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(Last Update: 11 Dec 09)

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Photogenic Hydrofoils For Ad Campaign

[3 Feb 02] I have been doing some preliminary research to find a working hydrofoil for an advertising photo shoot. I was wondering if you could possibly help me locate a working hydrofoil on the US west coast. It could either be a larger passenger craft, or a small, modern looking individual craft. From what I can tell from your site, the largest variety of boats in service would be in Italy? In fact, my search is not confined to the USA. Even though I would prefer finding something suitable here, we would also consider Italy or Australia. I am a bit worried about doing anything in Russia, even though their boats are among the most photogenic. Maybe there is anyone with a Russian boat outside of Russia? — Volker anon

Responses…[3 Feb 02] Surface piercing foils seem to be what you have in mind; they do tend to highlight the fact that it is a hydrofoil for the view angle you have in mind for your layout. MANU WAI is still a snappy looking hydrofoil (with its mods) despite its age. Sydney Australia is also a nice backdrop for a photo shoot. Another suggestion is to consider Les Dauphins du St-Laurent based in Montreal, Canada. They have a very smart and clean looking white Voskhod named POLNIA III and four others. You can view a photo in the November 2001 issue of Classic Fast Ferries (free to download from which features this operator on page 19. Of course, a more extensive article on MANU WAI with several photos is provided in the latest issue of CFF, December 2001. — Martin Grimm (

[3 Feb 02] Here are few quick ideas. If anything I suggest “strikes a chord” with you, then I can provide further info

  1. As your ad is for an automobile, I am assuming that you want a motor-powered hydrofoil, therefore I am not mentioning sail-powered or human powered hydrofoils.
  2. I don’t know of anyone operating a hydrofoil ferry on the west coast of the USA today. There were some Boeing Jetfoils operated in Seattle, but no longer… too bad, as that particular vessel can yield some spectacular photos.
  3. More recently there were a couple of Jetfoils operating in Florida, Seajets, Inc., but they appear to have ceased operations. There are Jetfoils operating in Japan and other overseas locations. You can locate Jetfoil routes by searching for Jetfoil on the internet.
  4. There is a company that operates hydrofoils on Lake Ontario. See These are modern hydrofoils, but are the Russian surface-piercing design.
  5. Overseas there are Russian hydrofoils operating in Greece and other areas. There are some links to operators on our site at //
  6. There are are few earlier hydrofoils around. For example, some of Helmut Kock’s hydrofoils are still operating on Lake Titicaca in Peru.
  7. Scaling down in size, you might want to look at Steve Gresham’s unique and sleek personal hydrofoil Manta (it’s for sale). See his posting, photos, and film clip on our site at //

That is all that occurs to me at the moment. — Barney C. Black (Please use the BBS to reply)

[10 Mar 02] Just some comments:

First you have to decide what type of hydrofoil that you want: Boeing, voskods, little or large, etc. Then you have to find the type. For example in Greece there are several, but much older types. In Helsinki, there are two OLYMPIAS, the Laura and Jaanika which will start running in May. If you are interested, I will talk to the Owners about photographing them. — Tom Schneider, The InterMar Group (

Whereabouts of DISCO VOLANTE Today

[26 Jun 01] I’ve always wanted to know what became of the Thunderball hydrofoil DISCO VOLANTE. I read that a model of the boat was blown up high into the sky in the Bahamas. But who ended up purchasing the real hydrofoil, and does it exist today perhaps on display somewhere? (

Response…[2 Dec 02] Did you ever find out the vessel’s current status? I’ve been curious about that boat for years. — Chris G (

Volga Engine Info Needed Fast

[8 Dec 00] We have just acquired a Volga 28-foot hydrofoil and urgently need technical information on the engine. I believe it is a Yak engine and the number is GAZ-53,90 the. Have you any information or can you suggest anywhere where I might find it. This is a very urgent request as the boat is being used in a major motion picture we a currently shooting here in Casablanca. Please please let me have anything you can as soon as possible. Jonathan Frost (, fax no +212 22 30 15 45 mobile +44 7831 643 172.

Yellow Pages ENDEAVOUR Photo Needed

[19 Sep 00] I am an assistant editor at Blackbirch Press, Inc., a children’s book publisher in Woodbridge, CT. We are currently working on a book about boats and are looking for a color photo of the Yellow Pages Endeavor. Would you know of where I can get such an image? Please get back to me as soon as possible. — Emily Kucharczyk (

Response…[9 Oct 00] There was an article on the Yellow Pages ENDEAVOUR (note spelling with a “u”) in the Australian magazine titled “1994 Boat Directory” Volume 15. This is published by ACE Magazines Pty Ltd, a division of Associated Communication Enterprises Pty Ltd (incorporated in Victoria), 272 Rosslyn Street, West Melbourne 3003 VIC AUSTRALIA. Phone -61 3 3290277, Fax: -61 3 3281511. Publisher was Mark Day and Managing Editor was Geoff Hawthorne. The article has several colour photos of this stunning record breaking sail craft and its crew. I believe it still holds the world water speed record for sail powered craft. I also recall there was a photograph of it in the Guinness Book of Records. Perhaps either of those publishers would be prepared to assist. The designer was Lindsay Cunningham and I imagine he would be living in the Melbourne area as that is the city near where the craft made its speed record runs. — Martin Grimm (

[4 Jan 01] Here is the description from the 2000 edition of Guinness: “On 26 October 1993 the trifoiler* Yellow Pages ENDEAVOUR reached a speed of 46.52 knots (86.21 km/h or 53.57 mph) while on a timed run of 500m (547 yards) at Sandy Point near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. This is the highest speed ever reached by any craft under sail on water. The craft has a 12m high sail and three short planing hulls. It was designed by Lindsay Cunningham and piloted by Simon McKeon and Tim Daddo, both from Australia.” * One comment on that description: The word “trifoiler” suggests that the craft was somehow foil supported. Although I have heard that the team had explored the possibility of using hydrofoils to achieve higher speeds, this apparently never eventuated due to the difficulty in achieving steady foil lift for such an application as the foils would have transitioned between fully wetted and supercavitating operating conditions. I am keen to try to follow up on what became of the craft and plans for the hydrofoil option. Prior to the Yellow Pages ENDEAVOUR gaining the sailing speed record, it was held by a wind surfer. Thierry Bielak of France rode his windsurfer to a speed of 45.34 knots (84.02 km/h or 51.21 mph) at Camargue, France. — Martin Grimm (

[3 Feb 01] A few years ago I saw a photo in a windsurfing shop purporting to show the setting of a windsurfing record of 54+ mph. I can’t recall where the shop was. There is a sailor named Mike Delahanty who runs Gorge Sails (in Washington state, near Hood River) who was the speed champion about that time. Perhaps he could tell you the current situation. — Rich Miller (

TV Project Solicits Proposals

[27 Jun 00] I am currently planning a television series on sailing in general, especially on performance sailboats or extreme projects, such as navigating in arctic or tropic waters or racing. The report will be a feature like documentation and is planned to start preferably from the very beginning. Any of your serious proposals are highly welcome, The project is planned to start in very near future. Strict confidence, if required, is guaranteed. About us: We are an independent full service TV film and editing team, supplying German and European TV and electronic media. As a journalist, I specialized on multihull sailing (and will of course vote for the multihulled project …) — Claus-C. Plaass – Wulle 7 – 24159 Kiel – West Germany (, ph+fax +49-431-36 800

Encyclopedia Publisher Needs Early Photos

[27 Jun 00] I am collecting illustrations for the Marshall Editions – C20 Science & Technology Encyclopaedia which is to be published early in 2001, and I would be most grateful for your help. We would particularly like to include photographs of Enrico Forlanini’s 1909 first catamaran and his hydrofoil ship and also Alexander Bell’s 1918 hydrofoil boat that created a new water-speed record. Please could you advise me how to obtain the material. I’m afraid I’m not very Internet proficient and ideally I would like to receive the material by post. If that is possible please could you send the photographs to my colleague, Jane Moore at 188 Tufnell Park Road London N7 0EE and advise me by return e-mail? The material will be returned promptly after publication and credited in the book. — Dee Robinson (

Response…[27 Jun 00]

1. As to Enrico Forlanini, photos of his craft have appeared in books and magazine articles, so I know that they exist. I will ask around within the society and will post your request on our website to see if I can find a good hard copy somewhere. Hopefully visitors to this site will suggest sources of the photos you require.

2. As for Bells HD-4 hydrofoil, there is an immense quantity of historical photos posted on the Internet by the Alexander Graham Bell Institute. The postal mailing address is c/o University College of Cape Breton; PO Box 5300, Sydney, NS, B1P-6L2 ; Phone: 902-563-1378 — FAX: 902-562-0119. They sell a CD-ROM containing the entire collection. Note that your printer may very likely be able to download the images you select from; however, you should certainly contact the museum for permission to use the photos. Quoting from their website, “The Alexander Graham Bell Institute (The Bell Institute) of the University College of Cape Breton was incorporated on September 13, 1977. It is directed by a Board of Trustees representing the Bell family, University College of Cape Breton and members of the community. Over the years, the Bell institute has achieved several notable milestones including consolidating photographs, personal notes, and technical work of Alexander Graham Bell, completing a comprehensive index of these holdings, and conducting scholarly study of these materials. The Bell Institute is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell and his work. Continued study of Dr. Bell’s work (“Mining for nuggets”) and development of new applied research projects are motivated by a desire to continue his high standard of principle, his practical spirit and his social conscience. The Alexander Graham Bell family collection brings together a wide range of documents accumulated by Dr. Bell and his family during their time in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. The Alexander Graham Bell institute has developed a comprehensive index of these materials. This index, with on-line access to several components of the Bell collection, can be accessed using the World Wide Web.”

3. There is a virtual reality movie on the Internet. This is like standing in front of the restored HD-4 hydrofoil, and you are able to turn around to look behind you, up, down, left, right, etc. — Barney C. Black (Please use the BBS to reply)


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