International Hydrofoil Society Photo Gallery

Doug Helper’s Hydrofoil built from the May 1960 issue of Popular Science, written by Herbert R. Pfister

06-26-12 – 8:30 PM

Sirs: This took me almost a year to build, as I could work on it only a few minutes each day (job, 4 kids, etc.) I went by a plan I got from your website, from the May 1960 issue of Popular Science, written by Herbert R. Pfister. I modified it a bit by using a steering wheel, rather than foot pedal steering. I named it “51” for a couple of ironic reasons… first, when I started it, the plan was 51 years old. Second, The plan was published the month and year I was born- May 1960, 51 years ago at the time. Third, the hull number of my first ship in the US Navy was AO-51 (USS Ashtabula). I tested it here in Kwajalein Lagoon. As you can see from the pictures, it worked perfectly… what a fast ride! It uses an old 15 HP Johnson 2-cycle outbard engine. I created all parts myself, including the throddle.

Thanks, and take care.

Doug Hepler
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands




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