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[2023] Hydrofoil Catamaran: The Ultimate Guide to Foiling on Water

Review Team

  • November 1, 2023
  • Hydrofoil Basics

Experience the thrill of flying above the water with a hydrofoil catamaran!

Are you ready to take your hydrofoil boarding to the next level? Look no further than the hydrofoil catamaran. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of hydrofoil catamarans, exploring their history, how they work, their benefits and drawbacks, and everything else you need to know to make an informed decision. So, buckle up and get ready to soar above the waves!

Table of Contents

Quick answer, quick tips and facts, how does a hydrofoil catamaran work, benefits of hydrofoil catamarans, drawbacks of hydrofoil catamarans, choosing the right hydrofoil catamaran, maintenance and care, recommended links, reference links.

A hydrofoil catamaran is a type of watercraft that combines the stability of a catamaran with the lift and speed of hydrofoils. It uses specially designed foils to lift the hulls out of the water, reducing drag and allowing for faster and smoother sailing. Hydrofoil catamarans are popular among sailors and water sports enthusiasts for their incredible speed, maneuverability, and thrilling foiling experience.

Shopping Links: Hydrofoil Catamarans on Amazon | Hydrofoil Catamarans on Walmart | Hydrofoil Catamarans on Etsy

  • Hydrofoil catamarans can reach speeds of up to 40 knots (46 mph) or more, depending on the design and conditions.
  • The foils on a hydrofoil catamaran can lift the hulls out of the water, reducing drag and allowing for a smoother and faster ride.
  • Hydrofoil catamarans are used for various purposes, including racing, recreational sailing, and even transportation.
  • Foiling on a hydrofoil catamaran requires some skill and practice, but it’s an exhilarating experience once you get the hang of it.
  • Hydrofoil catamarans come in different sizes and designs, catering to different skill levels and preferences.

Hydrofoil catamarans have a fascinating history that dates back to the early 20th century. The concept of using hydrofoils to lift boats out of the water and reduce drag was first explored by Italian engineer Enrico Forlanini in the late 1800s. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that hydrofoil technology started to gain traction in the boating world.

The first hydrofoil catamaran, known as the “Aquavion,” was developed by the French engineer René Guilbaud in the 1950s. This innovative design combined the stability of a catamaran with the lift of hydrofoils, revolutionizing the world of sailing. Since then, hydrofoil catamarans have evolved and become more advanced, offering incredible speed, maneuverability, and stability on the water.

A hydrofoil catamaran works by utilizing hydrofoils, which are wing-like structures mounted underneath the hulls of the boat. These foils generate lift as the boat gains speed, lifting the hulls out of the water and reducing drag. This lift allows the hydrofoil catamaran to achieve higher speeds and a smoother ride compared to traditional boats.

The hydrofoils on a catamaran are typically designed with a curved shape, similar to an airplane wing. This shape creates a pressure difference between the upper and lower surfaces of the foil, generating lift. The foils are usually adjustable, allowing the sailor to fine-tune the performance of the catamaran based on the sailing conditions.

To control the hydrofoil catamaran, sailors use a combination of steering and sail trim. By adjusting the angle of the foils and the sails, they can optimize the lift and balance of the boat, ensuring a stable and efficient ride. It takes some practice to master the art of foiling on a hydrofoil catamaran, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Hydrofoil catamarans offer a range of benefits that make them a popular choice among sailors and water sports enthusiasts. Here are some of the key advantages of hydrofoil catamarans:

Speed : Hydrofoil catamarans are known for their incredible speed. By lifting the hulls out of the water, hydrofoils reduce drag and allow the boat to glide smoothly above the waves. This enables hydrofoil catamarans to reach impressive speeds, making them a thrilling choice for racing and high-performance sailing.

Maneuverability : The lift generated by hydrofoils enhances the maneuverability of catamarans. With reduced drag, hydrofoil catamarans can make sharp turns and quick maneuvers with ease. This agility is particularly useful in racing scenarios, where every second counts.

Stability : The dual-hull design of catamarans provides inherent stability, even at high speeds. When combined with hydrofoils, the stability of hydrofoil catamarans is further enhanced. This stability makes them suitable for sailors of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced professionals.

Efficiency : Hydrofoil catamarans are more efficient than traditional boats. By reducing drag, hydrofoils allow the boat to sail faster while using less power. This increased efficiency translates to longer sailing distances and reduced fuel consumption, making hydrofoil catamarans an environmentally friendly choice.

Versatility : Hydrofoil catamarans are versatile watercraft that can be used for various purposes. Whether you’re looking for a high-performance racing catamaran or a recreational sailboat for family outings, there’s a hydrofoil catamaran to suit your needs. Some models even offer the option to switch between foiling and non-foiling modes, providing flexibility on the water.

While hydrofoil catamarans offer numerous benefits, it’s important to consider their drawbacks as well. Here are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

Cost : Hydrofoil catamarans tend to be more expensive than traditional boats. The advanced technology and materials used in their construction contribute to the higher price tag. Additionally, maintenance and repairs can also be costly, especially if specialized parts or services are required.

Learning Curve : Foiling on a hydrofoil catamaran requires some skill and practice. It can take time to learn how to control the boat effectively and maintain stability while flying above the water. Beginners may find the learning curve steep, but with dedication and proper instruction, anyone can master the art of hydrofoil catamaran sailing.

Weather Conditions : Hydrofoil catamarans are sensitive to weather conditions. While they excel in flat water and moderate winds, rough seas and strong gusts can pose challenges. It’s important to be aware of the weather forecast and choose suitable sailing conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Transportation and Storage : Hydrofoil catamarans can be larger and bulkier than traditional boats, making transportation and storage more challenging. Specialized trailers or racks may be required to transport the catamaran, and adequate storage space is needed to protect it when not in use.

Despite these drawbacks, the thrill and excitement of foiling on a hydrofoil catamaran outweigh the challenges for many sailing enthusiasts.

When it comes to choosing the right hydrofoil catamaran, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Skill Level : Consider your skill level and experience as a sailor. Some hydrofoil catamarans are designed for advanced sailors, while others are more beginner-friendly. Choose a catamaran that matches your skill level to ensure a safe and enjoyable sailing experience.

Intended Use : Determine how you plan to use the hydrofoil catamaran. Are you looking for a racing catamaran, a recreational sailboat, or something in between? Different models offer varying features and performance characteristics, so it’s essential to choose a catamaran that aligns with your intended use.

Budget : Set a budget for your hydrofoil catamaran purchase. Prices can vary significantly depending on the brand, model, and features. Consider both the upfront cost and the long-term maintenance expenses when determining your budget.

Brand and Reputation : Research different brands and their reputation in the hydrofoil catamaran industry. Look for brands with a track record of producing high-quality, reliable catamarans. Reading customer reviews and seeking recommendations from experienced sailors can also provide valuable insights.

Demo and Test Sails : Whenever possible, try out different hydrofoil catamarans before making a final decision. Many manufacturers and dealers offer demo and test sails, allowing you to experience the performance and handling of the catamaran firsthand. This hands-on experience can help you make an informed choice.

Remember, choosing the right hydrofoil catamaran is a personal decision that depends on your individual preferences and needs. Take your time, do your research, and consult with experts to find the perfect catamaran for your hydrofoil adventures.

Proper maintenance and care are essential to keep your hydrofoil catamaran in top shape and ensure its longevity. Here are some maintenance tips to help you keep your catamaran performing at its best:

Rinse with Fresh Water : After each sailing session, rinse your hydrofoil catamaran with fresh water to remove salt and debris. Pay special attention to the foils, as saltwater can cause corrosion over time.

Inspect for Damage : Regularly inspect your catamaran for any signs of damage or wear. Check the foils, hulls, rigging, and sails for any cracks, dents, or loose fittings. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

Store Properly : When not in use, store your hydrofoil catamaran in a dry and secure location. If possible, keep it covered to protect it from the elements. Consider using a boat cover or storing it in a boat shed or garage.

Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines : Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance and care. Each catamaran may have specific recommendations for cleaning, lubrication, and other maintenance tasks. Adhering to these guidelines will help prolong the life of your catamaran.

Seek Professional Assistance : If you’re unsure about any maintenance tasks or need assistance, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Local boatyards, sailing clubs, or authorized dealers can provide expert advice and services to keep your catamaran in optimal condition.

By following these maintenance tips and caring for your hydrofoil catamaran, you can enjoy many years of thrilling foiling adventures on the water.

Keppel Bay from Above

How fast is the hydrofoil catamaran?

Hydrofoil catamarans can reach impressive speeds, depending on various factors such as the design, wind conditions, and skill of the sailor. Some high-performance hydrofoil catamarans can exceed 40 knots (46 mph) or more. However, the exact speed will vary based on these factors.

How does a foil catamaran work?

A foil catamaran, also known as a hydrofoil catamaran, works by utilizing hydrofoils to lift the hulls out of the water. These foils generate lift as the boat gains speed, reducing drag and allowing for faster and smoother sailing. The lift created by the foils enables the catamaran to “fly” above the water, resulting in increased speed and improved performance.

What happened to hydrofoils?

Hydrofoils have a rich history and have been used in various applications, including passenger ferries, military vessels, and recreational boats. While hydrofoils experienced a surge in popularity in the mid-20th century, their use declined in some sectors due to factors such as high costs, maintenance challenges, and the development of alternative technologies. However, hydrofoils continue to be used in niche markets, including high-performance sailing and racing.

Read more about “… What is the World’s Largest Hydrofoil Boat?”

Are hydrofoil boats more efficient?

Yes, hydrofoil boats are generally more efficient than traditional boats. By lifting the hulls out of the water, hydrofoils reduce drag and allow the boat to sail faster while using less power. This increased efficiency translates to longer sailing distances and reduced fuel consumption. However, it’s important to note that the efficiency gains may vary depending on factors such as the design, sailing conditions, and skill of the sailor.

Hydrofoil catamarans offer an exhilarating and thrilling experience on the water. With their incredible speed, maneuverability, and stability, they have become a favorite among sailors and water sports enthusiasts. While they may come with a higher price tag and require some skill to master, the rewards of foiling on a hydrofoil catamaran are well worth it.

When choosing a hydrofoil catamaran, consider factors such as your skill level, intended use, budget, and the reputation of the brand. Take the time to research and test different models to find the perfect catamaran for your needs.

So, are you ready to take flight on a hydrofoil catamaran? Embrace the thrill, experience the freedom, and enjoy the incredible sensation of soaring above the water. Happy foiling!

  • Hydrofoil History
  • Advanced Hydrofoiling Techniques
  • Hydrofoil Equipment Reviews
  • Why do boats not use hydrofoils?
  • iFLY15 – iFLY Razzor Pro – Foiling Catamaran
  • Hydrofoil Catamarans on Amazon
  • Hydrofoil Catamarans on Walmart
  • Hydrofoil Catamarans on Etsy

Review Team

Review Team

The Popular Brands Review Team is a collective of seasoned professionals boasting an extensive and varied portfolio in the field of product evaluation. Composed of experts with specialties across a myriad of industries, the team’s collective experience spans across numerous decades, allowing them a unique depth and breadth of understanding when it comes to reviewing different brands and products.

Leaders in their respective fields, the team's expertise ranges from technology and electronics to fashion, luxury goods, outdoor and sports equipment, and even food and beverages. Their years of dedication and acute understanding of their sectors have given them an uncanny ability to discern the most subtle nuances of product design, functionality, and overall quality.

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  • Nemesis One
  • NEMESIS Zero Six
  • Nemesis Zero Three
  • Nemesis Zero Two

hydrofoil catamaran price


332ft // 101m, world's fastest hydrofoil cruising catamaran.

The ‘NEMESIS ONE’ will be the World’s Fastest Luxury Foiling Sailing Yacht, able to break the 50 knots speed barrier, while flying on computer controlled hydrofoils. Contrary to being a stripped out racing vessel, the all carbon fiber Nemesis One boasts stunning futuristic, yet comfortable interiors.

Engineered for top performance by world-renowned 'VPLP Design' and powered by AYRO's patented ‘OCEANWINGS’ wing sail, the high-tech superyacht resembles more of a stealth fighter jet, than a conventional sailing yacht.

Nemesis One Catamaran Hydrofoil Front View

Push-button Controls 

The excessive speeds the yacht will be capable of under sail, required the Nemesis team to completely abandoned the classic operating concept of: ‘Pulling lines and handling sails’.

To further minimize crew requirements, they’ve implemented state of the art hydraulic and electric controls throughout the design. Replacing bulky winches in the size of a car’s tire and line cluttered cockpits, commonly conceived when thinking of large sailing yachts.


The modified 'OCEANWINGS' wing sail automatically adjusts it’s angle of attack, camber and twist, eliminating any need for manual sail trimming. Additionally, the reef and furlable wing sail is a staggering 2.6 times more efficient than a conventional sail plan of equal size.

Fully Autonomous

Flight Control & Safety

Flying on water at speeds in excess of 50 knots, leaving most performance motor yachts in her wake, won’t come at the expense of security and comfort.

Nemesis One will be equipped with the latest generation of smart LiDar (laser radar) sensors, precisely capturing the yachts surroundings.

The current sea state, especially wave height, shape and frequency, will be live monitored by LiDar as well.

All gathered data will be processed by the yacht’s mainframe and translated into precise control commands for the automated hydrofoils and rudders, making the yacht exceptionally stable & safe at any given speed.

The Nemesis One offers the unique option to exchange the port and starboard facing living modules, for ones with different interior configurations.

Making it a breeze to transform the interior layout from owner to charter setup for example. To boost her performance even further, both modules can also be completely removed, transforming the already very fast yacht into ‘Ultra-Light Race Mode’ configuration.

Even without wind, the Nemesis One will remain a zero emission vessel. Powered by a retractable hydrogen-electric propulsion, the yacht has no need for any fossil fuel. In addition to the hydrogen fuel, up to 750 sqm / 8073 sqft of solar panels, will generate up to 150kW of power, to recharge the yacht’s batteries.

Nemesis Yachts © All Rights Reserved

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Designed with a singular vision...To deliver unmatched performance and efficiency!

Introducing the insetta 35ifc  – the bar has been raised.

The Insetta 35IFC was designed with a singular vision… to be the best-performing center console sport fishing catamaran in its class.  Enjoy unmatched performance, range, and efficiency thanks to the 35IFC’s hydrofoil-assisted design.

In addition to being the best High-Performance Fishing Catamaran in its class, it also provides a smoother and dryer ride in the rough stuff!

This boat was designed for people who fish, by people who fish!  From its integrated livewells to its cavernous coffin boxes, level open deck layout, massive insulated storage and so much more, this boat was designed for maximum range and fishability!

Here’s what our customers have to say: “Holy crap do I love my 35 IFC with the Merc 300 V8’s on the back. We ran her down to Key Largo the other day, snorkeled all day, got lunch at Shipwrecks Bar and Grill, and ran back. Cruised between 40 and 45 mph, mostly around 42. So smooth it’s nuts. Burned maaaayyybe 40 gallons for the whole day. As we cruised the dashboard was telling us between 1.7 and 1.8 mpg, but I’m pretty sure we cruised more than 40 miles and burned between 35 and 40 gallons, no more. So… suffice it to say that you guys have absolutely crushed it and changed the game here. Fantastic work”! – Alan, Hull #4

Check out our FAQ’s section below for more about the Insetta 35 with  IFC!


Length Overall

Maximum Beam

Maximum Draft

Fuel Capacity

Cruise Speed

Cruise Miles Per Gallon (MPG)

Over 850 miles*

Cruise Range

Standard Features

Standard “Insetta White” Gelcoat Molded in Diamond Non-Skid Tackle Storage Stbd Side Tackle Storage Port Side 19 Gallon Freshwater Washdown/Shower 5 x In Deck Storage Hatch 2 x In Deck Macerated Fish Boxes 625 Qt Insulated Coffin Box, Split Boxes Walk through Transom Access (Door Optional) Two 36 gallon Integrated Transom Livewells Fresh and Raw Water Washdown 34 Rod Holders (gunnels and coffin box) 7 Stainless Gemlux Pull-Up Cleats LED Navigation Lights Boarding Ladder

Recessed Stainless Bow Rail

Helm / Console

Fiberglass Hardtop with Powder Coated Aluminum Supports Tempered Safety Glass Enclosure for Console 6 Integral Rod Holders Built into Rear Support Molded Fiberglass Leaning Post with Rear Face Seating and cooler 3 Wide Helm Seats 6 S/S Cup Holders Storage Box and Rigging Tray on Rear Facing Seat Storage Drawers Under Helm Seats 165 Qt Leaning Post Ice Box Located Under Rear Face Seats

Base Upholstery

Equipment and Electronics

3 Part Internal Foil System

3 Pump Capacity Sea Chest with Dual Livewell Pumps & Raw Water Feed

4 1100 GPH Bilge Pumps (2 in Each Sponson)

Standard Capacities

490 gallon fuel capacity.

625 Qt Insulated Coffin Box with Divider

165 Qt Leaning Post Ice box

Dual 36 Gallon Livewells

19 Gallon Freshwater

Frequently Asked Questions

IFC is Insetta Boatwork's Internal Foiling System.

You can expect a significant increase in cruise speed; Improved handling and stability in rough conditions; Better acceleration; A boat that is less affected by increased payload; A 20-40% increase in fuel efficiency; and a 20-40% further cruise range! Additionally, the IFC technology will also provide a drier ride in choppy conditions and Provide for more responsiveness when turning at speed!

The system is a fixed setup, there is nothing to operate and there are zero moving parts.

The IFC Technology in effect smooths out rough seas by allowing the boat to run from wave crest to wave crest at a relatively smooth and stable attitude. The IFC System creates lift which help to in effect “Carry” the hull higher in the water. The system acts as a set of wings carrying the boat at speed, keeping the hull from having to follow each wave across its entire contour. In other words the surface of the waves have less effect on the hull as the IFC system is lifting the boat. Additionally, the aerodynamic lift created by the catamaran hulls creates even more lift at the bow of the boat, keeping the nose high and preventing the “slamming” or sneezing found in other catamaran hulls.

No, you don’t. The foils are flush mounted to the bottom of the keels of each sponson (as well as up in the tunnel.) At its centerline the main foil of the IFC system is only slightly lower than the keel line. The boat will easily load onto a standard catamaran trailer. There is no big contraption hanging way down under the boat.

Remember, the foils are INTERNAL to the tunnel. At its lowest point the main foil is only slightly lower than the hull and is higher than the props. Because of this the odds of striking the foils are extremely low. The boat is designed to be lifted by the foil. The structural integrity of the foil system is such that the weight of the boat could be supported many times over by the foil. As such, if you did somehow manage to strike the foil on something EXTREMELY SUBSTANTIAL, like a stone shoal, the likely outcome is that you may (in a very worst case scenario) bend or break a foil wing. If that were to happen, you could still operate the boat to port with the remaining foils. The IFC foils are made from a very high-grade stainless steel and designed to meet or exceed relevant guidelines for impact and strength.

As water travels through the tunnel and around the foil, a tremendous vortex is created. This force keeps most debris from being trapped in the tunnel or around the foil. Between the pressure of the air moving through the tunnel, and the vortex created in the water, the tunnel and foils will stay clean and clear.

The outboards of the 35 IFC are mounted on a slight outward angle to place the propellers properly to maximize the thrust and flow efficiency created as the water travels through the tunnel and around the foils. This mounting also helps the boat to lean into a corner, much like a monohull.

Firstly, we’d ask, “Why would you want to?” But the short answer is no. IFC is an integrated system that is integral to the design of the boat.

The short answer is that boats with technology similar to IFC have been in use for many years, but not in the recreational market. Commercial and Military applications are quite prevalent. The initial design of a hull and system like this is quite complex and can be cost prohibitive. We at Insetta feel the gains in efficiency, speed, range and ride quality far outweigh the initial design and build cost.

Upon deciding to build a foiling Cat, Insetta assembled a team of naval Architects and Marine Engineers to refine an existing and proven design. Using their own state of the art construction techniques, Insetta brought an application specific version to the fiberglass Center Console market.

Optional Features

Customizable Garmin or Simrad Electronics JL Audio 10 Speaker Stereo System Flush Mount Acrylic Helm Bow Shade Custom Gelcoat or Combination of Colors Deluxe Upholstery Third Center Livewell Under Rear Facing Seat 40 gallon Seadek Flooring or Flexiteek Decking Additional Gunnel Rod Holders (18 standard) Recessed Wireless Phone Chargers Swivel Base Rod Holders Outlets for Electric Reels Additional Drink Holders on Leaning Post, Coffin Box, Gunnels and Helm Forward/Rear/Side Spreader Lights T-Top Outrigger Bases/Poles Gemlux Electric Head With 19 Gallon Blackwater Holding Tank Freshwater Sink and Vanity Inside Console Underwater Lights Heavy Duty Dive Ladder LED Under Gunnel Lighting On-Board Battery Charger Windlass Custom Aluminum Trailer Cockpit Table/Bow Table

Why did Insetta Boatworks decide to build a boat with IFC?

For decades, Hydrofoil power boats have proven to be the most efficient craft for a variety of offshore operations.

While pursuing a B.S. in physics in 1960, Victor Insetta was employed doing anti-submarine research that utilized high speed Deep-V patrol boats equipped with hydrofoils. Their ability to pursue submarines at high speed, operate safely offshore, and, being foil borne: allowed their hull to run clear of the water avoiding direct hits from torpedoes. Decades later, Vic and his family rode comfortably on hydrofoil ferries in Italy, flying over white capped waves in the bay of Naples.

In 2017, The Insetta 45 was chosen to be the official chase boat of the America’s cup! Four 45’ Insetta’s catamarans were shipped to Bermuda to assist at various cup events. Sailboats, competing from several countries, were catamarans with hydrofoils ! The Insetta 45’s ran parallel to these “foiling sail cats” to assist with TV coverage. The sailing cats were traveling at speeds approaching 50 mph, 2 ½ times the wind speed . Efficient … you bet . They could also turn on a dime at over 40 mph…

It became obvious: that a foiling cat would make a great offshore outboard power boat… Many foil power boat designs in the past, had wide foils that stuck out the sides, increasing their beam and draft. It made them difficult to dock, and they couldn’t operate in shallow waters. Joel Shine (chief operating officer) of Insetta Boatworks found a catamaran design that had hydrofoils mounted in the tunnel, (that location between the tunnel walls actually improves their efficiency), and does not add to its draft. Further improvements could be added by using our ultra-light high strength infused composite construction.

Joel, Vic and our technical staff reviewed the foiling cat’s initial specifications and performance data, and then sea trialed two foiling cats with internal hydrofoils. Our staff includes a second physicist and pilot… Glen Dobbs. We are all active boaters and we determined we would build our version of a foiling outboard powered cat. We contacted a Naval architect, who designed several successful foiling power cats . He is now a member of our technical staff.

Our 35 “foiling cat” design has set the standard for Foil-Assisted Sportfishing boats. The hull, foils, materials, and engines are synergistically combined, to provide: unrivaled high-speed cruising efficiency , and provide safe offshore handling, with unimpeded shallow water operation, including beaching, without foils or props contacting the bottom.

Insetta 35IFC

The premier internal foiling catamaran.

hydrofoil catamaran price

Integrated 36 Gallon Livewells & 625 QT Coffin Box Standard

Designed to fish.

hydrofoil catamaran price

850+ Mile Range!

Shows the Internal Foil Catamaran

Best in Class MPG, Smoother/Dryer Ride!


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The UFO is a simplistic modern hydrofoiling boat, that allows anyone to fly through the air, freeing the hull from draggy water. More stable than the International Moth -or even a child’s pram- with a simple rig, and a set of fully retractable hydrofoils, all for $11,500 USD the UFO makes flying attainable. Thousands less than it’s nearest competition.  Built in the United States in high volume and quality control, the UFO maintains a one-design philosophy, creating close and exciting racing on foils!

hydrofoil catamaran price


  • Designed and built in the USA
  • $11,500 USD
  • Compatible and rewarding to all skill levels
  • Lightweight for easy maneuverability
  • Solid, nearly dent-proof, hull
  • Unique patented hull and rig designs
  • Stable on and above the water
  • Small footprint for carefree storage and shipping
  • Takeoff from about 8knts of wind
  • Fast, fun, easy to control foiling

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The wand system controlling the foils, which can be set to fly very high, very low (even ‘no fly mode’) and all points in between. This means you can progressively add challenges to your UFO experience as you feel ready for them, from ‘beginner mode’ all the way to ‘extreme mode’. Additionally, the highly tunable sail can be set up to provide only the amount of power that your body type needs, and no excess. This means that the UFO is accessible and fun for sailors of all sizes, ages and skill levels. Merely set up the boat for your skill level and body type and go play around.

The UFO is very broadly applicable and has flown payloads from 70 pounds -a tiny kid- to 270 pounds -a tall grown man and a teenage boy-. The foil package just needs power to climb. Ultra light sailors have been caught on camera flying in 5 knots of breeze and the baseline for 225 pound sailors to take off is 10 knots. 270 flies in 12 knots of breeze.


While the boat can be left on shore with everything in place, but the sail down, that doesn’t mean the UFO isn’t easy to put together or take apart. Quite the opposite. Simplicity begets simplicity and the boat is a cinch to put together and take apart.


Being small is it’s own reward when it comes to handling the boat through all sailing experiences. When you start to really push yourself learning to foil, there are good odds you’ll manage to capsize it. The UFO is easy to right from capsizes and even full “turtle” inversions. This last part is critical, because when catamarans are too heavy to right from turtle the only option is to make the mast float. This has the unintended downside of making the boat very likely to blow away from you. The UFO is designed to stay right alongside you in the event you are separated from the boat. Additionally, the boat possesses an uncommon “park” mode in which it will hold station of its own accord, apparently indefinitely without external input of any kind. The full benefits of that upside have not begun to be fully exploited.

hydrofoil catamaran price


The Fulcrum design team strictly adhered to the axion “if there’s a point of sail (say, upwind or downwind) that it can’t always foil on, you can’t call it a foiler”. The design team achieved their goal and the UFO is a fully flying boat on all points of sail, which drastically increases its fun-factor.

At what points of sail does the UFO foil at?

The UFO fully foils at all points of sail. Upwind, downwind and reaching.  Additionally, you can set it to  not foil when you’re tired and it will do that as well, so you can get home easily. These two factors make the UFO uniquely good for learning to foil.

Who can fly the UFO?

Within reason, anyone.

UFO pilots have ranged from 8 years old to 72, from 90 pounds to 235. Young sailors do well sailing as pairs or with a middleweight to light adult. It’s rare that anyone on the fulcrum team conceives of a boat with a narrow niche in mind. Why bother? It’s a mistake in yacht design to design a boat for a narrow range of users, when for the most part people are diverse and the objective of one-design boats is to garner large fleets. That said, the boat is likely to be most satisfactory in all wind conditions in the hands of teens, small and medium men and all women. At the extreme low end of the weight range, sailors may find themselves overpowered and at the extreme high end, the wind speed required for takeoff is about two knots higher than average. UFOs have been sailed “two up” as well, though the above limits of weight range still apply to the sum of the two sailors weights.

What wind and waves can I fly a UFO in?

The UFO will sail in practically any wind condition. However, it’s important to remember that with all sailboats there are days that are great to sail in and days where you do something else.

While the UFO can at times with a skilled skipper take off in very low wind speeds, the baseline for reliable flight is around eight knots. Trying to squeeze enough power to fly out of too little wind is tiresome and in those circumstances, it’s best to do something else. In 8 knots and above, flying is magical and unforgettable. In under 8 knots, the UFO reverts to being a pleasant displacement catamaran and goes from being exciting and fast to relaxing and tactical. This is another benefit of being a catamaran.

Over the last six years the UFO has proven to be uniquely good at flying safely and consistently in very high windspeeds. In multi-class foiling regattas the UFO has proven to be the only foiler built to date that simply  loves  high windspeeds. In winds above 22 knots when other foiling boats make for shore, the UFO wants to keep playing. The upper wind limit is more a matter of taste and skill. UFOs have been sailed in 36 knots, but that requires a great deal of skill and focus.  The UFO rig having shared DNA with a windsurf rig seems to play a part in the boat’s remarkable ability to get a kick out of big wind. Since the upper wind limit on the UFO is so much higher, this makes the number of optimal days to fly a UFO (if skilled in sailing one) higher per year than with any other production foiling boat.

Most chop and wave conditions present no issue for a UFO set for the days’ conditions. After all, powered hydrofoils were first developed by various leading Navy’s as a means of smoothly flying over challenging sea-states. Choking up the ride height helps the UFO fly smoothly through the bottom of the wave pattern, undeterred. Rolling seas present even less issue, as the UFO will ride along them just like any other. Extremely tight and tall chop can be very annoying, which is not peculiar to the UFO.

Waves do effect baseline windspeeds to achieve takeoff. Imagine getting a plane to take off on a bumpy runway. This is true for all hydrofoil boats. In choppy water, ten to twelve knots can be necessary to achieve fully easy takeoffs. Some UFO sailors use aggressive kinetic techniques to overcome this and take off in choppy water and low wind.

Will I fly my first time out?

Most people do, but bear in mind that flying is a whole new experience and it takes some learning.

Conditions, setup and technique matter and if you use it incorrectly, you are likely to get some degree of incorrect results. That’s the challenge that the UFO is built to address. Over six years on the market and over 500 boats delivered, the UFO has proven to be the best and most reliable platform for ordinary sailors to reliably teach themselves foiling technique on.

What happens when I crash my UFO into something?

You’ll probably do some damage to it.

The UFO is built with durability as a core objective but it’s worth noting that the gulf between “Feather light under engineered ragged-edge high performance craft” and “literally indestructible” is extremely wide. The UFO represents neither of these extremes. Do not attempt your first flight inside a densely packed mooring field. Obstacles only make you better once you’ve mastered the basics.

How easy is it to rig a UFO?

Best in class, vs other foiling boats on the market. With that said, it’s not easier than doing nothing. Doing nothing is very easy! Putting a boat together is worthwhile but obviously involves effort.

The current cartop to launched speed record is roughly 15 minutes. Socket the mast together. Attach the boom and stays in one go. Step the rig. Flip the boat on its side, insert the foils, right the boat, hoist the sail and launch. Complexity is best avoided.

Leaving the UFO on a dock or a beach with the rig in and the foils simply in the “up” position, achieves an ease of daily use on par with any light beach cat. To go foiling all you need to do is hoist the sail with the halyard, clip the sail to the boom and attach the downhaul line and you’re ready to launch. This brings setup and breakdown to a matter of five minutes or less.

How do I launch and land a UFO?

Far far far more easily than any other foiling boat on the market.

Because the UFO is a very small catamaran, while floating the hulls float relatively deep in the water and create lateral resistance, like the hulls on a hobie 16 or hobie wave. This means that it can sail upwind without a daggerboard of any kind in the water. This is not the case with non-catamaran foilers. The rudder is outfitted with a friction brake and a down-halyard to allow its depth to vary and allow steering in shallow water. So from 16 inches of water and beyond, you can sail away from and back to shore reliably.

Because the UFO’s forward foil assembly is located  in front of  the mast, the UFO can tack and gybe while the forward foil is fully withdrawn from the water. This is unique. It allows the UFO to navigate reliably in the period between launching or landing and flying. The benefits for usability and safety cannot be overstated.

Once you’ve got to deep enough water, lower your foils fully and fly away!

That’s if you’re using a dolly.

If you aren’t using a dolly, the UFO has even more party tricks to show off. Since the foils withdraw to above the waterline of the hull, the hull can be beached or slid up onto a dock float or boat deck without any risk to damaging the foils. The UFO is a boat that’s eager to go sailing.

Can I easily cartop a UFO?

At this hull weight, the boat is very easy to put on top of a car, and its flat bottoms allow it to be strapped down hard with no drama. The other components of the boat collapse down to the point of easily fitting in a standard hatchback.

Where can I store my UFO?

Anywhere you can carry it to. Anywhere it fits.

Behind couches, under beds, under porches, in basements, inside larger boats, chained to apartment fire escapes, hanging in garages. Anywhere it can go that’s convenient for your lifestyle is a good place for it to go.

Why does X look like Y? Surely it would be better to make it like Z.

Just trust us.

If you’ve thought of it, we’ve weighed the pros and cons and its been included or excluded for good reason. Creating a boat that can be produced at an affordable price, for a wide range of sailors with a maximum quantity of accessible performance is an extremely hard target to hit. The UFO meets all of its objectives and does so by blatantly ignoring a few conventions and norms. You simply don’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

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iFLY15 – iFLY Razzor Pro – Foiling Catamaran - can't wait to sail it again!!

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Ifly15 «ultimate» full carbon, onedesign & razzor (formula foil):.

Hulls in full carbon sandwich, epoxy resin, Equipped with FlySafe® active foil control, the most advanced flight control system. Rudders, daggerboards, foils : full carbon with titanium core structure, compression molded at 40t, Double layer wing trampoline, Softwing rig, as an option. Mainfoil differential T-Foils (MDT), as an option. CodeF auxiliary lightwind headsail, as an option.


iFLY15 «Ultimate» Full carbon

ex tax, ex fact.

Designed in Germany Production in Western Europe.

12.5 sqm Decksweeper mainsail , Mylar / Pentex laminate,

7.5m aluminum mast , black anodized

7.5m Fiberfoam Carbon mast, as an option

XXL lightwind rig on 8.5m mast , as an option

A-class rig on 9m carbon mast , as an option

visible natural carbon: crossbeams, boom, foils, flight controls, tiller stick …

double layer wing trampoline: black mesh, red or black foot belts

iFLY15 hull colors 2023:

Ferrari – red Formula1 – yellow Brilliant – white Graphit – grey

Any other color is possible, on demand. With our professional art and paint team, we can realize any individual color and special designs, including sophisticated group or team designs.

options and accessories

Rig options.

Option: Fiberfoam Carbon mast, 7.5m, iFLY specific design, based on a-class design : 2.400 €

  • by choosing this option, the iFLY serial mast (black anodized aluminum) is replaced by a high-tech Fiberfoam carbon mast. The carbon mast reduces weight by 4.7kg and increases sailing performance. However, the carbon mast is not recommended for double trapezing

Option: separable mast : 490 €

  • The joint is made with a massive carbon sleeve inside. We did not observe any performance loss. The upper 2.25m of the mast can be taken off within seconds. No tools needed. It can be done without removing shrouds or diamonds and allows solving storage problems. Further this option can reduce shipping cost e.g. for overseas transport. Some sailors with height restrictions in the port or on their way to the water solve this by reducing thus the boat hight to 5.8m.

Option: Softwing rig for highest performance : 2.400 €

  • iFLY is delivered with a state of the art decksweeper rig (like this year’s A-class sails). By choosing this option, the standard sail is replaced by the Heru Softwing rig: a three-dimensional structure bringing performance gains. Very different than a solid wing (as used e.g. in AC50 / C-Class) the softwing is not fragile and can be rolled and hoisted like a standard sail. It is watertight and thus floating, making righting up after a capsize even easier.

Mainsail halyard : 270 €

  • iFLY comes with a push up main sail hoisting system (A-class style). Sailors who choose the standard decksweeper sail are free to choose the hoisting system they love more. For boats configured with the Softwing, halyard is strongly recommended.

auxiliary head sail for early take off in light winds. The revolutionary lightwind headsail. New developed sail configuration based on Genoa/Code0:

  • The CodeF is a light wind head-sail used from 0 to 10 knots. This sail is used both, upwind and downwind, to get earlier on the foils. It is stowed away if wind picks up. CodeF is an option for super light wind. Usually You will sail the iFLY15 just with the mainsail.

CodeF preparation : 560 €

  • riveted and screwed cleats, lamination in hull: bow tube. CodeF preparation is needed for CodeF sailing. The option should be ordered, in case CodeF kit will be added later.

CodeF premium option: surcharge : 580 €

  • High-end version of CodeF, made from a kevlar fiber laminate

Second set of length adjustable trapeze, for double trapezing: surcharge : 220 € (per piece)

  • Double trapezing is not recommended with carbon mast.
  • Massive increase of righting moment allows performance gains of up to 25%, especially when full foiling upwind

additional Accessories:

Foot strap, length adjustable, including assembly (per piece) :  69 €

Telescopic carbon tiller stick, surcharge:   210 €

Hydrodynamic tips for rudders –  to sail with removed horizontal wings in classic (non-foiling) mode with minimum drag: 67 € (per piece)

Hydrodynamic tips for daggerboards –  to sail with removed horizontal wings in classic (non-foiling) mode with minimum drag: 86 € (per piece)

Big wheel beach trolley : 665 €

Cradles for road trailer, with universal mount – two versions available, flat bed or for round profile 50mm diameter: 215 € (per pice)

Foldable maintenance bench : 140 €

Spare parts kit :  240 €

Action cam stick :  280cm long carbon tube with special mount for filming e.g. from behind the boat: 150 €

Measuring gauge for precise assembly of mainfoil : 72 €

Measuring gauge for precise assembly of rudderfoil : 62 €

iFLY road trailer, Harbeck CS750, diagonal model, optional with aluminum storage box 285X85X45cm, lockable: price on demand

Shipping and assembly optionS

Pre-assembly in factory Portugal : 1.064 €

R oad transport within Europe:  flat rate: 1.600 €

Shipping worldwide: individual offer

Complete assembly “ready to fly”, onsite, personal delivery 98 0 €

  • including training on technical features, maintenance… (price for one day, plus travel cost)

Private coaching onsite, one day :  980 €

  • only available together with “ready to fly” option)


With our professional art and paint team, we can realize any individual color and special designs, including sophisticated group or team designs)

Individual color / any RAL color available: from/to : 600 € – 1.000 € (individual offer)

Individual  design for hulls: from/to : 1.200 € – 3500 € (individual offer)

Special 2023 design: “Flying Tiger” , including individual choice of colors: 2.912 €

Individual design for sails, from/to : 600 € – 2400 € (individual offer)

(all prices are ex tax, ex factory Porto, Portugal. January 2023, subject to change without notice.) AGBs

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Using a Hydrofoil to Improve Efficiency

  • By Alan Jones
  • Updated: July 15, 2021

It’s hard to believe a piece of metal with no moving parts can be the approximate equivalent of adding 200 horsepower, 100 gallons of fuel and 100 miles of extra range. But when it’s a hydrofoil attached between the hulls of an Aquila 36 Sport power catamaran (above, far right), that’s the net effect.

While the efficacy of foiling boats is well-documented, this technology has surprisingly had little impact on the recreational powerboat market. Hydrofoils that lift a hull entirely out of the water seem to be too alien to most boaters. Plus, most foil designs require dynamic control using computers to remain aloft at a constant elevation. But they are proven to be effective. With the Aquila 36 Sport, we experienced its benefits on a recreational boat and compared it in real time to the same boat without a foil but with 200 extra ponies. Here’s what we found.

Hydro What?

Gino Morrelli and Pete Melvin, of Morrelli and Melvin Design and Engineering, applied their decades of foiling experience to design the Hydro Glide Foil System for Aquila. It consists of a main hydrofoil attached slightly aft amidships to each hull and the top of the tunnel. It lifts approximately 40 percent of the hull’s weight out of the water when at cruise speeds, for better performance and fuel economy. Farther back, twin fins act like an airplane’s horizontal stabilizers to prevent porpoising at higher speeds. What makes hydrofoils so effective is the dramatic reduction in drag. A typical planing hull has a 4-to-1 lift-to-drag ratio, while a hydrofoil can have up to a 25-to-1 lift advantage.

How does it work? The fields of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics are kissing cousins, so many of the principles of one apply to the other. The silhouette of a typical asymmetric hydrofoil wing wouldn’t look out of place on a 737. It consists of a convex curve on the upper side and a flatter bottom side. These taper down toward the rear. Bernoulli’s principle explains that when air or water rushes over the top side of a wing, the medium has to travel farther, so it moves faster. This creates lower pressure on top, allowing the higher pressure on the bottom to push upward.

Sir Isaac Newton’s third law also applies to hydrofoils. The simplified version says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, if a foil is directing the water down, it’s pushed back and the foil rises, creating lift. This effect is enhanced by an increased angle of attack at the leading edge to create more lift. In the case of Aquila’s Hydro Glide foil, it will still provide lift even if the boat’s bow is pointing down 3.5 degrees, which will be useful when running down-sea because it avoids transforming the hydrofoil into the equivalent of a down-planer or sea anchor.

Too much lift can also be a problem, according to Alain Raas, brand manager for Aquila Boats. “Because water is denser, a hydrofoil creates about 830 times more lift for the same area and speed compared to an airplane wing, so you can use a much smaller foil in water than air,” Raas says.

Most hydrofoils operate near the surface and can ventilate, which is a phenomenon that occurs when the low-pressure side of a foil pulls air from the surface and destroys lift on the foil, Raas explains. “Foil depth, sweep, dihedral and section shape all play a significant role in avoiding ventilation,” he adds.

Dueling Aquilas

We were able to arrange a test staging out of MarineMax in St. Pete Beach, Florida. MarineMax is Aquila’s exclusive distributor in the US. The Aquila brand is owned by the Sino Eagle Group, a high-tech Chinese builder that extensively uses vacuum-infusion technology to build the boats. J&J Design Group provided a complete design package for the Aquila 36 Sport.

Aquila is largely the brainchild of Lex Raas, Alain’s father and president of Aquila at MarineMax. Lex is South African, and his career journey has taken him from working for Beneteau (the world’s largest boatbuilder) to the Moorings (the world’s largest vacation charter operation) to MarineMax (the world’s largest boat dealer). While a big believer in power catamarans for their roominess and comfort, Lex didn’t like that most were converted sailing vessels. The unveiling of the Aquila 36 Sport power catamaran in 2017, the company’s first outboard-powered model, ushered in a new era of high performance. Because these boats would be used on bareboat charters driven by skippers of varying degrees of expertise, they are purposely designed to be easy to pilot.

One Cool Cat

Our first sea trial began aboard the nonfoiled Aquila, joined by Alain Raas and Jacob Coyle, a MarineMax sales associate. When we headed out into the Gulf of Mexico through the Pass-a-Grille entrance, the wind was blowing 17 mph and gusting to 23 mph from the northwest, creating steep 4-foot waves. In other words, it was a glorious cat day.

Our nonfoiled test boat was powered by a pair of Mercury Verado 400 outboards derived from the Mercury Racing division. This engine does some serious overachieving given its smallish 2.6L inline-six-cylinder block, thanks to twin-scroll superchargers, which lend it substantial punch when a driver needs a blast of power. Ultra-rapid acceleration is less important for catamarans, which usually do best in rough water when kept at a steady speed that is faster than you would think.

Read Next: Aquila 36 Test

The big difference between most power cats and the 36-foot Aquila 36 Sport is the Aquila’s incredible 14-foot-7-inch beam, which creates a living room’s worth of space in the cockpit/salon for up to 26 passengers and is mostly enclosed by an optional hardtop. In addition to helping its optional Joystick Docking for Outboards system work more efficiently, this wide footprint creates an ultra-stable platform that will be reassuring to those without sea legs (or stomachs). It’s so stable, according to Alain, no customers have ever asked Aquila to install a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer.

Settling into a cruise speed of 33 mph felt like the cat’s happiest velocity for that sea state. The narrow profile of the twin hulls cleaved the water without the pounding that characterizes most monohulls when running into steep waves. We used a little bit of engine trim to bring the bow of the hulls out of the water to reduce drag and prevent bow steering, and the boat offered a smooth ride, even when we turned the beam to the waves. Narrower cats of similar lengths can snap-roll alarmingly in large beam seas, but the Aquila remained surprisingly level.

Heading into Bunces Pass is tricky because of shoaling on each side, but once through, it put us squarely into the Tampa Bay area’s recreational boating epicenter. With Egmont Key State Park and Fort De Soto Park to starboard and Shell Key Preserve to port, we were surrounded by great beaches that are perfect to nose up to. The Aquila 36 Sport Hydro Glide showed off its ability to float in just 2 feet of water with the engines trimmed up as we beached it. We beached the foil boat too. Even though the bottom of the foil is about a foot lower than the hulls, its extruded aluminum construction is stout enough to withstand being gently beached.

Time to Fly

Switching boats, we were curious to feel the difference the foil makes. The experience was subtle. The Hydro Glide foil is positioned just forward of the boat’s longitudinal center of gravity and set at zero degrees of attack, allowing the driver to use engine trim to increase the angle for optimal lift. On this boat, little trim is needed because the optimal angle of attack of the hydrofoil is only about 1.5 degrees, according to Lex. In our case, because the fuel tanks were almost full, we just trimmed the engines to their neutral position and let the weight of the fuel give the Aquila 36 Sport Hydro Glide its proper bow-up angle.

Because the Hydro Glide Foil System lifted the hull only about 6 inches, there was a general feeling of riding higher in the water, but the most tangible evidence was how the steering felt lighter and more responsive—an indication that the foil is running at its proper angle of attack. The wake behind us flattened out significantly, unlike the tall rooster tail and wake that shot aft from the nonfoiled boat. Offshore, it handled the steep chop well and felt best at a cruise speed of 38 mph. There was never a moment when it lost its lift from the foil.

Another difference lay in the cornering characteristics. Without the foil, the 36 Sport has a slight lean to the outside, which some find off-putting. With the Hydro Glide foil, the cat leaned slightly inward and felt nimbler as it carved hard turns. A driver can overcook it during extremely hard turns—the hulls can dig in and turn more sharply than expected—so whipping it into a corner like it’s a jet boat isn’t advised.

Foils that raise a boat’s hull entirely out of the water can plummet should the boat lose lift. But the dihedral V-shape of the Aquila’s foil allows it to descend a little at a time when exposed above the water. This results in gentle corrections in heave, or a boat’s up-and-down motion.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

The Aquila 36 Sport Hydro Glide reached plane in 6.4 seconds, which was 1.4 seconds faster than the nonfoiled boat. Its zero to 30 mph time was 2.4 seconds quicker, taking 12.4 seconds. While those might sound like modest gains, remember this test boat had twin 300 Mercury Verado engines—200 fewer horses than the nonfoiled boat. Of course, these 300s are the new-generation Mercury V-8 engines, featuring 4.6L in a naturally aspirated design instead of the 400′s 2.6L twin-supercharged powerplant. Having two more cylinders and 2 liters of increased displacement negates the need for supercharging because big blocks inherently have more low-end torque.

Most impressive was the lack of penalty for going fast on the 36 Sport Hydro Glide. Even at its top speed of 44.7 mph, it was still getting nearly 1 mpg, and the effect on its range was dramatic. At that speed with a full 356-gallon tank, we could theoretically travel the 322 miles from St. Pete Beach to Havana, though exceeding our 10 percent reserve. The nonfoiled Aquila 36 Sport, traveling at its top speed of 46.1 mph, would fall well short of reaching Key West (231 miles away) with a full tank. At its best cruise speed of 30.6 mph, the hydrofoil-equipped Aquila can go 381.5 miles, compared to the nonfoiled version’s 303.9-mile range, when traveling at 29.4 mph, factoring in a 10 percent reserve.

At first blush, opting for the Hydro Glide Foil System might cause sticker shock with its $32,452 price tag, which equates to running through about 13,000 gallons of fuel at $2.50 per gallon to recoup the investment. But if you factor in the difference in buying a pair of 300s versus 400s, the price is much closer, and you get a better-handling boat with more capability because of its increased range. Aquila 36 Sport owners will be happy to discover the Hydro Glide Foil System can be retroactively fitted at an estimated additional labor cost of $10,000. Twin 300s are the max power with the foil because higher speeds cause cavitation, which then adds drag. But the improvements in ride, acceleration and range make this the biggest no-brainer on the options list.

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The Longreach is foremost a family of High Performance Power Catamarans designed for live aboard cruising to the most remote destinations. Enjoy long range, low impact economical, smooth, safe and secure passage making in comfort and at speeds to delight. Reach further, stay longer. This is a purpose built power catamaran hull featuring a full displacement design with low drag, smooth riding slender hulls. Optional with hydrofoils for super-high performance and standard with docking keels for safe grounding and protection of the running gear.

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Home » Blog » Sail » Hydrofoil boats for the rest of us

Hydrofoil boats for the rest of us

By Author Fiona McGlynn

Posted on Last updated: August 18, 2023

hydrofoil boat

Glide Free Foils Laser on foils. Photo credit: sailboats.co.uk ,

Watching foiling boats fly around the America’s Cup race course, is enough to quicken any sailor’s pulse. But unless you’ve got a spare few million kicking around, most hydrofoil boats are still very much out of the average boater’s budget . There are however a few ways to experience the magic of foiling without racing towards bankruptcy.


Much in the same way that air flows over and under aircraft wings to create lift, water flowing around a hydrofoil lifts a boat’s hull out of the water . Once the greater part of the boat’s surface area is out of the water, friction is greatly reduced and the boat can “fly” at faster speeds .

How fast? The 2021 America’s Cup AC75s are expected to reach top speeds of 40 to 50 knots!

Like sails, foils are not a matter of “set it and forget it”, instead the foil-attitude must be adjusted to keep the boat in flight . On the 2017 America’s Cup boats these adjustments were made by the skipper/helmsman but powered (via a hydraulic system) by crew grinding winches (or in New Zealand’s case, pedal bikes ).

Because we don’t all have Jimmy Spithill ‘s magic touch, developing highly sophisticated flight control systems is key to bringing foiling into mainstream boating. Candela, a new 25-foot production e-foiling powerboat (and 2019 Best of Boats award winner) offers such a solution with foils that change position 100 times per second! Still, at ~$240,000 it’s well beyond most boating budgets. 

Fortunately, smaller foilers (dinghies and boards) don’t require high tech flight control systems and are far less expensive . Here are a few options for (more) affordable foiling:


Laser foiling kits.

Clip a foil onto your Laser and fly over the surface of the water. Two Australian based companies, Foilsz and Glide Free Foils , offer Laser foiling kits. The Glide Free kit doesn’t require any permanent fixtures, so you can easily remove it (for those days when you’re in a displacement mode mood). They say that speeds of 18-25 knots are possible with their kit, which sells for just under $4,530 AUD (~$3,00 USD). 

UFO foiling multihull

For a few bucks more you can buy a foiling catamaran. The UFO was launched in 2017 and can fly at 15-20 knots. With a price tag of $7,000, it may be the most economical multihull foiler on the market.

Take a foiling course

Some clubs and community sailing programs are adding foilers to their fleets. For example Nantucket Community Sailing offers a 3-hour semi-private class for $100 per person . Or if you’re looking for a more exotic locale, the Provela Foiling Centre in Spain offers a range of foiling classes from beginner to advanced. Their two-day “Try Fly – Foiling” class costs 200 euros and their fleet includes Foiling Moths, White Formula Whispers, WASPZs, and F101s.


It’s not like kiteboards are sluggish to begin with, but hydrofoil boards take the sport to a whole new level, delivering speeds of 40 miles an hour ! By using a foil to lift their boards out of the water, foiling kiteboard enthusiasts get an exceptionally quiet and smooth ride – so much so, that   kiteboard riders in Silicon Valley have been spotted taking calls on their cell phones. Set up costs start at around $1,000. Take a foil boarding course and buy protective gear, this extreme water sport is not for the faint of heart.


Foiling is taking off in the windsurfing world with world champions like Robby Naish and Atoine Albeau leading the charge. It has been confirmed that windfoiling will be a class at the 2024 Olympics in Paris . Set up costs start around $2,500. 

With foiling technology trickling down into the mainstream, you can expect to see more and more high speed foiling boats and boards on the water .  Is foiling the future? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Fiona McGlynn

Fiona McGlynn is an award-winning boating writer who created Waterborne as a place to learn about living aboard and traveling the world by sailboat. She has written for boating magazines including BoatUS, SAIL, Cruising World, and Good Old Boat. She’s also a contributing editor at Good Old Boat and BoatUS Magazine. In 2017, Fiona and her husband completed a 3-year, 13,000-mile voyage from Vancouver to Mexico to Australia on their 35-foot sailboat.

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Sunreef Yachts Presents the World First Hydrofoil System for Luxury Open Catamarans

Sunreef Yachts Presents the World First Hydrofoil System for Luxury Open Catamarans,

Catamarans offer several specific features that make them a perfect alternative for traditional yachts, e.g. a bigger living space (sometimes even twice as big as on a single-hull vessel), excellent stability and a very long cruising range. However, enthusiasts of motor vessels choose catamarans primarily for their high performance.

In order to meet needs and expectations of our customers, Sunreef’s naval architects team decided to develop a system of retractable hydrofoils that will enable luxurious Sunreef vessels to attain a maximum speed up to 70 knots and literally fly over the surface of water. Such a solution is the best choice for all those who want to fully exploit the potential offered by power boats.

Hydrofoils in catamarans are used to reduce drag that directly affects the speed of a vessel. A vessel fitted with hydrofoils is lifted out of the water which significantly decreases drag, consequently allowing for greater speeds. Additionally, due to excellent stability of catamarans (ensured by two independent hulls), a vessel is adequately balanced without the need to employ complicated stabilizing systems. As a result, both helmsmen and passengers are offered the ultimate comfort and safety even at considerable speeds (such a combination is not possible in case of standard single-hull vessels).

The first model fitted with hydrofoils will be the Sunreef 40 H – a 40-feet motor catamaran of an open type. A specialist in luxurious, custom-made, multi-hull vessels, the Sunreef Yachts shipyard is going to present a perfectly finished catamaran with sleek, sporty silhouette that will be the ideal choice for everyone who values perfect design and top performance.

Sunreef Yachts Presents the World First Hydrofoil System for Luxury Open Catamarans,Sunreef Yachts Presents the World First Hydrofoil System for Luxury Open Catamarans

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The P-12 has taken flight. Read more here.

Let us introduce: P-12 Shuttle

It’s 100% electric, and flies above the surface., speeding up maritime electrification, and re-imagining your time on the water., hydrofoiling electric boats and ferries, made in sweden..

Transforming transport on the water with technology; enabling electrification and vastly improving performance vs. combustion engines.

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The P-12 has taken flight

A world record.

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C-8 Polestar Edition

Our boats in action.

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MBY’s review of C-8

Watch Motorboat & Yachting’s amazing review of Candela C-8.

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Candela C-8 vs planing boat in waves

We tested wave management in the Candela C-8 alongside a conventional motorboat to see the difference.

2022 02 14 C 8 behind the scenes

Candela C-8’s first flight

See the world’s most anticipated electric boat in action from when we tested out C-8 Prototype 01.

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Candela C-POD | The world’s most efficient boat motor

Meet Candela C-POD, the most efficient and long-lasting boat motor ever made. Designed in-house at Candela.

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World’s first electric hydrofoiling boat flying in San Francisco | Candela C-7

We couldn’t resist the Bay Area sunrise for an early morning cruise.

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Foiling Double Up

Watching the speedy 69F Sailing boat fly next to Candela C-7 is to see into the future.

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Virtual Test Drive

Follow along on a virtual test drive on a beautiful Swedish evening in May.

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Candela C-7 | Formation Flying

Enjoy this thrilling FPV drone footage of the Candela Seven, the world’s first foiling electric boat.

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C-7 Sunbed edition in Italy

The brand-new Candela C-7 Sunbed Edition: Marrying zero-emission, high-speed foiling to all the traditional features needed for a great day on the water.

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Foiling in high waves

See the C-7 foil in 15 m/s of wind wakes

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C-7 vs regular boats

See a direct comparison to a fossil fuel boat

Candela C 8 2024 Boating Magazine Scaled

2024 Candela C-8 Open Daycruiser

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It feels like we’re flying

Candela C-8 DC, HT and Candela P-30 foiling together

Electric-boat maker Candela gets cash infusion to scale up production

C 8 third flight 7 smaller

Its C-8 boat model has already become the best-selling electric speed boat in Europe (and it actually outsells most internal combustion engine-powered boats in its premium category).

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Candela’s hydrofoiling electric boats attract $24M investment in a bid for cleaner seas

hydrofoil catamaran price

At a stroke it makes every other boat feel strangely low-tech, as if Candela has finally managed to reinvent the wheel or, perhaps more aptly, discover flight.

hydrofoil catamaran price

Candela’s C-8 flying electric boat is already selling better than gas-powered boats

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The result is a super stable boat, you can’t really get seasick on board.

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Teslas making waves: A new generation of electric motorboats takes to the water

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The world’s first AI-powered, all-electric hydrofoil boat that automatically stabilises itself for a smoother ride

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I tested a flying electric boat and it was even cooler than it sounds

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Swedish Tech Company Breaks Sales Records With Disruptive New Long-Range Hydrofoiling Electric Speedboat

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So, OK, what’s the bottom line? Simply put, the Candela is a better boat. Just like a Tesla is a better car and an F150 Lightning is a better F150. This is the future, kids, and it’s awesome!

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Che bello il motoscafo tutto elettrico che vola sull’acqua senza rumore

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Explore our fleet Electric hydrofoiling is revolutionizing both leisure and professional boating. Learn more about each model below.

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F1x hydrofoils

Ultra-modern, lighter = better, craftsmanship, f1x hydrofoils - design.

Since 2014 the A-Class with our design hydrofoils is the founder of the so-called Z-foil configuration.

Because both foils are inserted downwards, a V-shape is created under water. The A-cat flies above the water on this created lift surface.

The latest generation of Z-foils of the DNA F1x is a design by the designers of Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and Glenn Ashby .

We build your new foiling boat!

Material & technology.

Base material: All F1x hydrofoils are made of carbon pre-preg. Thanks to our unique ‘one-shot’ production process, we manufacture all our continuous fiber foils, cured under vacuum in our 6.5 x 2.20 meter Autoclave.

The specially developed production method creates a hydrofoil that cures in one go, without any glue joints and including internal stiffening ribs. The result is a super-strong hydrofoil that is as light as possible. All foils are finished with high-quality paint finish. Color of your choice.

Our automated pre-preg cutting machine from the Zünd brand prepares the laminates with high precision. A five-axis milling machine with a working range of 5.5 x 2.5 x 2 meters molds the required tooling fully automatically. All of this in-house.


The production of the F1x hydrofoils for the A-cat is entirely in the hands of DNA Performance Sailing. We are constantly working on the further development of this super fast foiling catamaran. Besides the latest version DNA F1x, we now also have the DNA F1 Vintage, for the non-foiling group A-class sailors.

Depth: 1.37 m Widest point: 0.16 m Smallest point: 0.05 m Design: Emirates Team New Zealand and Glenn Ashby .

The above specifications refer to the daggerboard foils.

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  1. Sunreef's retractable hydrofoils lift its luxury catamarans to speeds

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  2. 40' SUNREEF Hyper Foiling Power catamaran

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  4. The Ultimate 35′ Offshore Power Catamaran

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  5. Foiling Catamarans

    In 2013, the world sat up and took notice of foiling boats mostly due to the much-promoted America's Cup. The AC72 catamarans flew across our TV screens with great speed and grace, hardly touching the water. These high-priced models achieved 40 knots in 17 knots of breeze with their T-shaped rudders and L-shaped daggerboards and in the ...

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  9. F1X Foiling Catamaran

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  13. Using a Hydrofoil to Improve Efficiency

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