Radboat

High Speed Sailboat Development

High Speed Sailboats

The design and construction of high speed sailboats is sometimes strikingly unique. Here’s a list of some such exotic sailboat designs of past and present with some unique characteristics of each. The list is a work in progress. If you wish to contact the Radboat project with recommended additions to this list, please use the “Questions” link. Thank you for your interest.

Team PhilipsMy personal favorite and one of the most radical offshore racing boats ever built, she boasted twin freestanding masts with wishbone rigging and much longer unsupported (i.e. length of hull between bow and nearest cross bracing) wave piercing hulls than any catamaran before or since. Her crew unfortunately encountered a freak storm in the North Atlantic during sea trials, causing structural damage significant enough to necessitate a mayday call and evacuate the crew in the interest of safety. One of the crew, Paul Larsen, has gone on to become a serious outright speed record contender in “Sailrocket”.

l’hydraplaneurShe boasts twin streamlined masts and stepped planing hulls.

Techniques AvancéesShe boasts twin wingsails with asymmetric airfoil sections and canted hydrofoils, optimized for sailing on a starboard tack.

l’HydroptèreOne of the world’s fastest current record contenders, she uses advanced canted hydrofoils with damping mechanisms to enable offshore sailing on both tacks.


SailrocketLed by Paul Larsen and designed by Malcolm Barnsley, she employs the force aligned concept and boasts a uniquely shaped hull with fore and aft mounted planing surfaces for pitch stability.

SailienThe latest prototype speed craft designed by Bob Imhoff, she employs the force aligned concept and boasts a unique arrangement of bouyant hydrofoils for pitch, roll, and directional stability.

Objectif 100A unique design from the ’80s.

MonofoilOne of the most unique concepts to date, she is fully tackable and offshore capable.  Her designer, aeronautical engineer Jon Howes, based the design on a kite driven craft, replacing the kite and kite controls with rigid structures for efficiency and controllability at high speeds.

SeaflierShe boasts fore and aft surface piercing hydrofoils that connect the two hulls. Each hydrofoil, if viewed head on (i.e. front view), resembles one half of an ellipse. In this way, her hydrofoils avoid the interference drag penalties of other surface piercing hydrofoil designs.

Macquarie InnovationOne of the world’s fastest, she is a starboard tack design employing the use of a rigid wingsail and three planing pods for stability.

TrampofoilAnother force aligned concept, her propelling surfaces (i.e. wingsail and hydrofoil) are connected with a line instead of a rigid structure.

WindjetOne of the few kite powered craft, she has a unique hydrofoiling trimaran hull with aerodynamic control surfaces for stability when supported above the water by her hydrofoils.

Maltese FalconThe most advanced superyacht in existence, she posts top speeds in the mid 20s thanks to her one-of-a-kind “dynarig”, a highly advanced and much more efficient version of the traditional square rig.

WotrocketA unique craft employing all carbon fiber composite construction, a crew pod built with an emphasis on safety, a highly efficient wingsail, and fore and aft hydrofoils for speed and stability. Note: The Wotrocket site appears to be down as of May 20, 2012, so the link will take you to a photo gallery instead.


solarinoxA demonstrator for the beyond the sea® project led by Yves Parlier, of l’hydraplaneur fame, she is a kite powered craft with twin stepped planing hulls similar to those on l’hydraplaneur.


unnamed craft: If you click on the “Hydrofoil ideas” link on the left sidebar, it will take you to where the below picture is found. This prototype probably is/was a working implementation of what I call aeroballast and was developed by Hanno Smits and his brother in the mid ’90s, to my best understanding. My hat is off to you Hanno Smits.


SpeedDream: A monohull intended to sail at the speeds of multihulls in open ocean racing, it boasts an innovative canting keel mechanism allowing for a larger range of movement than other canting keel designs and a sliding hydrofoil mechanism to provide additional righting moment.