Professional as Inspire 2 or small as Mavic Pro, you can order most DJI drones to take off/land with one button. Well, you may not want to do that when you’re on yacht/ship.

So today we’re going to talk about a few know-hows for flying drones above ocean.

1.Take off

There is a lot to consider to take off on ships: weather, temperature, wind, signal, as well as whether the ship is stable or spatial enough to take off.

If you’ve got quite a ship with spatial, unobstructed deck, of course you can set flight by simply put it on deck and press take-off button on RC.sail1

However, if you’re on a speed boat/sailing boat, you’d better take off by holding your drone in hands in order to avoid obstacles like rope and mast.

If you’re going to take off the drone by holding its landing gear, I strongly suggest you to cooperate with your teammates. It’s difficult to keep balance on the ship/yacht.

Raise the drone above your head. Start the motor, when you feel the lift, let go of the drone.

2.Shoot footage

Make sure you have got good GPS signal before taking off, so that you can see Home Point on the map of DJI Go 4 app.

However, the map of the sea will be a vast blue, it’s hard to tell which direction the drone goes. Also, you may lost track of it easily with strong glows of sea.

Watch your monitor screen closely. Stay concentrated on critical flight parameters including battery level, speed, distance, altitude etc., and adjust parameters when necessary.

Do not go beyond your visual range. In this way, you can keep the drone safe while get what you want to shoot.

If you really want to let drone go beyond your sight distance, it must not exceeds the official transmission range. Otherwise the drone is highly likely to be gone. When you lose the video transmission, try to adjust your antennas to see if the drone can return.

3.Return and land

You need to refresh home points frequently as the ship moves. We strongly suggest:

1.Do not go beyond visual range;

2.Return and land your drone manually, and do remember to refresh home point frequently. So you can use RTH to make it hover near you, and then land it manually;


You can refresh home point in setting.

3. Land it manually.

Stay patient when it’s approaching the ship. With the ship waving, it’s quite difficult to success in one time. We recommend to get it with hands. If the weather is quite good, you can catch the landing gear very easily. When it gets windy, it’s quite difficult for us to finish it.

Do keep in mind: don’t put down your hands until the motors stop completely.

More Q&A

1.Can I use the drone to follow a ship/yacht?


Usually a ship moves around 20km/h, ocean liners may sail at 40-70km/h. You can command the drone to circle around the ship, you will get quite some good photos. Don’t go too far, though.

2.Can I fly it close to sea level?

Yes. But make it 5 meters above the water. In case waves smash down your drone or splash water into it. Remember

3.Can I take off when it gets windy?

DJI Inspire series can endure wind at 10m/s. You can use app to check the wind speed or consult the crew. Please remember 1 nautical mile/h=1.852km/h.

4.What can I do if I lost control over the aircraft?


Before taking off, you need to set the aircraft’s action if lost control. Set it as ‘return to home’. If you lost control over it, wait patiently at the last home point, there is a chance it would come back.

5.Any relevant video I can check?

We uploaded a video of our aerial footage acquired above sea, you can check that.