Foiling Awards. These are the best “flying” boats of 2024


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In fact, on April 18, Genoa will host the 7th edition of the “Foiling Awards,” which honors the best projects in the foiling world over the past 12 months. There are also the innovative, unique and extraordinary sailboats.

The “flying” sail, that of foils, the special appendages that allow boats to rise and sail above the water reaching incredible speeds is the fashion of the moment. And prizes are awarded in Genoa for the best projects. In fact, on April 18, the Ligurian city will host the 7th edition of the “Foiling Awards,” which are the awards for the best athletes, projects and products in the foiling world over the past 12 months.

There is also no shortage of best flying sailboats among the nominations. For the One Off category there are: For People Imoca Cdk, Baltic Raven 111 and Paprec Arkea Imoca. For the Production Boats category we have: Gerys 4.7 and Switch. And finally in the Project category are: Skaw and Ferrari 100ft Ocean Foiler. Here then in detail are all the models nominated for the award.


For People Imoca Cdk: Vendée Globe goal.

Among the flying boats, the new Imoca 60 “For People” aboard which Thomas Ruyant will participate in the upcoming Vendée Globe immediately attracted interest both because the French skipper is a favorite for the solo round-the-world race and because the project brings with it some interesting ideas. It is the result of a collaboration between naval architects Antoine Koch and Finot-Conq, engineering design company GSea Design, and Breton shipyard CDK Technologies.

And it launches water lines unprecedented compared to the rest of Imoca’s new designs: the bow and stern sections are very narrow and flared toward the edge with skinny volumes. A choice in favor of speed even in light winds, thus in the transitional phases between weather systems typical of the Vendée Globe and especially of foil sailing. Also by having a hull shape that is not flat, but rather shows an almost “U” shape, impacts on waves should be softer.

Baltic 111 Raven, the megayacht with America’s Cup foils

Baltic 111 Raven is a 34-meter-long, foil-equipped sailing superyacht. It is a high-performance yet comfortable boat designed for short high-speed cruises. The project was designed by Botin Partners and PURE Design, two names at the forefront of yacht building including America’s Cup yachts. Among its main features are two huge T-shaped laminar surfaces, mounted on two hydraulically operated side arms, which are able to support part of the boat’s displacement (55 tons). At the stern, Raven is equipped with “Interceptor flaps” capable of adjusting bow and stern trim at speed, as on powerboats. In addition, there is a movable water ballast, with two built-in tanks, which helps to increase the righting moment during navigation.

The hull and deck construction is pre-preg carbon fiber IM with a Kevlar honeycomb sandwich. Raven’s interior, designed by Jarkko Jämsén, is made of exposed carbon with a Nomex core to ensure low weight and ultra-modern styling. The glazed sides of the large cockpit stand out, forming a kind of inverted observation “dome” with Perspex windows that allows occupants to see the interior. The propulsion system of the Baltic 111 Raven is a diesel-electric hybrid to reduce emissions and achieve efficient weight distribution.

flying boats

Paprec Arkea Imoca: it drives like an offshore

The other Imoca 60 in contention for the Foiling Awards is “Paprec Arkéa” by sailor Yoann Richomme. Architects Antoine Koch and Finot-Conq signed this project while the construction site is Multiplast. Underlying the design are two important features. First, its very high pointed bow is free of water, designed to cleave the sea, unlike more recent designs that are more like scow. The deck, on the other hand, is very round to quickly evacuate water at the sides. Everything is clean and essential: the central slide brings all maneuvers forward, while two large footboards serve as solid supports for going to the front of the boat if necessary.

The other feature of the boat is the unique living quarters under the canopy, with an important forward view for navigation. Behind the side windows is the guard station with a view of the computers, foil settings, and outside. The idea is to have the skipper move very little to make any adjustments to the boat. Again, the target is the most prestigious international regattas, from Transat Jacques Vabre to Vendée Globe.

flying boats

Gerys 4.7, the drift-school with foils

A boat with foils can also be suitable for sailing schools. This is the belief of French brothers Raphaël and Erwan Censier, who have launched the Gerys 4.7 in their Gerys shipyard. Already on an aesthetic level, the 4.70-meter-long project boasts some distinctive features: the shapes are decidedly soft, almost not looking like those of a sailboat, but definitely resembling those of a dinghy. The soft volumes in the bow, wide hull, and spacious cockpit that can accommodate up to 3 crew also stand out.

And then of course there are the foils that are L-shaped but with a soft angle. Appendages in cool breeze conditions always remain submerged to ensure boat flight and do not need to be adjusted. If the wind is less than 8 knots, the boat can sail safely without a foil, since it is equipped with a classic daggerboard and its hull is also designed to go in displacement mode, and a Code Zero can also be rigged on the bowsprit if necessary.

flying boats

Switch: the anti-Moth has arrived

It is called Switch and is a new foiler one design thought up in Italy. 3.9 m long and 2.25 m wide (with the “wings”), it is ultralight due to its full-carbon construction and is capable of flying at 30 knots of speed on its inverted-T appendages and taking off as early as 5-6 knots of wind. Already some are calling it the anti-Moth. It was made on Lake Garda by brothers Gian Maria and Stefano Ferrighi, two young designers (born in 1996) in love with foiling who worked in Australia for major design firms before founding the composites specialist company, Garda Carbon Lab.

The goal of the Switch project was to get a boat that is easy to use on the water and in “flight,” convenient to handle (it fits in a box you can put on top of the car, the mast unfolds in three pieces, and the decks can be disassembled in minutes), inexpensive, and very narrow monotype. Flying on the Switch is simple: the “wand,” or bow stick, controls the automatic adjustment of the center inverted-T foil in flight. Three sail plans are provided for ease of use from the very young to the very experienced. From 6.5 (Youth), 7.5 (Women) and 8.4 sq m (Men), with One Design Quantum Membrane Sail sails.

flying boats

Skaw 38, the 11-meter cruiser with foil and XXL interior

A round bow boat with foil and pivoting keel designed for cruising and designed as an oceanic open. This is the vocation of the Skaw 38 designed by French design studio Berco Design of Nantes. An absolutely innovative boat: just think that it has a beam of almost 5 meters (a normal 38-foot cruising boat does not reach 4 meters). The cockpit, where the double wheelhouse is located, is asymmetrical, wide and protected by a hard-top, a solution borrowed from the world of catamarans, which opens at its rear. The transom opens up, transforming into a bathing platform, while a very large sunbathing area opens up forward of the boom.

The Skaw 38’s interior is designed to be like a single open space, with the boat’s full-beam deckhouse equipped with long windows that run from bow to stern and brightly illuminate the space. In the bow, one can opt for one or two cabins: the modularity of the interior makes possible configurations easier. As for self-adjusting C-foils, they are not intended to lift the boat completely out of the water, but rather to make it more stable, reduce the wetted area (drag) and provide a huge increase in righting moment. These positive spirals allow cruising speeds between 15-20 knots in full control and comfort.

Ferrari Foiler, Soldini’s new full foiling

The result of an investment by Ferrari of 20 million euros, the Ferrari Foiler is a 30.48-meter-long monohull that is full foiling, that is, capable of sailing completely lifted out of the water. The designer of Giovanni Soldini’s new super flying boat is Frenchman Guillame Verdier, who had already overseen the creation of the foils on Maserati’s Multi 70 trimaran and is currently part of the design team of AC75 Team New Zealand. But many Made in Italy companies and excellences are participating in the project, including Cariboni for all hydraulic and hydraulic handling (foil booms, etc.).

The goal of Giovanni’s boat, capable of sailing at 50 knots, is to break the record on the Jules Verne Trophy round-the-world voyage, which to date is that set by Francis Joyon’s trimaran IDEC Sport (40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds) at 26.90 knots average, with peaks between 38 and 44 knots. This will be a cutting-edge project in terms of technology and energy, and we will see systems on board that are not unique to the sailing world. Goal: minimization of consumption as well as energy autonomy, which is very difficult to achieve on large boats.



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