Foiler Design - The Rest Of The World
This forum is quiet this morning.
It has been dominated by the Foiler Design thread. I have been following with enthusiasm. This is the next big break-through. The greatest thing since fibreglass. These guys are the pioneers of something great. I am amazed how quickly they can go from theory to concept to prototype. It takes me all season to add a single gadget to my boat.
So, can the rest of the world benefit from the foiler technology? Can a keelboat, which is destined to sail forever with its belly dragging in the water, apply foiling technology to its advantage? At hull speed, without take-off, will the additional hydraulic lift reduce drag on a lead-belly and produce a velocity greater than 1.34? Can the stabilizing features that have been discussed at great length be employed by a hobby-horsing pocket cruiser?
Etc, etc, etc. . .
Guys, I want to join in the fun too!
I doubt you'd get enough benefit to make it worthwhile. Hydrofoils aren't a magic pill you can slap onto anything to make it faster. Hydrofoils aren't efficient at low speeds - a displacement hull is much better at producing the "lift" with less drag.
There may be some benefit in putting a small foil aft of the stern to effectively lengthen the waterline. See Paul Bieker's article about the rudder foils on International 14 dinghies, http://www.i14.org/boat/articles/bieker-rudder.html
It is necessary to have a light displacement and high power to weight ratio to get things going, so I think foils can only be effectively applied to a few existing skiff classes, and few if any existing yachts.
As all but one of the existing class has banned foils, this means a whole new breed of classes will eventually be developed to take advantage of foils.
While this will clearly be a boat designers & builders dream, I personnally would not like to see this go the way of the current "Skiff" dinghies, with a new class launched each month and each builder developing their own one design class, fragmenting the already weak existing classes.
Why not go the way of the "Formula" or "Development" classes? ie: Set up a couple of standard Formula classes eg: a single handed and a double handed version, in which all builders can compete with their own designs.
eg: a 4m single handed class in which the Moth class and many others could compete under a single set of rules.
This would be an obvious way for ISAF to get involved from the ground floor and head off the current problems with so many existing classes.
Canting Keel Foilers
There is absolutely no question that hydrofoils can be applied to modern light displacement canting keel boats. Canting keel struts can even be adapted to create more righting moment increasing available power quite a bit. The boat will have to be designed specifically for it with a retracting mainfoil.
I am experimenting with models now and I know of one famous designer working on the concept.
There is tremendous potential here!
Last edited by Doug Lord : 03-06-2004 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Mistake in presentation/left out imp info
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