Epic Sailboat Drone Crashes, How To Avoid Them, Sailing La Vagabonde, SV Delos, SSL, Doodles

The tales of woe are myriad when you are talking about drones and sailboats. Find out the best and worst practices in this video.
Our friends at Sailing SV Delos, Sailing Doodles, and Kracken Kissed Sailing Adventures recently aired videos talking about their drone crashes off their sailboats. This video looks at some of the most epic drone crashes on sailboats and how to avoid them.

The crew of Sailing SV Delos, Brian, Brady, and Karin, are the Episode 10 and 33 guests of the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast, and Bobby from Sailing Doodles will be on episode 34. They both smashed up expensive camera drones that hit the rigging and broke apart on the deck. See the podcast videos at

0:41 #1 Sailing La Vagabonde shows how to not launch a DJI Phantom 3 drone from the boat and Riley and a pal are injured trying to keep if from hitting the water with the propellers spinning.
“Drone Fail on La Vagabonde!! (Sailing La Vagabonde) Ep. 65”

1:08 #2 Sailing SV Delos crashes their new Splash Drone into the deck. Too bad it did not hit the water first. It just shows that waterproof drones can break easily too. See
“A drone crash, a lost tooth and a live concert! Sailing Vessel Delos Ep. 115”

1:15 #3 Sailing Libra with the help of the Slow Boat Sailing Podcasts episode 23 guest Annie Dike of HaveWindWillTravel.com show the best practices for catching and releasing a drone, but they crashed it in the rigging before they perfected their technique.
See “How to Launch and Land a Drone from the Boat”

See Annie Dike on the podcast at

1:36 #4 Rick Moore or Sailing Sophisticated Lady (SSL) is the king of drone photography among sailing vloggers. Nevertheless, he has crashed his splash drone when it stopped responding to controls.
“DRONE CRASH in the Ocean at 50mph and SURVIVES! This is why you ONLY buy a WATERPROOF DRONE!”

2:12 #5 Bobby of Sailing Doodles crashed his new drone into the forestay of his boat SV Ruff Seas after it stopped responding to controls and a propeller stopped turning properly. See
“Drone Crash Autopsy, Shower Pump Fix, Our Equipment – Boat Maintenance Monday”

Key features and tips for a drone to launch from a sailboat:
2:26 big landing gear (DJI Phantom is good; Mavic is bad)
3:15 practice drone flying releasing, and catching on land
4:25 don’t run down batteries
4:45 camera on gimbals
5:05 GPS drone
6:00 small drones are pushed around by the wind and can’t hover
6:20 2.7K camera makes good video
7:05 FPV is a must-have feature. Stream video live onto your phone or tablet from the drone.
7:48 Is the Syma drone a good practice drone?
8:40 More tips with drone footage of Bucktown Harbor, New Orleans, Louisiana
8:50 Hold drone above eye level and use sunglasses for eye protection.
9:03 Upwind is best point of sail for launching. Launch off the stern of the sail boat.
9:30 Fly only on low wind days
9:40 Head signals for drone pilot and spotter
9:49 Fly in p-mode or GPS mode
10:00 Avoid steel ships
10:16 Fly well above the waves
10:49 Flying upwind takes more batteries than flying downwind.
11:00 Don’t use the return to home feature because the boat has moved from the launch site.
Music by BenSound.com

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(c) Linus Wilson, 2017

2 thoughts on “Epic Sailboat Drone Crashes, How To Avoid Them, Sailing La Vagabonde, SV Delos, SSL, Doodles”

  1. Thanks for the article! I’m planning on getting a drone to take out on the boat with me at the weekends and have been slightly worried about how I’m going to get it back in the boat. Thanks for helping me out, definitely going to be doing some practice on the ground for a few weeks before taking it out on the water. Also a very smart idea to not run too low on battery before coming back to land, I can imagine panicking and not being about to get the drone back on the boat and then the battery running out haha! I’m still deciding what drone to buy and just came across this article – http://www.droneriot.com/best-drones-for-sailing/ which suggests the Phantom 4, I think im going to go for that, do reckon it is possible to learn on a Phantom 4? Or should I buy a cheaper drone to practice on and move onto the big boy when i’m a bit more experienced?

    Thanks again for your post!


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