Which drone? Return to controller (not base) facility?

I’m a total newbie: help!
What drone should I buy? The hardware is moving so fast that reviews are out of date as soon as published: I’m thinking below £1000. Facilities: excellent photos; good battery life (30 min), collision avoidance, good range.
Problem: the main use will be taking photos while sailing, so return to take-off point is no use. Is there a return to controller facility?
Any advice very gratefully received!

If mainly used from a boat, I’d recommend one of Swellporo’s waterproof drones - IIRC they have return to controller

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Many thanks, Mart: I hadn’t come across them. Seems an excellent idea, but the reviews on their own website are very mixed. Perhaps the engineering is not quite there yet - ?

DJI 2S - can pick up 2nd hand combo (extra batteries) for £850 or less. Not sure about return to controller but can change the home point at any time - do update it before pressing the home button. Think there’s a YouTube about it somewhere.

Litchi (Android) has a dynamic homepoint setting which returns the drone to the mobile device so anything that works with Litchi, including the Minis.

The only issue with this is if it loses connection with the controller and initiates RTH then it goes to the controller location when it lost touch, be careful to stop the boat :wink:


Don’t think boats stop on a sixpence, best have the swimming cozzy at the ready :wink: : :wink:

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I have a Swellpro Spry+ drone.

Great fun little thing, yes it will return to controller and it can take off from water. It can be a bit bouncy to fly.

Camera is OK, but nothing like the usual DJI Mavic/mini stable.

Batteries only give about 12-14 min flight and the charger not sophisticated, but the batteries ain’t expensive either so you can have a bunch of them. Just make sure you reseal the compartment properly when changing them.

The controller has inbuilt screen but can also be tweaked via an app, and has a circles setting.

I wouldn’t have it as my only drone but it’s good for those occasions where I might need to be able to get it proper wet without damage.



That’s a couple of votes for the waterproof Swellpro drone @AlWil

What do you think?

I think on the Swellpro Spry it RTHs to the Controller even if the controller has moved… it is designed to be used from boats…


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Do the Swellpro have anything better than Litchi’s dynamic home point e.g. backup tech that continues to broadcast the controller’s location even if the RC loses control of the drone?

Good point: so I’m thinking a waterproof drone will be essential!

That’s very helpful - thanks. Shame about the camera & the flight time, but I’m thinking it will still be the best for flying from the boat. Plus a fishing net to retrieve it…

Yes - I’m definitely thinking that despite a couple of drawbacks, that’s the way to go for flying from the boat. Many thanks to everyone for all your thoughts.

I now have the big brother of the Spry which is the Splashdrone 4, I have only done a short test flight so far due to it blowing a hoolie down in S Devon so nothing to report yet! It will be used for filming RIBs over water and the owner of the company couldn’t find anyone to film his boats over water at sea so he bought a waterproof drone!


I fly my pro and mini 2 from the boat and it can be nerve racking getting back on board but had no issues i find the mini 2 the better because of its small size and best to have someone else catch the drone always reverse the drone in better control and you can set to return too controller. This is off a sailing boat. although i dont have a video of it coming on the boat might do a video this year of that. I have a couple of videos on my youtube that have been flown from the boat best of luck

I went fishing on the Zambezi in Zimbabwe and the owner of the lodge and boat had a DJI Phantom, I managed to successfully fly it back to the boat several times after filming crocs and hippos, I found it helped to have the boat moving. Sadly I don’t have the footage. That was all hand caught but I wouldn’t risk that with a 2.1kg Swellpro with carbon blades!

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Shame about the footage that would have great too see