Who will win the Foiling Week Award 2019 for motor boats? Will it be the Sino-American catamaran, the prototype of the mega yard that makes standard boats, or the good looking open boat? Beyond the result, who will win the prize, it’s interesting what these boats show us. Not just in terms of technology. Especially in terms of cultural approach. Meanwhile, there’s Beneteau showing his prototype motorboat on the foils. And if an industrial group that works on quantity focuses on such technology, it’s because it wants to sell it to a lot of people.
With this prototype, up there in the Vendée, France, they are testing the operation of a 9.70 meters with retractable and electronically controlled foils. Other foil experts are also involved in this project. SEAir for example, which designs and manufactures foil systems and already has a long experience in the development of flying skills (we have tried one with foils) and NOVAL designs which makes electronic systems for lifting and locking outboard foils and brackets.
Second, the catamaran Aquila, or rather, the Aquila catamarans, integrate a foil system on boats absolutely “normal” for aesthetics of shapes and navigation, as to say, the advantages of a more efficient way of moving can be had even without flying one meter from the sea surface. The foils, which connect the two hulls on deck, remain hidden below the waterline, but by providing upward thrust to the Eagle, they make it faster and above all more fuel efficient (up to 40% more) than an equivalent traditional boat.
The third participant is Candle 7.5. Demonstration of how you can think of a boat that has all the trend topic hashtags of the moment (foil, electric propulsion first of all, but also evergreens: design, Ecommerce, luxury market, software, adaptive systems …) and make it so that it is exactly a (beautiful) boat and usable with the same familiarity that you have with the 7.5 meters open.
Of course, behind this simplicity of use there is a very complex, elaborate and technologically advanced boat. The software that regulates the position of the foils required a long and expensive development period and it was challenging to make it functional as it is now. In addition, the construction is in carbon fiber to keep the weight light (the empty hull barely reaches 90 kg), but it makes the accounts heavy. The fact is that this little Swedish gem comes away for 245,000 euros plus VAT (300,000 euros in Italy). And the first ten have already sold them. Practically online.
Foling Week, as the organizers say on their website, is the first and only global event dedicated to boats that sail in foiling, their sailors, designers and builders. Now in its 10th edition, with as many events around the globe (Malcesine on Lake Garda, Sydney (AUS), Newport and Miami (USA), it brings together the boats with foils (from motorboats, sailboats, windsurfers, kitesurfers) to make them navigate and to make them available to those who want to experience the experience of having the hull constantly detached from the water.
Sponsored by important names like: Slam, Gurit, Marlow Ropes, Torqeedo, 11th Hour Racing, GAC Pindar, Persico Marine, Polynt, SAILMON, events, conferences and workshops dedicated to flying sailing are organised at Foling Week. For some years now, the Foiling Week Awards have also been held. These are awards in eight different categories: Sailor Award; Design Award; Innovation Award; Production Boat Award; One Off Boat Award; Motor Boat Award; Sustainability Award celebrate the most representative projects presented in the past year. Disclamer for the notary: Foling Week declares the nominations, the prize is then awarded based on a popular vote that can be made online.