Thursday, May 24, 2018 by David Williams
Luxury yachts are, by design, often too stylish for their own good. Often equipped with flashy adornments that do nothing but look cool, they can sometimes give the impression of being nothing more than tricked-out boats. But one company wants to defy the assumption that they can’t be built with a nearly perfect ratio of form to function. The company, called Enata Marine, has developed a new luxury yacht – the Foiler – in order to do so.
The Foiler is described in some online reports as an “impressively styled blend” of an advanced hydrofoil system and a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, which enables it to act as a sort of “best of both worlds” solution for those who want a hydrofoil-equipped vessel as well as a proper high-end yacht. The company behind the yacht describes it simply as both extremely stable and immune to wave interference, which makes it surprisingly easy for the people onboard to control and use for whatever purposes they deem necessary.
To know exactly why the Foiler warrants a second look, it’s important to understand the innovative way it uses hydrofoil technology. The typical implementation of hydrofoil involves using a fixed set of “legs” to have a proper lifting surface, or foil, which is what operates in water. If they remind you of something you’ve seen in a different kind of vehicle, namely airplanes, that’s because they are similar and work based on similar physical principles.
The difference with Foiler’s implementation of hydrofoil technology is the fact that it has a retractable system. In simple terms, it could effectively be used to “raise the roof” of the Foiler on demand. And based on Enata Marine’s official numbers, this retractable system can comfortably lift the hull a full 1.5 meters high while cruising along with great stability for everyone aboard.
In terms of pure specs, there’s plenty provided on the Foiler’s official website. It is said to be certified for up to eight passengers total and has a weight capacity of one ton. As far as speed is concerned, it has a take-off speed of 17 knots or about 31 kilometers per hour, and can go up to a maximum speed of 40 knots or about 74 kilometers per hour.
Meanwhile, the Foiler’s range has been rated at 260 nautical miles, or about 482 kilometers at 20 knots, and 130 nautical miles or about 240 kilometers at 30 knots. And finally, as a boat, the Foiler has been certified under CE – category B. (Related: GM ‘missed the boat’ on hybrid technology, senior officials says.)
What’s interesting about the Foiler beyond all of the pure specs based on the engine and its hull capacity, is its use of a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system. It is said that it can actually operate in full-electric only mode, and in it, the Foiler can cruise at speeds of up to 10 knots or around 18.5 kilometers per hour while being almost completely silent. That’s one perk of electric vehicles that many would-be users would likely enjoy. After all, more conversations could be had aboard the Foiler thanks to this feature.
The unfortunate thing, for now, is that the company behind the Foiler still hasn’t shared any pricing data or availability information on it. Still, it is a cool new technology that will be available soon that also happens to make the luxury boating industry a bit more environmentally friendly.
Visit FutureScienceNews.com for more stories on technological breakthroughs.