Picture of Instant Kite Boat
We bought a pile of catamaran parts on craigslist,
tied it all together, and pulled it around SF Bay with a 21 meter kitesurfing kite. All in just a few short hours

hey- give me your old sailboat and windsurf junk to build into the next experiment. I'm in Emeryville, CA. Send email to robot(at)

Photos by Jyri Engestrom
Jyri's blog is at
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Step 1: Shopping for Parts

Picture of Shopping for Parts
Nick, Saul and Tim are out craigslist shopping.

No, I guess we won't buy the motorcycle.

Howabout we buy that pile of catamaran parts instead?
It looks like the remains of two hobie cats.


My God! what have we just done?

Step 2: Assembly

Picture of Assembly
Looks like this part goes here, that part goes there...

Step 3: Lashing the platform

Picture of Lashing the platform
The trampoline is missing. I guess we'll make a platform of sticks instead and lash them down with bicycle innertubes. Nick and Tim lashing away. Saul is off in the dune buggy with Jyri getting more innertubes. Can you believe we let the supply get low?

Step 4: More lashing

Picture of More lashing
Cross over on top, straight lines on the bottom, around and around a couple of times to bind it tight, and repeat for the next one.

Step 5: Almost done

Picture of Almost done
Let's see. 15 sticks this way times five sticks that way means 75 lashings. I guess we're almost done.

Step 6: Finished

Picture of Finished
and there it is.
Actually all the crossings need to be lashed or at least laced together or
the sticks will break one at a time. If they're tied together it's more like a basket
or an "e pluribus unum" which the Romans also called a "Fasces".

Step 7: Let's go to the beach.

Picture of Let's go to the beach.
It straddles the truck perfectly. Now if we could just get inside the truck somehow...

Step 8: Pump it up

Picture of Pump it up
We just happened to have a 21 meter kitesurf kite handy.
Saul designs them for

Step 9: Ulla with the kite

Picture of Ulla with the kite

Step 10: Launching the kite

Picture of Launching the kite
The wind isn't too strong today, so it's a normal launch. will reveal what that is.
In stronger wind we'd hook the bar to the boat first,
cuz the kite would be oversized for a mere human.
Rishnai6 years ago
Oh my god, that's hilarious! I've carried stuff like that on top of sedans and coupes, but with a truck it's even funnier, since it even makes the truck look small.
radiorental8 years ago
It would have been much quicker to use one of Eric's "sleeping bags" as a tramp no?
Ha! All those foil kites are precious to me -- even the broken ones! On second thought, a piece of fabric over the wooden-spar trampoline would have been a good idea. While leaning way over the rear to wrestle with the barely functioning rudders during kite-loop jibes, it was too easy to get my whole leg shoved in and stuck between spars. Falling off the boat at that moment would probably twist a knee pretty badly. Closer spar spacing would also do it.
nickp ewilhelm8 years ago
I suggested the fabric covering idea, but we probably wouldn't have made it out that evening if we'd tried it. (Actually, I was guilty of expressing a severe lack of optimism about finishing that day -- and was happy to be proved wrong!) But about the fabric -- I'm no longer sure it would have would have been a total plus. Having lots of things to grab ahold of was pretty important, given the tiller force I was exerting and the amount of water swooshing around. Maybe weaving more innertubes among the spars ... I'm sure I've gone faster under sail -- in much bigger boats. But never in my life have I felt a sailboat accelerate under me as rapidly as that beat-to-sh*t old Hobie. Exhilarating!
2" square fishing net
or a hobie cat with a still-present trampoline would do the trick nicely :D
Very cool all the same, I should get back on the cat project I started last year. Foils precious to me also, but cant fly the v19 anymore. After the winter winds its like going for a bike ride on vallium.
Cool! Great Instructable! Thanks Joe
MauiChris7 years ago

My friend is developing a kite system with rigging for kite powered boats. He has some awesome videos on youtube.

Meragness8 years ago
WoW! that boat rocks! you should circumvavigate the earth on it.
Leon Close8 years ago
Sheer awsomeness. I've been wanting to do just this for ages but have been constrained by a severe kite deficiency. Nice job.