Where To Buy/Sell/Convert a Hydrofoil Yacht (New or Used)

International Hydrofoil Society Correspondence Archives…

Where To Buy/Sell/Convert a Hydrofoil Yacht (New or Used)
Descriptions, Advice, Sources of Information, Joint Proposals, and Requests For Help(See also links to manufacturers, designers, and brokers on the IHS Links Page)
(Last Update: 20 Apr 02)

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A Hydrofoil for 10-15 Persons

[9 Sep 01] The following email was received in response to John Turnbull’s posting of 02 Jun 01: I’m glad to inform you about the Russian DOLPHIN High-Speed Sea-Going Hydrofoil Boat. The DOLPHIN boat can be delivered as crew, pilot and passenger boat. Navigation area – coastal areas at a distance of up to 3 miles from shore and up to 20 miles from shelter bases in day time. The boat’s hull is welded. Hull material is corrosion-resistant aluminum-magnesium alloy. The foil system consists of two carrying foils (bow foil and stern foil) and a stabilizer installed behind the bow foil. The foil system is made of stainless steel. The main engine is Volvo Penta AD41/DP stern drive diesel engine. If it is interesting for you, please, inform me. — Leonid POMERANETS, Marketing Manager, JSC High-Speed Ships (pik@peterlink.ru)


  • Length overall, m 10,0
  • Beam overall, m 2,5
  • Midships depth, m 1,1
  • Freeboard at full displacement, m 0,75
  • Height overall with foils and mast, m 2,9
  • Overall hullborne draught, m 1,1
  • Foilborne draught, m 0,5
  • Light displacement, t 2,2
  • Full displacement, t 3,1
  • Maximum power of engine, kW (hp) 147 (200)
  • Speed, knots 35
  • Seaworthiness sea state 3
  • Passenger capacity, persons 8
  • Crew, persons 1
  • Range, miles 200

Hydrofoil Conversion; Need Vessel Recommendation

[2 Jun 01] I have searched as many sites as I can find, but have not really found what I am looking for… a hydrofoil for 10-15 persons I would guess. My desire is approximately 30 feet long by 9 or 10 feet wide. My only purpose is to use it as a pleasure craft like that of a Cabin Cruiser boat. I would like to buy one like this, but am more than willing to convert one to suit my desire. The nearest match to what I have been looking for is the AQUAVIT, but it does look smaller than I want. Do you know where I should start looking to find a craft with the dimensions and/or purpose that I seek? — John Turnbull (John.Turnbull@abbott.com) phone: 847-937-1320 work; 847-828-0096 home

Responses…[2 Jun 01] There are various resources on our website that may be of help to you:

As far as a source of different types of hydrofoils that have been designed and manufactured over the years, the best reference is old editions of Jane’s Surface Skimmers dating back at least to 1968 and updated every two years at first, then every year. You may find copies in libraries, and occasionally old copies go up for sale at http://www.eBay.com. You should feel free to contact any of the people by email who have posted messages on the IHS site and whose comments are of interest to you. In that event, please include webmaster@foils.org as a “copy to” addressee, and inform me of any bad email addresses that you may encounter so I can endeavor to update them (as time passes, people tend to change email addresses). Please keep us informed as to your progress; if you do a restoration, we would like to have photos and lessons learned for our newsletter and website. It is quite possible that the membership could be of help to you with specific technical questions that may arise while converting your craft. — Barney C. Black (Please use the BBS to reply)

[17 Sep 02] I am wanting to use it on Lake Michigan. I am located at the Wisconsin/Illinois border on Lake Michigan. Wave heights are commonly 2-3 feet. I am hearing that most foils do not stay foilborne in this water condition. — John Turnbull (John.Turnbull@abbott.com)

New Website Dedicated to Bernard Smith

[1 Jun 00] I have a website you may be interested in viewing, Mr. Smith’s Amazing Sailboats. It concerns the hydrofoil sailboat designs of the American scientist Bernard Smith who wrote the book “The 40-knot Sailboat” in the early 1960s detailing his ideas. Bernard Smith developed several different hydrofoil sailboat concepts over 40-plus years of experimenting. He worked with small unmanned designs as well as full-sized machines. Part of my site also features a variety of sailing hydrofoil designs made by various inventors around the world. — Paul Dunlop (dunlopp@admin.chchpoly.ac.nz)

Response…[1 Jun 00] This is a great site, and a great honor to Barney Smith. I knew Barney when he started this work, and observed his first foil/hull model test in the Free Surface Water Tunnel at Caltech. — Tom Lang (tglang@adelphia.net)

[2 Jun 00] You know, Bernard Smith is responsible for getting me started in this sailing hydrofoil activity with his book The 40 Knot Sailboat. Some of my students and I working in the AYRS context took off from there in the early 1970s and haven’t stopped yet. We’re still trying to develop a practical ocean-roving sail-powered hydrofoil. We won’t stop until/unless somebody else beats us to it. Could happen! — Sam Bradfield, Hydrosail, Inc. (HYDROSAIL@aol.com)

Remembering Dave Keiper and WILLIWAW

[29 Mar 00] I was lucky enough in life to have sailed with Dave Keiper in the summer of 1971 on the most incredible boat I have ever sailed on. We were anchored in the middle of Hanalei Bay on the island of Kauai when Dave came in and dropped anchor. We had seen WILLIWAW flying around Waikiki a month or so before and were surprised to see her here. I had sailed over with a man named Gordy Gladson on his tri, and as all trimaran sailors in those days knew each other, we swam over to have a visit . Of course Dave (most gracious) had to show off the boat. We put out to sea in about a 15 knot trade wind on a beam reach. The boat started heeling like a monohull, and then the foils got a bite and the boat came up out of the water and accelerated like a car… what a rush!!! The boat was so fast and stable Dave could walk away from the tiller and she would run like she was on rails. This was truly one of the most memorable days of my sailing life of 35 years. I’m sorry to learn that Dave has joined my friend Gory where ever sailors go when they leave us. Someday I hope to sail with them again. I may have some super eight film of WILLIWAW that was shot that day if you are interested. The footage is probably not very good; I haven’t seen it in years. — Jim Wrenn (wrennj@webcombo.net)

Wanted: Designer and Plans

[26 Dec 98] I am interested in locating a marine engineer who could design an ocean-going sailing hydrofoil that would include an enclosed cockpit like a MacGregor 65. I am an aerospace engineer with some experience in aircraft design, but not enough experience in hydrofoil design to consider myself competent to design one from scratch. I have about 500 hours on the water, sailing 20- thru 55-foot boats. I would like to see any plans that might be out there. — Larry Manofsky [MPMHFP123@worldnet.att.net]

Know a Good Yacht Broker?

[18 Feb 98] I am interested in possibly purchasing a hydrofoil boat about 30-40 feet in length. Do you know any hydrofoil brokers? I find them very hard to locate now, and I was wondering if you could help me. — Matt Rak (mrak2@ignatius.wju.edu)

Response…[18 Feb 98] I don’t know of anyone offering a personal hydrofoil for sale to the public. There have been several jet ski prototypes built and there are a number of one-of-a-kind craft in the 20 to 60 foot range. In general, the cost of the control system and the unconventional propulsor make a fully submerged hydrofoil somewhat cost prohibitive for personal use. In the 80 foot range, we see a 50% higher cost delta when the fully submerged foil craft is compared with a planing hull. — Mark Rice (mrice@mapcorp.com) Maritime Applied Physics Corp.

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