Best Boats 2018: Foiling UFO

Best Performance Boat under 30ft
Author:
Publish date:
foilingUFO

The siren song of full-foiling performance is undoubtedly a compelling one. However, the jump from displacement mode to flight aboard monohulls, in particular, has faced two major obstacles in the form of price and difficulty—until now, with the advent of the wonderfully forward-thinking Foiling UFO from Rhode Island’s Fulcrum Speedworks. First the matter of difficulty: for anyone taking a stab at foiling aboard, say, a Moth or Waszp, the learning curve hits you like a brick wall the moment you cast off as you find yourself literally balancing on a knife edge atop the boat’s slender, vestigial hull.

By contrast, getting the Foiling UFO out to where you can hit the throttle is easy as pie, thanks to the stability provided by its two hulls. In fact, the boat—which employs a Moth-style wand connected via a linkage to a T-foil daggerboard for the purpose of controlling altitude—is equally happy sailing in conventional displacement mode, whether just knocking around or taking a break between flights. As for price, $7,600 covers the complete package—less than a third of the cost of a Moth and almost $4,000 less than the Moth’s production one-design offshoot, the Waszp.

Beyond that, the boat’s simple two-piece, carbon reinforced hulls and deck are made to be pretty much indestructible, with an eye toward beach launching and hard dockings. There’s also a small rig available and the wand can be adjusted to create a lower, slower ride for smaller sailors, making it perfect for kids. (And if Mom, Dad or the grandparents want to get in on the fun, well, the kids are just gonna have to wait their turn!) There’s something about the UFO that seems to evoke the same vibe as the legendary Sunfish in terms of potential popularity. We look forward to seeing how things go for this great little boat. fulcrumspeedworks.com/UFO

December 2017

Related

arc18-3981

Stories from the Cruisers of the ARC

Each December, the docks at Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia are abuzz as the fleet of the ARC—the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers—arrives to much fanfare. No matter what time of day or night, the staff of the World Cruising Club, organizers of the 33-year-old rally, are there to ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A sign from outside the box  Rev counters on modern engines are driven electronically from a terminal on the alternator. If all is well, as soon as the engine fires up the revs will read true. If, ...read more

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more