Thursday, May 31, 2007

Extreme Hydrofoil Sailing

"A hydrofoil is a craft with wing-like foils mounted on struts below the hull. As the craft increases its speed the hydrofoils develop enough lift for the boat to become foilborne - i.e. to raise the hull up and out of the water. This results in a great reduction in drag and a corresponding increase in speed."-Wikipedia
Many of us have atleast heard of hydrofoils, maybe even have seen some hydrofoils in action. Usually hydrofoils are motorized boats with foils mounted under the hull. The steady output of their engine keeps the water flowing over the foil at a pretty constant velocity, which makes it easier to use and gives it a more predictable behavior. Now people have started to use foils on sailboats, and the type of water craft that result are quite stunning.

Moth Sailing

The moth class is considered a dinghy, and is starting to become a very popular racing class in Australia and America. Just watching these hydrofoils in motion immediately shows you how talented these skippers must be.

Hobie TriFoiler

This hydrosail was made in 1990 by Hobie, and is no longer in production. The 3 hull and dual mast configuration is rather impressive. However, to me, it is even more impressive to watch how well they handle.

Trimaran Hydrofoil

The Trimaran has already beena popular class of sail boat. The thing that makes this one different is that it has been fitted with a hydrofoil. Now that there is very little drag the top speeds are mind boggling. Fast forward to about 1:20 to see just how far out of the water this thing gets.

No comments: