Jim's home | Trimaran home
What it's like to sail
If you haven't read about my first hydrofoil sailboat, it's worth reading about how L'Hydroptere was my inspiration for this boat. The center hull (vaka) on version 1 was too low in volume to keep the retracted main foils out of the water when sailing in non-foiling mode. You couldn't just sail around in it very well unless you were actually foiling. This was unacceptable and crushing. So much prior work for naught. Should have approached the first version with better engineering. No worries, I'll just spend another year swapping out the old vaka (from a Solcat 18 catamaran) with a more buoyant one. :-)
I scored a hull from a Boston Whaler Supercat 20 catamaran for only $150. Great condition too. Those hulls were designed by aerospace engineers in the 1980s and were meant to solve problems inherent to low volume, flex points and tendency to pitchpole. They have a LOT of volume. It completely solved the problem of being too low in the water.
After sailing this boat for a year or so I decided to convert it to a non-foiling trimaran. Yes it was incredibly fun to fly over the water, but the boat kept breaking, though normally only when 2 people were sailing it at the same time. There are terrible forces at work when foiling a 500 pound boat and 400 pounds worth of people at near 20mph speeds. Aluminum cracks. Plus, I wanted a boat that was fast when not foiling, and that could do more than fly on broad reaches. I am a fledgling windsurf foiler, so I can still get my foiling kicks.
Onboard GoPro video of foiling.