Making Boats Fly
Race yachts are going to places many would have never dreamed of even a decade ago. Sailing has always been a high-tech sport at the elite level, with designers pouring their time into new keel, hull or sail designs to eke out an advantage over competitors. The pursuit of speed and performance has taken sailing craft designers to new frontiers with hydrofoils. Reducing drag and wetted-area to go faster now involves lifting boats out of the water all together.
The fastest and most lightweight example of foiling is the International Moth class. These tiny vessels foil with their hulls out of the water at great speed of up to 30 knots downwind in 20 knots of breeze. Once enough speed is reached, the wing like foil takes over and lifts the hull out of the water. A spectacular example of foiling yachts was on display at the34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013. The $10 million carbon fiber foiling AC72 catamarans reached record speeds as high as 47 knots or 54 mph when racing around the course.
The Science of Hydrofoils
Foiling isn't a new concept, it has been around for decades, but the use of foils in sailing was relatively limited until the International Moth literally took off. America's Cup yacht designers studied the Moths from all angles. They conducted thorough research and tests and combined marine hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, mechanical engineering and advanced composite material design to produce the perfect hydrofoil vessel.
An Optimized Boat Isn't the End, It's Just the Beginning
Sailing has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years. A sport largely dominated by monohull racing has taken significant steps forward in speed and performance through advances in foiling technology. However, sailors are still coming to terms with the technique and the 32nd America’s Cup, won by Team Oracle, served as a perfect example. The eventual winners took 10 races to figure out how to get the best out of their boat, before storming home to their historic victory. In short, foiling is here to stay, and it's set to add a lot more drama and intrigue in years to come
1/11/2017 04:35:54 pm
Wow, this is incredible technology. Hydrofoils look to be the future in high-speed sailing! The advancement in sailing technology over the years is amazing.
1/14/2017 12:38:38 pm
God design and creative idea for making this such kind of boats.
1/15/2017 07:39:59 am
Great article! Really gave me a better look and understanding of such an interesting subject I had no prior knowledge of
1/16/2017 11:58:22 pm
Is the about a racing yacht? Anyway hydrofoils are the best way to gain speed in sailing if its for racing.
1/17/2017 10:37:52 am
hydrofoils are always the best means to gain speed. fantastic article on it and good research done .....
1/31/2017 06:06:12 pm
This is real cool technology! I had no idea that foiling existed.
2/3/2017 06:00:03 pm
I did not know that, thanks to you I now know that hydrofoils are always the best means to gain speed.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.