The combination of precedents using deck-mounted windmills to sail directly into a headwind and new developments in kite technology that drive ground level electric generators, offers the possibility of adapting kites to sail vessels directly into headwinds.
The wind power industry has recognized that wind speed increases with elevation, including above water. Such recognition has led several developers on small wind power installations to explore possibilities involving kites and balloons. Some prototypes involve using a balloon or kite to carry airborne turbines and electric generators. Other prototypes combine airborne kite with ground level electrical generators, using reel-out-reel-in operation to drive windlass mechanisms to drive electric generators while other installations using multiple tethers to drive a ground level crank mechanisms that in turn drive electrical generators. So far, kites with ground level machinery show great promise. Read on.