Drone / August 10, 2018 / Sanni Pekkarinen
There are a number of issues that should be considered when selecting a Drone for this environment: DJI and Yuneec make a number of Drones capable of use in this environment. The Splash Drone is waterproof and makes a great Drone for this environment. GoPro and DJI have just introduced small new models that "fold" and fit in small backpacks and are capable of flying for 20+ minutes in 20+ knots of wind! Size - consider how and where you will store your Drone aboard your yacht - on a bunk in a storage locker in the cockpit. The Drone should be stored in a safe location where guests and crew will not drop items on the Drone or knock or kick the Drone.
The MJX Bugs 3 has an amazing brushless motor. This prevents excess friction within the parts helping the motor last longer. Since you may be mounting an expensive camera on this drone the reliability from the brushless motor is very important. On negative of this particular drone is that there is no included camera. Rather than a camera this drone sports a camera holder. This is good and bad. You can choose what camera quality you want and attach it to the drone such as Gopro but that will be at your own additional expense. If youre looking for a drone that can fly far and for a long time this is the right choice. Many beginner drones cannot fly for more than 8 minutes. This drone nearly doubles both flight time and range from other sub-200 models.
Another technique is to attach a thin weighted line to the Drone so that when the Drone is close the operator simply grabs the line and "pull down" the Drone. New Drones include Optical Recognition cameras and software that should have the capability of landing the Drone in very windy conditions and onto a moving yacht or ship. Keep in mind that in windy conditions or if you are operating on a moving yacht or even a passenger cruise ship you may need to fly the Drone out in front of the yacht or ship and then let the Drone "drift" back into landing position while slowly bringing the Drone down to the deck. I witnessed a Drone operator attempting to land his Drone on a cruise ship that was moving at 20+ knots. Instead of employing the above technique the operator panicked because his Drone battery was running low (!!) and attempted to land the Drone by moving the Drone mid-ship and then flying the Drone sideways to land on the upper deck. The operator had absolutely no control trying to run sidewise in 20+ knots of wind and totally destroyed his $4000 drone when is crashed into the steel upper structure of the cruise ship!