Can foiling do something positively for the future and our environment ?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Skip JayR, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Couple of days ago I fell over Alain Thébault's PR message when he attempted with his crew on board of Hydroptère the first pacific record in summer (after it cracked the record mark of 50 nm in 2009).

    The attempt failed because of bad weather and low wind conditions.

    To make first one thing clear. I like Alain a lot... his "positive crazyness", his obsession since his youth to be driven by the vision to let fly boats is inspiring.

    But same passion needs a kind of critical proof. Over last 30 years it felt for me that too many are driven by self realisation pretending to be "eco friendly"... and in the world of sailing and sailors I hear a lot the term "our sport is green" but I dont see a lot in reality (remembering all the logistics and high tech materials and chemistry being used for running/sailing a boat over one season).

    After the arrival in Hawaii and it was clear that Hydropter failed for setting a new record we read on the official Facebook page...

    Kind of self legitimation as a failed record produces huge costs without a positive result ? - Further is stated...

    I try to bring 1 + 1 together... Is it logically ? Does it make sense ? - Or just a PR gimmick ?

    Every kind of sailing boat uses wind energy and on most boats nowadays we find some solar panels. So nothing new. - Does it need a High Speed Hydrofoiling boat of 60 feet length as Hydroptere is with >50 kn and a total weight of 7.5 tons to spread out this mission ? - Or is it just sensation seeking and good for the marketing chiefs and product managers of the sponsors ? (see attachments with photos (©Revillard) documenting the take off in Los Angeles and arrival on Hawaii in July 2015 after the failed record attempt).

    I dont bring together the formula of this PR campaign as I ask myself: Is "high speed" what we need nowadays ? Hydrofoils for a bigger boat needs heavily speed to lift the whole weight out of the water.

    As sailor I love speed... yes, I love Trimarans... and I like to see the log faster >20 knots.

    Seriously I ask myself (with a critical self proof): Can the era of foiling - we are now in - give us something back valuably, some measurably values of sustainability ? - Neither I have found any articles yet about this question, nor some detailed studies.

    For now I just bring one question on the table:

    Is the hype with foiling we see since 2-3 years (since latest America's Cup) energy efficient and of sustainability ? We all know that carbon cannot be recycled.

    In other words: Are the research work, design studies, development procedures, tests of new foils and the production of high-tech foiils (in series) energy efficient ? - Do exist some other positive side effects ?

    Just some hypothetically thesis to find/define something positively:

    1. flying hulls produce less drag, so the lower flow resistance needs less painting of the underwater shpi with toxic antifouling.
    2. With less drag the boat can sail with smaller sail sizes which means: less material of high tech "plastic" materials all modern sail wardrobes are made of.
    3. Less drag produces less noise which is more healthy with lower stress level for intelligenct creatures in the oceans. (E.g. there exist the theory, that stranded wales have lost orientation and miss to find back into deep water because of the heavily increasing noise (e.g. by propellers).)
    4. Foiling boats are sailing more safely and stable... with lower heeling and better stability of steering because of reduced leeway. The risks of capsizing and rate of maritime casualty will be reduced.

    Is this all nonsense ? - Self betraying to legitimize our madness for speed and fun on the water. - What do you think about ?

    Will be the hype of new foiling classes (and soon we will see different "ocean foiling" cruising boats) something we later can look back and say:

    Yes.... it was the right decision under ecologically aspects. - Or do we have to recognize in closer future that it was a trap we run into with a huge collateral damage by wasting of energy, ressources and producing lots of trash material rotting one day in the backyards ?
     

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  2. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Just one point, foiling needs light construction, light construction needs resin infusion, infusion produces more garbage than any other method. Merely sailing is eco enough for me.
     
  3. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Hand laid Basalt fabric over strip planked Paulownia (Kiri) with Soy based epoxy. :D
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Foiling will be the future, though technology and materials development will need to catch up a bit, to make things reasonable. I owned a "mobile phone" in 1988. Its power pack was bolted into the trunk of my Camaro and the corded handset was bolted to my console, which I wasn't fond of putting holes in. It was a bulletproof Motorola with huge wattage, as was the trend, because there weren't many towers yet. It was ridiculously expensive, but I got it as a package deal for the business I had. The salesmen needed the portables and I got one for the package excess. Everyone thought I was a cop, because of the extra "curly" antenna on my car. Now they're 1/20th the price, don't need to be bolted to the car and there's no cord. The same will occur with foils, though likely it'll take a bit longer.
     
  5. Munter
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    Munter Amateur

    While there will no doubt continue to be significant improvements in foiling technology, I think it is unlikely that they will be any where near the scale of improvement that has occurred in microelectronics. The basic physical constraints of fluid dynamics and gravity will unfortunately temper the rate of improvement. It will still deliver improvements for sure but it would be over the top to expect orders of magnitude improvement in mere years.
     
  6. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    No, It's a waste of resources to carry foiling into the cruising world. Cruising multihulls need lots of payload for comfort reasons. A cruiser sails on their stomach so big fridges are needed and a nice galley and comfortable berths. For race boats it's worth it if you have plenty of cash and everything else is right.

    Boats spend something like 90% of their lives at anchor so you still need antifouling unless you are going to haul out all the time at your destination.

    Travelling slower is safer as is respecting the seasons, prevailing winds, tides, currents and waiting for proper weather windows safety comes with a skipper who knows their crafts strengths and weaknesses and respects them. Foils are relatively delicate and can be broken by debris plenty of which is in the worlds ocean. If a foil hits sea creatures at high speed it's going to cause a serious injury or death to the hapless victim.
     
  7. waynemarlow
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    Foils and foiling in boats have been around since the 50's, one only has to look at the research files to see speeds not much below that of today. So after nearly 60 years of development we have yet to see much improvement despite huge resources being thrown at foiling development. So to compare mobile phones and there development is probably clutching at straws abit.

    My doubts about all this technology being useful to the Eco cause is only reinforced further if we take into account the whole cycle of the true cost of the build materials to the planet, the build cost, any energy savings and then the recycling costs once its useful working life has ended, is all taken into the equation. As most university studies show most wind turbine power generators actually cost the planet in their lifetime if all things are taken into account.

    So will foils be front line in saving the planet, nah but simple ideas like kites such as being experimented on large super tankers may just give a worthwhile edge.
     
  8. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Another aspect is the "teaching effect"... as we live in "media centralized societies" where people are animated mostly by visually senses (see the huge global interests for the Foiling Cats during last America's cup).

    Inspite there are people out there thinking about their doing ! - A good example how to teach respect for "mother nature" we see in this video. This "old boat" CLEARWATER already had 10,000 kids on board to give them some practically learning experiences about oceans, animals and the eco system. Very worthfully... and of "big sustainability", right ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcttVHMKrBY


    And now looking at all these "foiling guys" (see the Foiling Week 2015), it seems for me to watch adult men playing around like kids, but on a higher level (e.g. with engineering knowledge). Its a 99% mens world, nearby no women are involved. It seems just playing ground... without any bigger target, e.g. "foils used on commercially boats reduce gasoline consumption" or: "Foils on yachts make sailing more safely".

    I wonder from where all the money comes ? Do these guys not work, dealing half day stock exchange businesses (and making profit while sleeping), selling Bitcoins from a bigger deposit or having bigger ground making money from real estate facilities ?

    Do they let pay their "experiments" as part of their work and Doctor dissitations along with the professors in Institutes of Universities which are paid by tax money from "normal hard working people" ? (Photography by James Boyd during Foiilng Week 2015 in July)
    [​IMG]

    What are the foling mashines teaching a young generation ? The message negatively might be:

    Have fun in your life, pace around like mad with 30-40 knots on the water, in neopren and wet suits (proably nearby 100% a textile of "bad chemicals" not being able to recycle)...

    Is it more the symbol of a "fun Internet generation" ? - Probably not looking back to the 70th where we have seen "(hydro)foiling boats", e.g. the Tri Williwaw by David Keiper.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sges9NhhkSw


    Its urgent sailors have to overtake responsability for their doing and potentials of damages to the environment same as all other branches and industries have to do as duty against future generations.

    Would be great to find a study, where somebody has analysed the "benefit of foils" in 21st century.
     
  9. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    In USA there are different marinas with lift systems to store the motor boats outside of the water while not sailing to avoid fouling. :)

    Never seen such one in Europe.
     

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  10. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    The British project "C-Fly" (see upper picture of the catamaran) has an ocean going 18-21 meter hydrofoiling Trimaran in the pocket (published in August 2014). The concept was developed by Richard Varvill (space plane engineer) & Chris Edwards (aerospace engineer).

    [​IMG]

    The argumentations by C-Fly for this boat we can proof each single if it is of sustainability. Does all that make sense ? Is any of the 16 arguments eco-friendly as listed on the officially website ?

    1. Designed for assured stability, speed, safety and high average speeds; cruising 25-35kts. Proven.
    2. Sails in both flat and rough open water – Designed for offshore sailing
    3. Sails in light and strong winds
    4. Sails in both displacement and hydrofoil mode
    5. Sails without any form of active electronic control system, mechanical flaps or wands i.e. auto-stabilised
    6. Cannot pitch-pole capsize.
    7. Conceptualized, designed, developed, tested and conforming to aerospace industry standards by leading aerospace engineers
    8. Benefits from greatly reduced drag, providing (at least) a 10 knot advantage over existing craft
    9. Ensuring very high average speeds in most conditions
    10. Very smooth motion (or ride) providing much reduced fatigue of crew, equipment, rig and hulls.
    11. Elevated ‘flight’ means freedom from wave action and pounding.
    12. Cruises between 25-35 knots. By the way, an America’s Cup 45ft catamaran, in ideal flat conditions at full tilt, achieves 27 knots.
    13. Can set new and beat existing offshore sailing records. Creating new and acquiring existing trophies.
    14. Giving ‘Hot Seat’ experience that is rare to experience and utterly thrilling.
    15. Can be sailed by amateurs and pros alike!
    16. Generating unmatched and uniquely valuable PR opportunities
    (Original source: "Why C-Fly? - http://www.c-fly.co.uk/why-c-fly/ )

    Its just a question of time we see "fully foiling racing trimarans" and later some models in series of cruising Trimarans will use this technology. Nothing coming over night... can be a process of 5, 10 or 15 years.

    [​IMG]

    The promo video... seems they still need a sponsor to finance it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjYKhE1KQHo
     
  11. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Foils

    =================
    You must be kidding, Wayne. Foiling has dramatically improved in the last 20 years. The foiling Moth is a great example of the first boat in history to use just two foils to fly-and to use those two foils to develop around a 30% increase in RM with Veal Heel.
    The UptiP foils designed by TNZ were a massive breakthru in altitude control for a single foil and are being used on more and more boats. Their automatic altitude control is a major factor in their uses on large trimarans that want to fly the whole boat.
    And the foiling kiteboards(and a few windsurfers) that use just two foils on a single mount with altitude controlled by the rider are definitely amajor advance in foil design and application.
    A Class cats on foils is a dramatic development happening despite a ridiculous rule designed to stop foiling. Their foils, for the most part, are dependent on skipper skill for altitude control.
    ---------------------
    Foiling can,maybe, help to raise peoples consciousness about the trash in the oceans ,lakes and bays all over the world.
     

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  12. waynemarlow
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    Doug all of the examples you gave are just peripheral edges of the foiling envelope, just refinements and none will be ever able to be transferred to the mainstream such as ferry transport and moving cargos around the world, which would cut down on the use of fossil fuels.

    If we have made such advances then why is it that the Hobie Trifoiler designed some 30 years ago, still holds speed records in numerous countries or that Hydrofoil ferries are still the fastest water bourne passenger craft out there ( shame they use so much fuel to achieve so little ).
     
  13. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    You point up one of the great myths about foiling: it's not all about speed. Foils can improve the seakindliness of almost any boat. Foilers like Hugh Welbourns Q23 are being developed to be easy to sail-not the fastest foiler around. Speed records are one small part of what foiling can be about.
    The examples I gave represent gigantic leaps in terms of the application of hydrofoils to recreational craft-and the revolution has just begun in the last 15 years.
     
  14. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Doug L., you are the techie, probably here that one with the deepest knowledge in Foil Design.

    Lets make it concrete to get an understanding (from sailor's side): What is the "life time cycle" of a foil kit in our times? - "How long we can count a new foiling set as modern till the next generation is designed ?"

    With smart phones we know, that latest after 6 months the series is "out of date".

    I think, its little bit risky in the times we live... a naval architect or a foiling specialist like you or the designer of a foil company like HC - Holland Composites can do quick design work on the screen... I suppose, they even can do CAD based "computer simulation". And then push the foils into the market...
    [​IMG]

    Very low cost design work, quickly done with powerfully computers. From the result of this design work, its a short step into the workshop of the handcrafts men.

    CNC mashines can build quickly even difficult shaped moulds for the infusion work process producing the blades.

    E.g. Phil Herting, the designer of the Condor 40 Trimaran (which was built in Annapolis till beginning of the 90th) has now the Carbon company Beaufort Composite Technologies they can build quickly very complexe composite moulds... from modelling to vacuum press. All in Carbon.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With this "just in time" work process, a designer or company can produce different generations of foil blades in one year, probably. It just takes some few months for designing new foil kits, right ?
     

  15. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    haha... you are funny.

    Skipper: "Oh, dammed... I just lost another foil because of collission with an un-identified object".

    Next weekend same skipper: "Hell.... my port foil was destroyed by hitting a drifting containers... sh*** trashy oceans"

    ... and every weekend the same skipper complaining :eek: : "All that boring clearning of the foils I have to dive down every weekend to get them free of fully loads of plastic sheets. Why do people still use plastic bags in supermarket ??"

    Yeah... being a skipper in times of using fragile foils is living in hard times.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvRJ2qEX79g
     
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