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Old 09-16-2015, 02:56 PM
tburd tburd is offline
 
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Hydrofoil powerboat history

Hi, hoping to get some help and learn more about the history of hydrofoil powerboats. My background is mostly in sailing, where foils are becoming more popular across a range of racing and recreational boats. I'm curious as to why there hasn't been the same level of adoption in the powerboat community. The benefits of reduced drag and improved seakeeping should be equally appreciated.

I'm aware of the past commercial ferry projects as well as a few custom builds. The most recent good example being the Hydros team:
#3 HY-X

Why isn't a ~30' foiling center console a thing?
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:43 PM
NavalSArtichoke NavalSArtichoke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tburd View Post
Hi, hoping to get some help and learn more about the history of hydrofoil powerboats. My background is mostly in sailing, where foils are becoming more popular across a range of racing and recreational boats. I'm curious as to why there hasn't been the same level of adoption in the powerboat community. The benefits of reduced drag and improved seakeeping should be equally appreciated.

I'm aware of the past commercial ferry projects as well as a few custom builds. The most recent good example being the Hydros team:
#3 HY-X

Why isn't a ~30' foiling center console a thing?
Hydrofoils have been around more than 100 years, starting with experimental craft built by Thornycroft. Alexander Graham Bell also experimented with an early hydrofoil boat just before and after WWI.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrofoil

I think the reason hydrofoils aren't more common is in order to work, you must be at speed all the time, and there are times when powerboats are obliged to throttle back for safety.

Hydrofoils are expensive to build and operate, and if you damage the foils, all the supposed advantages disappear. The Wiki article discusses other reasons why foils have declined in popularity.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:22 PM
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Doug Lord Doug Lord is offline
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There's actually a resurgence in hydrofoils in power boats-mainly foil assist. Here's one company with a lot of info: http://www.stealthyachts.com/hydrofoils-hysucat.html
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:54 PM
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Ike Ike is offline
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Like any particular type of boat, hydrofoils have their place. They are not a one size fits all solution. Back in the 70's the US Coast Guard borrowed a couple of hydrofoils from the Navy. They were great for pouncing on smugglers. But they were very expensive to run and maintain. They eat fuel like there is no limit to the oil on earth. So they gave them back to Navy with a Thanks, but no thanks.

The idea of sailing hydrofoils has also been around for a long time, but they are tricky beasts and very load sensitive. If all you want to do is set speed records, fine, but for cruising they are not appropriate.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:32 PM
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Doug Lord Doug Lord is offline
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Williwaw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ike View Post
Like any particular type of boat, hydrofoils have their place. They are not a one size fits all solution. Back in the 70's the US Coast Guard borrowed a couple of hydrofoils from the Navy. They were great for pouncing on smugglers. But they were very expensive to run and maintain. They eat fuel like there is no limit to the oil on earth. So they gave them back to Navy with a Thanks, but no thanks.

The idea of sailing hydrofoils has also been around for a long time, but they are tricky beasts and very load sensitive. If all you want to do is set speed records, fine, but for cruising they are not appropriate.

Just a point about sailing hydrofoils:In addition to Williwaw years ago(1970-74), the new Gunboat is designed as a coastal cruiser/racer. Video of Williwaw that sailed 20,000 miles much of it on hydrofoils:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cYXxZiL4B8
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:16 PM
BMcF BMcF is offline
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There have been a few smaller hydrofoil craft built..some by us. In fact..we're still building them; working on one as I post this.

But others have already pointed out some of the drawbacks. The really high performance hydrofoil craft are complex, expensive and very sensitive to fouling, loading, etc. But when they are working as designed, yes, they can be remarkable craft from solely a "performance in a seaway" standpoint. That said...remarkable craft were in abundance during the "boom years" of high-speed passenger craft development and the operation of them resulted in far more bankruptcies than successes...unfortunately for those of us who design them.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:39 AM
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From The Foiling Week-some modern power foilers: http://www.paritetboat.com/hydrofoil...ker_440_en.htm

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Old 02-18-2016, 11:55 AM
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Foiler Taxi

From The Foiling Week a new boat from Alain Thebault(designer of the record holding sailing hydrofoil Hydroptere) :
http://www.foilingweek.com/2016/02/f...ercial-crafts/
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:41 PM
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Another power foiler from The Foiling Week:
http://www.foilingweek.com/blog/2016...red-hydrofoil/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ_whL3ctqw
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:17 PM
htlarsen htlarsen is offline
 
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See Talaria IV at talaria.yolasite.com
It is equal to or better than the planing hull it was derived from in every regard. It is faster, far smoother ride, lower fuel consumption, dockable, trailerable. Its struts are far stronger than a propeller, propeller shaft, or outdrive thus they have never been damaged in 25 years of flying.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:37 PM
intrepid71 intrepid71 is offline
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I think reason hydrofoils are gaining popularity with sailboats but not powerboats has to do with speed and power. A sailboat has limited power and hydrofoils can significantly increase the top speed that a given craft can achieve. In the context of racing, that speed potential may outweigh the increased cost and complexity of a hydrofoil system.

Conventional (non-supercavitating) hydrofoils are limited by cavitation to around 50 knots. Achieving 50 knots with a planing powerboat is generally not a problem. If you want to go faster add more horsepower. Hydrofoils aren't a cost effective way to make a powerboat faster. Horsepower is much cheaper.

The advantages of a hydrofoil are a smoother ride and better efficiency at certain speeds. That is a harder sell.

There is one type of powerboat that has limited power and that is the electric powerboat. In the context of an electric powerboat, the advantages of a hydrofoil start to look worthwhile.

That is why designs such as these are popping up:

https://quadrofoil.com/
http://candelaspeedboat.com/

I am interested in the smooth ride that a hyrdofoil can produce, but for most powerboaters that is going to be a tough sell.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:27 PM
htlarsen htlarsen is offline
 
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Recreational boating is a sociological phenomenon. Thus reasons for a craft's success should be in sociological terms. There is a principle of marketing related to the "killer app" concept found in computing. "A distinctly different technology can not be sold into an existing market without a compelling reason."
The compelling reason hydrofoils have flowerer in sail boat racing is that they win races. For a person involved in sail boat racing, winning is compelling. It is the same reason that hydrofoils are used in solar powered boat races.
If you check you will find that the cost of a 50 knot boat is at least twice that of a similar 25 knot boat. Your right, horse power is relatively cheap, but building a boat that can handle 50 knots is not. This cost difference is roughly equal to the additional cost of a hydrofoil system.
The hydrofoils quadrofoil, Candelspeedboat, and Foiltwister and several others have been developed. They typically have zero sales, in a few cases they have sold a few craft, but never enough, so far, to sustain a company.
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Old 10-21-2016, 01:41 AM
shipwright shipwright is offline
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Nustar Foils

Hi Troops have to dip my paddle in here.
we started building the Nustar cats in 87, hull form is symmetrical planing hull,as most of them were commercial vessels we had to cope with bigger and bigger loads. so we designed a foil fabricated from aluminium.
These were an incredible success on the 15m model fitted a single foil in the tunnel about 30% of waterline from for,d my theory being if we could lift the forepart of the hull leaving the props well immersed. The reason for the foils was not speed but the ability to carry full loads in a fair sea. second boat with foil on delivery was able to maintain 19 knots from gold coast to Yamba against a 25kn.south east, the boat performed very well no slamming ,having said that no one was moving about. Decelerating at around 10kn before she would come of the foil.
we fitted our foils to many cats to help overcome the tunnel slamming..
Shipwright
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:17 AM
intrepid71 intrepid71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htlarsen View Post


Recreational boating is a sociological phenomenon. Thus reasons for a craft's success should be in sociological terms. There is a principle of marketing related to the "killer app" concept found in computing. "A distinctly different technology can not be sold into an existing market without a compelling reason."
The compelling reason hydrofoils have flowerer in sail boat racing is that they win races. For a person involved in sail boat racing, winning is compelling. It is the same reason that hydrofoils are used in solar powered boat races.
If you check you will find that the cost of a 50 knot boat is at least twice that of a similar 25 knot boat. Your right, horse power is relatively cheap, but building a boat that can handle 50 knots is not. This cost difference is roughly equal to the additional cost of a hydrofoil system.
The hydrofoils quadrofoil, Candelspeedboat, and Foiltwister and several others have been developed. They typically have zero sales, in a few cases they have sold a few craft, but never enough, so far, to sustain a company.
I agree with what you are saying. It does come down to marketing and coming up with a compelling reason to use a distinctly different technology. Candela has done a pretty good job of marketing their boat not as a hydrofoil, but as a Tesla for the water. The hydrofoil just happens to be one of the technologies they are employing to meet their performance goals. They claim to have 30 preorders. I have been following their progress on the news section of their website. http://candelaspeedboat.com/news/ Although they haven't come out and said so directly, it appears they are having trouble achieving adequate control with their current foil system. From the brief clip they have posted, the boat gets up to speed, but barely gets out of the water and appears to be rolling back and forth. They announced bringing a new hydrofoil expert on board and developing a new foil system for a second prototype. I would take that as a confirmation that the first prototype didn't work as planned. I hope they can get it worked out, it would be nice to see that make it as a successful product.

By the way, I checked out the video on the Talaria website. Seeing your boat cutting through choppy water at speed while staying absolutely solid as a rock is really impressive. That is what a hydrofoil can do that a normal boat can't.
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Old 10-23-2016, 10:59 AM
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WestVanHan WestVanHan is offline
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I was on a Prout Panther 64 powercat with the Hysucat foils,and reading the stats on the consumption vs speed it was very impressive.

IIRC top speed went from 30 to 45 knots (somewhere in that range) with no more fuel burn.
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