On January 2017, for the first time, a monohull destined the sail on oceans took flight.
This was not made possible by speed or by riding a wave, but thanks to a new way to navigate: stabilised flight.
In our little corner of Brittany, we are very focused on flight, as it is the future of the nautical world. It’s spectacular, and when well harnessed, allows much greater speeds than the wind. To allow this, we focus our research on vertical support of our foils and the hull, without breaking contact with the water.
The event was too great to keep to ourselves, and SEAir immediately posted and shared a screencap from a technical video. An announcement that hit social networks full storm, garnering reactions from the industry, and the news has already spread across Europe and crossed the Atlantic.
But everyone has been asking us for the video. Patience! We are focused on R&D right now and the film on #LesAventuresDuMini will have to wait. But, to satisfy your curiosity, we will share some low-quality technical videos shortly.
First, a quick look back on our three navigations… The first allowed us to validate various technical points. The second took place in conditions that barely allowed flight, with no possibility to push the boat further. Even so, the boat perfectly completed our main goal which was a fast rise above the water to launch the ‘overdrive’ and break contact between hull and water. While this did not allow us to tweak settings, it helped us settle future measurement campaigns. And finally, on our third sea trip, we reached speeds of over 20 knots on several occasions.
We are still working on all the data we collected, but the speeds of the boat compared to the speed of the wind depending on the conditions, seemed to vary by a factor of two depending on the boat being in “skimming” mode (where the bottom of the hull is levelled with the water) and complete flight (when only the foils are in the water). Factor that is comparable with other foilers that reach complete flight. While playing with numbers and comparing results may be fun, we are entirely focused on designing the most efficient and stable system possible, allowing us to transpose on many other supports. To be continued…