A paravane [par-uh-veyn], also called a water kite, is a towed winged (hydrofoiled) underwater object. Paravanes have applications in sport or commercial fishing, marine exploration, and defense. Navies equip paravanes with cable cutters to sever moored mines, and explosive paravanes are essentially towable mines. Commercial fishers use paravanes to tow bait and lead fish into trolling nets. Paravanes are also used for sampling water chemistry, taking seismic readings, and mapping marine geography.

Human-on-board paravanes are used to transport explorers, scuba divers, and spear-fishers. Foilboards used for recreation are also a type of water kite. Early work in coupling water kites was done by the late J.C. Hagedoorn, a geophysics professor at Delft University. His system coupled manned parafoils with water kites he named ‘hapas.’ Later experimenters also used the terminology ‘chien de mer’ (French for ‘sea dog’).


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