What are Hydrofoils for?
An outboard hydrofoil is a device attached to the outboard motor of a boat to enhance its performance. This hydrofoil system is designed to improve several aspects of the boat's operation, including stability, fuel efficiency, and overall handling.
How do they work?
Hydrofoils operate on a principle akin to an aircraft wing's lift generation through airflow. Instead of air, hydrofoils use water to lift the boat's hull out of the water, enabling it to achieve remarkable speeds, often hitting 40 to 50 knots.
They are commonly used on a range of boats, including small fishing boats, recreational boats, and other vessels with outboard motors. They are considered a cost-effective and relatively simple addition to improving the overall boating experience, especially for boats that may struggle with issues like bow rise or inefficient planning.
Keyfeatures and functions of a boat outboard hydrofoil
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Attachment to Outboard Motor
The outboard hydrofoil is typically mounted to the cavitation plate of an outboard motor. The cavitation plate is the horizontal fin located just above the propeller.
Similar to the hydrofoils on the hull of a boat, the outboard hydrofoil generates lift as the boat moves through the water. This lift raises the stern (rear) of the boat, reducing the bow (front) rise and creating a more level ride.
By lifting the stern and leveling the boat, the outboard hydrofoil enhances stability. This can be especially beneficial at lower speeds and during planning, reducing the tendency of the boat to porpoise (oscillate between bow and stern).
The lift generated by the hydrofoil helps to reduce drag, allowing the boat to plane more efficiently. This, in turn, can lead to improved fuel efficiency, as the boat requires less power to achieve and maintain planning speeds.
The outboard hydrofoil can contribute to better handling and maneuverability, making the boat more responsive to steering inputs.
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