Hansen Design wrote:Hagedoorn, Ultimate Sailing, Scientific American, March 1975.
Very interesting.. but..
It is not obvious to me why this would be any more efficient than our current kiteboard hydrofoil set ups. Clearly the foil underwater could be smaller and have less drag, but the foil in the air (the kite) has to be bigger and have more drag. Where is the benefit? Am I missing something?
Its to do with the power limit.
Currently the power is limited by the weight of the rider, the angle he can lean the foil over and therefore the height of the chop/waves.
With a submerged pulling foil, once the foil is moving, the foil can potentially hold enormous amounts of power and the riders weight becomes less important.
Its likely that the foil and kite would also have to be developed with a big range of power power/handling. I think the kite will be a lot easier to develop for that than the foil - especially if the hydrofoil power adjustment has to be automatic without using electronics.
I'm not suggesting pulling hydrofoils will take over, just that they will be the ultimate for powered performance in terms of speed and racing other than in light winds - and they are unlikely to be used in racing because of the danger.