With the Kiwis skying off with the Auld Mug to Aotearoa, flying boats are all the rage. Mini 6.5 ocean racers fly, Nacra cats fly, Gunboats fly, Maserati flies, Macif lifts if not flies – hell, I even saw an announcement for Beneteau getting airborne. In our neck of the sailing world, I’ve been keeping an eye on three different trimaran flyers with great pedigrees that promise thrills and spills for the future. Lets take a look.
First up is the SuperFoiler (they have a bare bones website at http://superfoiler.com/ – more info is on their Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/SuperFoiler/). You’ll find an excellent article covering the boat by Yachts and Yachting here. Developed by the folks who brought us the Aussie 18 skiffs and the associated great video coverage, the boat was designed from the get go to be a foiling fenom by the mulithull boffins at Melvin and Morelli. The team has done a great job of communicating the design/build/test process and they are getting the “machine” dialed in. They are planning a 6 boat, 6 event race circuit complete with streaming live video coverage. Even if you never get airborne, it will be fun to follow this nascent circuit and cheer on your favorite pilots. Though there are still some wrinkles to work out…..
But I reckon they wont have much trouble getting it right.
Then there is the F101 – best described as a foiling Weta (Nice website here – http://www.foiling101.com/ ). The boat flies on two T-foils in contrast to the SuperFoilers four foils (three used at any one time). It would seem the SuperFoiler might be more stable than the F101 flying on a three point platform vs two – but since I know next to nothing about foiling I will reserve judgement. The boat is designed by Ron Price and development work has been done in Spain. The boat borrows deeply from Moth technology and its deep dihedral of the floats allows the boat to cant to windward and jump up on the foils. Its intended as an easy to fly boat, not a full up racer as is the SuperFoiler. A good overview of the boat is below.
The last foiler is – believe it or not – a cruising tri. Dutch builder DNA has contracted with Morelli and Melvin (those guys again) to design and build a 32 foot folding, flying trimaran. You can find all the good stuff at their excellent website – http://dnaperformancesailing.com/our-boats/dna-tf10-foiling-trimaran/ . Testing is slated to begin soon and the company promises flying at something over 30 knots! The good folks over at Sailing Anarchy also had a good write-up found here – Black Bird Fly.
So there you have it – three tri-winged birds ready to fledge and take flight. Foiling has come to sailing and trimarans are not exempt, in fact, they arguably offer the best solution – but we all knew that already didnt we?
Ready to fly?