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Drones: Taking Boating to New Heights

Drones: Taking Boating to New Heights

In recent years drones have evolved from novelty toys into an essential device for bringing aerial photography into the hands of the general public. Instead of being stuck with awkward selfies from your phone, drones let boaties capture the sort of amazing aerial shots that were previously only possible with a helicopter. However, photography was only the beginning, as we’re now seeing drones revolutionise fishing, both above and below the water line, and there’s even talk of drones helping save people who have fallen overboard. Let us show you some of the most useful drones for boating.


Splash Drone

Price: $1,660

splash drone gold coast

It is possible to get cheap camera drones for under a hundred dollars, but you will need to buy them by the dozen considering they sink without a trace when they hit the water. The Splash Drone was the first waterproof drone to hit the market – an essential feature for any serious boating use. It is also one of the most versatile drones on the market, with the ability to attach a wide range of devices. The most obvious attachment is a GoPro camera for filming. However, the drone can carry up to 1kg, making it possible to carry life vests to people overboard much further than you could throw, or to carry flares higher up to increase their visibility. Another very handy feature is that if the drone loses its connection to your controller, it will automatically return to its take-off coordinates. It is also possible to modify the Splash Drone to carry fishing equipment. Such a broad range of customization and features make the Splash Drone a great all-rounder. However, it will quickly get very expensive if you want all the attachments, so it’s worth looking at other choices if you just have a specific use in mind.



Price: $1,790

aguadrone gold coast

Drone fishing has rushed from concept to reality in just a couple of years, and it is easy to see why when you realise the possibilities with the technology. You may have seen the popular YouTube videos earlier in the year of two local fishermen catching a huge 20kg tuna off Fingal Head by using a drone to carry a baited hook 350m out into the ocean then reeling the tuna back in with a rod. The Aguadrone is specifically made for fishing and will let you do everything they did and more. The drone is fully waterproof and it comes with a range of accessories you can twist on and off without tools. As well as a camera capable of filming above and below the waterline, it comes with two main fishing accessories: the fish finder and the main fishing pod. The fish finder uses sonar to check the water’s depth, temperature and find fish down to 40m, and all of this information is sent to your smartphone in real-time. The main fishing pod can carry your bait, hook and sinker (up to a weight of 2kg) out to the fish. You can watch a camera view of below the drone and then detach the bait as soon as you spot the fish.



Price: $1,200

trident drone gold coast

For those who want to explore the ocean depths without getting wet, the Trident packs in a lot cutting-edge features. It is capable of travelling to a depth of 100m, while shooting HD footage that it sends back to your laptop or smartphone. The Trident is also built very strongly to withstand water pressure and collisions. And to get around the difficulty of sending data wirelessly through the water, it is tethered to a floating WiFi transmitter. Unless you are a professional treasure hunter, the Trident may be a very niche device. But it’s undeniably fascinating.


By Narayan Pattison


Images copyright by the drone companies.



*Our print edition where this article appeared included the Lily drone. In January 2017, the company that manufactured the flying drone cameras announced their closure due to their failure to secure financing.