or plywood panels with oval openings so the cats can get under the home and deal with any rodents. All panels to be painted so they blend in with the skirting, three are done already (except for tacking sturdy wire mesh onto the inspection panels, that happens tomorrow). None of this is quite as confusing as it sounds, but working with plywood reminded me of my first (unsuccessful) attempt to build a landsailer... :confused:

This occurred in the mid-'80s, I was working at a marina when I decided to build such a craft. Even though I was sailing on the water all the time, I was intrigued by the whole landsailing scene... the old school landsailers, not these modern alloy or carbon fiber numbers. So I drew up a plan for a landsailer frame & body made of wood, using beams, stringers & lightweight plywood panels. The project involved many cuts using shop equipment at the marina, but I got through all those cuts and started putting together my 'dirt boat'---thing looked pretty cool, somewhat angular but pleasing to the eye. Problem was, the weight kept adding up with each piece of wood put in place, and I soon had a completed frame & body which weighed more than I did, and that was without the steel rods I planned to use as axles, appropriate mounting hardware for the axles, reinforcement for the mast step up forward, and the weight of any rig itself. :rolleyes:

I soon realized that my landsailer would be too cumbersome to sail efficiently, so despite many hours and a certain amount of materials invested in the project, my landsailer wound up getting tossed onto a bonfire at the beach, LOL. But hey, at least I TRIED... and the craft didn't look bad, it was the weight that killed her. Next time I try, I'll probably use aluminum, since I can't realistically afford to work with carbon fiber. Aluminum tubing, maybe some T-shaped stock or aluminum I-beams for additional support. PVC is interesting, but I'm not sure it could stand up to the stresses involved, therefore aluminum seems like the best possible choice for a hand on a budget. Makes me wish I were roaming through Handy Metal Mart in National City one more time, LOL... they had all kinds of aluminum in that place, plus other metals & alloys, it was a metalworker's paradise!!! :cool:

Anyway, all that happened a long time ago, and I never got back to making another landsailer... my primary focus was always upon actual sailing, since I lived in a town which was virtually surrounded by water. But now that I'm so far from the ocean, and my recent 'gubmint job' with its paid vacay went south for all the wrong reasons, my thoughts have returned to this landsailing business... unfinished business, one might say. WTF, if I can't make it out to where the actual sailing exists on a regular basis, why NOT bring the sailing to my present location in the high desert? This isn't a particularly windy area, it doesn't howl every day, but it's windy often enough to make the landsailing option viable, ya know? I've ridden BMX and dirt bikes all my life, no reason for me to believe that I wouldn't do well aboard a 'dirt boat'---just gotta shelve the natural tendency to add tricked-out suspension elements, thereby adding cost and weight, LOL. ;)

Any landsailer I make will be minimalist in design and will rely upon pneumatic tires for softening the hard knocks, maybe some lightweight closed-cell foam under the seat for added cushioning. I'm ex-Infantry, I haven't quite reached the point where I need to mount a La-Z-Boy Recliner on my landsailer, LOL. Going back to those precision bearings I mentioned in an earlier post, I think THOSE would make a big difference, as they always have in other extreme sports like skateboarding & BMX. Maybe even use some smaller BMX mag wheels on my craft, those are lightweight and super strong, plus I can put top-of-the-line precision bearings in the hubs. Good bearings make a BIG DIFFERENCE in rolling freely across terrain, particularly across sun-baked playas with surfaces that are hard and fast. Damn, I miss the old Bullseye hubs on my tricked-out PowerLite Cruiser, those hubs were the bomb back in the day... :D

Meh, call me a dreamer for thinking of building another landsailer, it won't hurt my feelings... better than being called a spoon-fed maggot whose daddy owns a carbon fiber plant, LOL. Any project I build will be entirely on me, from the design stage to construction to ultimate deployment, and I'm alright with that fact. In the past, I scorned rich punks who were given everything on a silver platter, but a friend of mine set me straight one day by posing as a spoon-fed maggot and saying: "TAKE IT BACK, DAD, I DON'T WANT IT!!!" And ya know? He was RIGHT. Had some fool given me a Lamborghini when I was 16 years old, I'd have taken that Eye-tie piece of junk out and tested it in the dirt, gettin' sideways at 150 m.p.h., LOL. Or lifted it sky-high, with triple shocks up front & quad shocks at the rear... big ol' monster mudders making a statement as I rolled through the dirt, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! :eek:

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