Picture a slick-styled sportboat sitting still in the water. The next thing you know, that same boat is up out of the water, riding along at a quick clip on four wing-like devices. In addition, the boat can do so whether in calm conditions or seas to nearly 10 feet. This is the experience promised by the Foiler, the first fully production powerboat featuring foiling technology.
If you enjoy sailboat racing, you might be familiar with foils, a.k.a. hydrofoils. As the boat speed increases, the foils lift the hull above the water, dramatically reducing wetted surface area and therefore drag. That in turn means more speed. Enata Marine, a company in the United Arab Emirates that specializes in a variety of watertoys and boats, saw an opportunity to bring the technology to a broader marketplace.
Marketed as both a primary boat and a superyacht toy (height for stowage purposes is nine feet), the Foiler is a 32-foot, edgy-looking craft constructed of carbon fiber. She has the creature comforts you’d expect of a fun day tripper or toy. These include seating for eight (including one at the helm), a refrigerator to keep everyone refreshed, and a handy day head. There’s also room to stow luggage, dive or snorkel gear, or other take-alongs. In addition, you can choose from three different model designs, depending on whether you also want sunpads, settees with tables, and other features.
The primary purpose, though, of the Foiler is to provide you with a ride you won’t forget. The twin 300 HP engines, in combination with the four foils, allow a reported max speed of 40 knots. Takeoff speed is 17 knots, and when the Foiler is fully up on foils, she’s about five feet above the water. In addition, the boat should be able to stay up on foils comfortably, as mentioned above, even in some pretty high waves. Because Enata Marine asserts the ride is smooth, your friends and family won’t feel any adverse effects from those waves, either. Neither should the Foiler make other boaters out in the area feel adverse effects. Enata Marine says the craft generates three times less wake than a traditional powerboat of the same size when foiling at more than 18 knots.
The first Foiler hit the water earlier this year, spending the summer in the Med and taking customers out on test drives. Anchorages there can be a bit choppy, so Enata Marine felt it was a good proof of concept. Alois Vieujot, the company’s manager, says he encountered “fairly choppy” conditions between Cannes and St. Tropez, yet had a “much smoother and safer” experience than other boaters in the area. “The Foiler was overtaking every yacht there, even larger ones with much bigger engines, and it was flying above the waves rather than slamming into them like the others,” he says. “I was comfortably walking around the deck of the Foiler while passengers on other yachts had to hold on to the railing.”
What also makes the Foiler noteworthy is an eco-minded approach. For example, when foiling (and without the engines at full tilt), the boat reportedly consumes 20 to 50 percent less fuel. This results from the hull being up out of the water, and the foils having less resistance as they cut through the water. Then there’s the boat’s hybrid propulsion system. The 300-hp diesels drive two generators, providing electrical power. Two electric motors within torpedo-shaped housings drive the props. The Foiler can run entirely on electric mode for 10 minutes at 10 knots. That’s idea for when you’re maneuvering inside a marina, or gliding close to shore.
Even at higher speeds and under the twin diesel power, the boat can get you where you want to go. Enata Marine says the average range is 130 miles at 30 knots. Just think: If you buy a Foiler, you can start telling your friends you flew into port.
IYC is the exclusive global representative. Starting price: €990,000 (about $1.15 million at press time). For more, check out 5 Must-Have Amenities on Mega Yachts.