Have you ever heard of hydrofoil boats? It is a vessel equipped with a unique underwater fin that can lift the entire hull above the sea surface. As a result, the ship would appear as if it is hovering. In fact, this unusual design allows the vessel to move faster. Hydrofoil had reached its peak popularity back in the 1960s to 1970s. Nevertheless, many people still adore the futuristic-looking boat until this day.
A ship with a hydrofoil comes with an underwater curved or flat fin that works to reduce drag, lift the boat, and increase speed significantly. Hydrofoil boats can reduce the back thrust of the water when passing through it. Thus, the resulting faster than typical boats.
If you genuinely love boats, you would definitely appreciate hydrofoil design. Despite its niche application, this boat offers an ingenuity that will impress casual onlookers and experts alike. So, let’s check out the following facts about hydrofoil boats that will make you appreciate this type of vessel even more!
1. Extraordinary Lifting Power
A hydrofoil can lift a boat with a tonnage up to 400 tons. When it comes to ships, that is not considered heavy. The intricate underwater fin and the overall boat design limit the boat’s maximum size. So, hydrofoil vessels are typically smaller and usually not used as cargo ships due to their limited capacity.
However, the fact that hydrofoil boats can lift that much weight is still impressive! Imagine a vessel weighing literally hundred of tons hovering above the waves. It must look magical!
2. Speed Exceeds 80 km/hour
Hydrofoil offers higher speeds than typical boats. In fact, the underneath of a hydrofoil boat, the underwater fin, is designed to resemble airplane wings to increase lift which will then increase the speed. Hydroil can minimize friction because the hull is hovering above the water, and the fin allows only minimal contact.
So that the boat equipped with a hydrofoil can run faster. Can you guess what the maximum speed is for a hydrofoil boat? A hydrofoil boat can sail as fast as 45 knots or around 83 km/hr. It’s a tremendous speed for a watercraft. Imagine riding in front of the boat while moving at full speed. You can feel the waves and the wind hitting your face as the ship lifts off!
3. Hydrofoil Boat Can Move Smoothly
Hydrofoils offer a variety of uses that can solve a variety of problems that are often encountered by boats in general. First, you will experience a smooth ride. The wings, the underwater fins, allow all the waves to pass through the vessel without excessive pressure.
Second, the hydrofoil design will protect the boat’s hull from dangerous obstacles such as rocks, sand, mud, piles, seaweed, sea coral, and other debris. Once the ship gains lift, those things will not be a problem because the vessel is technically “flying” above the surface! If you want to build your own boat, consider adding a hydrofoil!
4. Can Save Fuel Up To 30%
Did you know that a hydrofoil boat is more efficient than other typical boats? In fact, hydrofoil boats can save fuel up to 30% or even more!
How can this happen? Hydrofoil on a boat will reduce the hull resistance. After all, the hydrofoil will lift the hull once the vessel achieves a certain speed. This phenomenon will reduce the pressure and friction of the boat to the water. Thus, the fuel consumption will be significantly less.
A boat can roam further if fuel consumption is more economical. Operational costs can also be significantly reduced if fuel consumption is not wasteful. So, from this perspective, hydrofoil boats cost less to operate.
5. Zero-Emission Hydrofoil Boats Have Been Successfully Made
Fuel emission is a hot issue nowadays. Each transportation mode, including boats, competes to reduce fuel emissions to be more environmentally friendly. After all, in the European Union, the Zero Emission strategic plan must be achieved in 2055. Therefore, a Swiss manufacturer named Mobyfly has designed and built a fuel hydrofoil boat without emissions.
The Mobyfly Swiss officials have managed to develop electric and hydrogen boats equipped with hydrofoil features. This sophisticated hydrofoil design will improve performance and consumes less energy. As a result, this hydrofoil does not produce the slightest fuel emissions. This hydrofoil boat will be exhibited at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
6. Why is the Hydrofoil Feature Not Applied by All Boats?
Despite hydrofoil offering some advantages, we do not often see this type of boat. Then, why not all boats apply this technology? This is because hydrofoil is relatively complex to design and mount to the ship.
The propulsion system needs to be specifically and precisely designed so that the problem of stability on the water can be overcome. Inadequate hydrofoil design may endanger passengers. Moreover, hydrofoil technology can only be applied on boats with limited tonnage.
7. The Biggest Hydrofoil Boat is 210 Feet Long
Did you know that the USS Plainview is the largest hydrofoil boat ever built? This hydrofoil vessel was designed by Lockheed under the SCB 219 project and launched in 1965. This massive hydrofoil ship is 210 feet long and weighs about 320 tons.
The Plainview’s primary purpose was to counter the Soviet’s submarine. However, because of the cost, the prototype did not enter production. In 1971, the was once multi-million dollars ship was decommissioned and sold for only $128,000 to a private buyer.
8. Extensive Compatibility of Various Machines
Hydrofoil boat technology offers extensive and extraordinary compatibility with various machines. The advantages offered by hydrofoil are not only in the enrichment of lift and speed. It will also extend the life of the boat’s engine.
Hydrofoil technology is compatible with various types of horsepower machines used by boats. In fact, hydrofoil technology can be applied to a vessel with an engine that generates 35 to 300 horsepower. Hydrofoil can increase the motor’s power by reducing the voltage and loads charged.
9. Can Stop Porpoising Effectively
Are you a person who often gets motion sickness when traveling by boat? As the ship jumps up and down, skipping the waves, your stomach might not like that. When a boat bounces and moves up and down, we call that phenomenon porpoising. It is definitely not comfortable. Fortunately, hydrofoils can stop porpoising. As the hull gains lift, your ride will feel a lot smoother!
10. Hyrdofoil Boats Offer Higher Drag-to-lift Ratio
When there is a plan to implement a technology, the question that arises is how effective and efficient is the technology? This question also applies to hydrofoil boats. What are the advantages of the efficiency aspect of a hydrofoil boat?
The answer is incredible stabilization. High efficiency in reducing drag dramatization is vital. Drag is a phenomenon in which the lift is proportional to the boat’s weight. In general, conventional ships only have a lift-to-drag ratio of 4 to 1. At the same time, hydrofoil boats offer a lift-to-drag ratio of 25 to 1.
11. Used and Operated By U.S. Navy
With various advantages offered by Hydrofoil boats, this type of boat began to be used and tested by the US Navy for military purposes. VT Halter Marine MD Mod 2 Assault Craft High Speed is one of the hydrophilic boats in the Navy. This boat was developed and tested for special military operations. The fantastic speed and stability are why hydrofoil boats are used by the US Navy.
12. Extraordinary Resistance to Sinking
Drowning is the scourge that boats fear the most. High waves with bad weather can cause the vessel to sink and kill the passengers. However, hydrofoil boats offer excellent resistance to sinking.
The hydrofoil mechanism will protect the boat from leaks caused by friction with rocks or coral reefs. The hydrofoil is made of stainless steel, designed using Navy Guidelines to provide thick and maximum protection from sinking.
13. Priced Up to $ 10,000 per Unit
A sophisticated technology certainly requires more research and development costs. Premium material offered by hydrofoil boats makes the price tag more expensive than typical boats.
Various protection features, such as increased stability and speed, are why many people are willing to spend up to $ 10,000 per unit! This price is for a Hydrofoil Boat Slim and used for a short range of travel. Prices will increase along with increasing capacity and engine capacity.
14. Do Hydrofoil Boats Work In Rough Seas?
A rough sea is defined as a sea that has an enormous wave flow. The attraction and friction of water with the hull will be very high. This will endanger the safety of the ship. Sinking and splitting are risks that the vessel must face if it passes through the rough sea. Do hydrofoil boats work in rough seas?
The answer is yes. The engine’s retractable hydrofoil system allows the boat to withstand extreme weather conditions, from smaller waves to rough seas. However, the captain of the hydrofoil boats must also be able to operate it correctly so that unexpected accidents do not occur.
15. Unique Sailing Position
Did you know that hydrofoil boats will provide an exciting pose while sailing? The hydrofoil that lightens the forehand will give the ship a visible lift at the front side. The faster the hydrofoil boat moves, the greater the amount of air trapped in the rear tunnel. The front of the ship will rise smoothly until the entire hull is lifted above the water. This is what makes sailing on hydrofoil boats feel unique.
Those are the most surprising facts about hydrofoil boats that blow your mind. Which point is the most impressive?