The future of many boats is hydrofoil
Hydrofoil technology for boats is decades old, but for various reasons it has not been developed until now, and it is only recently that the enormous possibilities it offers for different types of boats and helping them to reduce their consumption are being seen and therefore its contamination.
Many of us were surprised when in the 2013 America’s Cup we saw a sailing boat “flying” above the water at speeds of more than 40 miles, using hydrofoil technology. That opened the eyes of many people.
Since then, the development of this technology applied to all types of boats has only increased. And most importantly, it is being seen that hydrofoil technology can be applied to relatively “large” boats that can be used not only for water sports, but also for the transport of people and goods.
And this can mean a revolution in a part of maritime transport.
With the current lighter and more flexible materials (new glass fibres, new material alloys, etc….) hydrofoils can be achieved that support many tons of weight, and therefore use them in medium-sized ships dedicated to the transport of goods.
With this technology, the boat’s resistance to water is reduced to levels close to 80%, and therefore the boat’s consumption is also reduced by that proportion; and consequently, the pollution generated by this type of new boat is also reduced, something that is highly appreciated at this time of the fight against environmental pollution.
I have seen that at the Swedish University of Chalmers they have worked and made computer programs to apply hydrofoil technology to “big” boats, with more than promising results.
According to the studies and scale tests carried out, this technology could be applied to ships with displacements below 3,000 tons. And there are many boats that fall within those characteristics.
Most of the passenger “ferries” could be considered for short and medium trips, and many for the transport of goods for short and medium distances. And they are many thousands of ships.
For those who are interested in knowing a little about hydrofoil technology, I attach an explanatory link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX-r0COL-xA
And here is a promotional video of a modern ship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-KcIiEEMyQ
I am convinced that every day we will see how hydrofoil technology is applied to boats larger than those purely sporting and pleasure boats. Because it promises significant cost savings with hardly any price increase, since the cost of the hydrofoil is largely offset by the lower motorization required.
And when the numbers of the “business” change, entrepreneurs begin to look at technology with other, much more interested eyes.