Best Boats 2018: Foiling UFO

Best Performance Boat under 30ft
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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

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