I have a Takuma eFoil board that I’m modifying to use as a tow-in for foil surfing. Right now I’m just paddling back out to find the thing, but I plan to have it navigate back to me once I call it. So far the modifications are simple–a PVC pipe attached to the deck with a flag pole grafted in so I can find the thing. the first time I tried it I had a heck of a time finding it.
the pipe extends three feet past the end of the deck to provide leverage to steer, help keep the nose down, and keep the tow line out of the prop. Steering works surprisingly well. the BB Bluetooth controller has a range os about 100 feet, so no issues there. I take the foil off completely when I use it as a tow. Now I’m working on having it come find me.
I’ve ordered two sets of two versions of the ESP32-based T-Beam LilyGO version V1.1 development module to base my “return to me” tech on. These are LoRa radio chips with ESP32 controllers that can be programmed with C++ (Arduino IDE) and includes a GPS, one of the versions has an OLED screen.
I don’t foresee a huge amount of difficulty in writing the software, or adding a rudder mod to the eFoil so it can drive back to me, but it’s not going to be a trivial project.
Is anyone else working on something like this? It would be handy to share effort with other builders.
Here’s a few pics of the current setup: