Water takeoff - recommendations?

Anyone have any experience taking off from boats with an Iris+?

Same question for landing on a boat....

I'm pretty sure I can pull it off.  If I leave early enough the lake will be flat, almost glass flat.  However, any slight wind or wave, or movement by people on the boat will create rocking (I'll be on a Boston Whaler - not a big boat).  Even if the boat is perfectly still, its unlikely that I will have a perfectly level takeoff platform.  

I probably could (and should) get to shore on one of the islands and launch from there, but I'm curious if anyone has any experience with water launches.  The landing on the boat could be dicey.  I think I'll bring some gloves in case I  need to hand catch.

Any and all advice and experience would be welcome.

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • So the consensus opinion is that the biggest issue is the accelerometers on power up.  No matter how calm the lake, the boat won't be dead still and probably not level.

    But if I can power up on a level rock on an island somewhere, then we can hop back in the boat and fly from there.  Per Steven Adams post, we could even launch the Iris from the boat - as long as we don't power cycle at any time.

    • Hey Erik,

      Just curious how this turned out for you - I wanted to takeoff / land on the deck of our boat all summer this season and never got it to work due to gyro calibration (or lack of). 

      calibrating on a flat plane then swapping batteries (with a Y-Cable keeping the system powered up) seems to be the best bet, next best being to use a firmware that can use past calibration data (even in the recent past, ie boot on land, save, the repower a few hours later with saved data)

  • Erik,

    I have not done a takoff from boat. I like your idea of taking off from land and following the boat if that is what you are looking for. RTL is not an option once you take off from a boat launch as you can image getting the bird a bit wet.


    • To !, once you hook up the flight battery it needs to be completely still , you need to take off from land and land back on land! you can take off from land and try to land it on the boat only if you are a very experience multi pilot or you have money to just go out and purchase a new quad!

    • you can power up the quad on land - you could either power up via the USB port with a USB battery pack, or a Y cable on the battery connector with a battery other than your flight pack to keep it powered before and after flights.

    • Still a realy bad idea!

    • Well today I'll scout some locations on land but these islands are rugged. It's not going to be easy to find a clear level area to take off from. Just getting to the islands is hard enough. I'll probably have to wade to shore holding the Iris over my head in a sealed plastic bag. My waterproof hard case is not here.

      As for landing on a boat, I'm not to worried about that. Knock on wood, but I've got enough experience landing in tight spots in hairy conditions.
  • I'd be more concerned with powering it up before I left stable ground so the gyros were set properly, other than that I think I'd do a fast take off and punch it right up off the deck - and be more vigilant with your voltage. RTL or Land aren't modes you want to hit on a moving boat out in the water

  • I have never launched from a boat. However, I think if you are early and take-off while the lake is steady (as you said) you should be able to take-off fairly easy. Just don't hesitate. I suggest increasing the throttle all the way and lift off quickly. Look forward to reading about those that have maybe done this before.
This reply was deleted.