OPINION: Innovation is powering the global yachting industry


The Foiler is one of two new yachts to use hydrofoils to boost performance featured in Superyacht Investor recently.

Innovation is alive and well in the global yachting industry. For evidence, look no further than our two reports this week about hydrofoil designs fitted to luxury vessels. The first focused on a 43.3-metre sailing yacht and the second, at the other end of the spectrum, concerned a 9.8 metre superyacht tender.

Of course, there’s nothing new about the idea of hydrofoils. The first patent for a foil or ladder device – enabling a boat to lift its hull out of the water at speed – was granted in Britain in 1869 to a Parisian, Emmanuel Denis Farcot. What is new are the energy and creativity contemporary marine designers and engineers are bringing to harnessing hydrofoil technology. It’s about far more than simply meeting the need for speed.

More than the need for speed

Hydrofoil designs are said to provide a more comfortable ride in rough water and significantly improve fuel efficiencies. Baltic Yachts’s foil-equipped Baltic 142 Canova, which has just completed successful sea trials, is a case in point.

The sailing yacht’s DSS foil is claimed to reduce heel angles and provide progressive dynamic lift, which delivers a more comfortable ride. It also improves upwind Velocity Made Good (VMG) in offshore sailing.

On a smaller – but much faster – scale is the 40-knot superyacht tender and day yacht Foiler. She cruises 1.5 metres over the waves, courtesy of her twin V8 diesel engines and four 7.2-metre carbon fibre foils. In addition to speed, the design is claimed to provide a safer, more comfortable ride than conventional vessels while delivering fuel savings of up to 50 per cent due to reduced drag, compared with hull-in-water yachts.

Fuel savings of up to 50 per cent

But innovation in the global yachting industry is not confined to hydrofoil technology. Over the past month, Superyacht Investor has reported on the Mansion Yacht, which can stand up to 4.5 metres in the air on four huge hydraulic legs at a water depth of 1 metre.

Then, there is the new S2 Silent 55 solar-powered yacht from Silent Yachts. This 17-metre catamaran can cruise at 20 knots using silent electric propulsion for unlimited range without noise or fumes and minimal vibration.

Superyacht spotters won’t have to wait long to see both vessels. The S2 Silent 55 will be shining at next week’s Cannes Yachting Festival, while the Mansion Yacht will be standing tall in the Superyacht Village at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October. Further innovative designs will be on display at the Monaco Yacht Show later this month.

Clearly, innovation in marine design is thriving – both for ocean-going luxury yachts and their coastal cousins.

Innovation in the global yachting industry is standing tall – like the Mansion Yacht: soon to star at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

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