A foiling future?

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400

For some boats, I do think foiling could well be the future, especially for electric power. But foiling is not a dream; there are foiling solutions coming to the market right now, and for ordinary family boats too!

Last week I traveled to Moon River Marine near Mactier, Ontario to meet with Jason Minor, inventor of the Hydrofin system. These are foils that can be added to ordinary pontoon boats for a big boost in performance and economy. 

We met with Chris Holmes from J-Craft ski boats and Chris brought a new pontoon boat equipped with a 115 HP Yamaha Vmax. Jason and his right-hand man Kyler Patton had worked with Chris and the guys at his company to install a set of Hydrofin foils on the new two-tube pontoon.

Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest readers are probably pretty familiar with the way a two-tube pontoon runs. Generally, these are not fast, lean out on the turns and push a lot of water around as they go.

With the Hydrofin foils freshly installed, you could feel the boat lift and pick up speed as we passed the 20-MPH mark. Later, after a few adjustments were made, Chris saw 38 mph on the GPS. That’s a remarkable speed for a big two-tube pontoon with just 115 HP. There was very little side-spray and with the Hydrofin foils, the boat banked into turns more like the way a  vee-bottom does.

The Hydrofin foils are reasonably priced too – around $4,000 USD installed. I plan to write this very interesting experience up for a future issue of Canadian Yachting magazine. I could certainly see many two-tube pontoons benefitting from this remarkable new technology!

I recall some years ago, looking at the America’s Cup boats with their huge, ungainly foils and thinking, how will this ever benefit ordinary family boating? Well, now I know.

Andy Adams – Editor

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