Tech Talk: Blue Water Foiling

Author:
Publish date:
A look at Safran’s new L-shaped foils, which she will use during the 2016 Vendée Globe Race. Photo couresty of Barcelona

A look at Safran’s new L-shaped foils, which she will use during the 2016 Vendée Globe Race. Photo courtesy of Barcelona

Emirates Team New Zealand opened the world’s eyes to the awe-inspiring speeds of fully crewed foiling boats when it first took flight aboard its AC72-class catamaran in August of 2012. Since then, hydrofoils have been used to win the 34th America’s Cup, to lift new one-design classes skyward, to optimize “racer-cruiser” cats like the new Gunboat G4, and—most recently—to turbocharge the IMOCA 60 class, which is used for solo and shorthanded offshore events, like the legendary Vendée Globe.

While the IMOCA 60 class has adopted a one-design keel and mast for all new builds, the class intentionally left the door open for foil innovations, and the recently launched Safran, designed by VPLP/Verdier for skipper Morgan Lagravière, sports an aggressive-looking pair of L-shaped foils.

“Safran’s foils produce side force (lateral load) as a classic board, some vertical force and thus a positive righting moment,” explained designer Guillaume Verdier.

“We had to be careful not to exceed what the one-design mast was designed for in terms of righting moment. Therefore, the proportion of vertical force induced by the board only represents a small proportion of the total sailing weight, so you won’t see it flying.”

Safran’s foils are built of carbon fiber with metal fairings on critical edges, but their shape differs wildly from their forebears. “We will launch the boat with adjustable bearings for the foils and will fix them once we find the best all-around setting,” said VPLP’s Quentin Lucet in discussing the boat’s attitude while foiling. “We have a good opportunity to work on the boat trim, with the different ballasts and stacking configuration that has been designed.”

Stay tuned for more IMOCA 60 design news as skippers and teams start their work-up progression towards the November 6, 2016 start of the Vendée Globe.

July 2015

Related

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more

Sail2010_597

How to: Find Good Values on Charter Vacations

So, you want to find a great deal on your next charter vacation? Sure, you can scour the internet, hope for Black Friday deals or ask friends. But an even better way to find good prices on charter boats is to go to a boat show. Not only do charter companies like The Moorings, ...read more

leadphoto

Know How: Dinghy Modification

The rigmarole of stretching a cover over a dinghy in choppy water prior to hoisting it on davits can become a very wet business if you’re not careful. Leaning right over either end, trying to stretch a cover over the bow and stern pods can quite easily result in a head-first dip ...read more

25980

Catnapped Aboard a Racing Multihull

It was after midnight when I realized my daysail with Tony Bullimore aboard his giant record-breaking catamaran, Team Legato, was not going to plan. The big cat was en route for a December dash from England across the Bay of Biscay to Barcelona and the start of a drag race ...read more