Retractable hydrofoils have been quite in vogue throughout this year's boat show season. Major shows like Cannes and Monaco have hosted several retractable hydrofoils, including the shape-shifting Kormaran and the Sunreef 40 H. Now, Swiss hydrofoil outfit Hydros has demonstrated its HY-X, the prototype of an eventual 41-foot (12.5-m) yacht that will be able to motor across the water or fly above it.
It would seem that the race is on to get the first 40-foot retractable luxury hydrofoil on the water, as Hydros' planned boat is a mere foot longer than the design previewed by Sunreef. So far, Hydos is winning, having wowed the boat show crowds with the working HY-X prototype, rather than just a rendering.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
The design uses a retractable hydrofoil system developed in cooperation with French firm JMKoncept. The two side foils can be deployed into the water at the push of a button, lifting the boat about a meter (3.3 ft) above the surface for reduced drag, higher speeds and improved efficiency.
Hydros showed the 1/2-scale carbon fiber HY-X prototype at the Cannes and Monaco yacht shows last month. The 20.5-ft (6.25-ft) prototype has a pair of 35-hp engines extended down low enough to accommodate the hydrofoils. The open boat can hit speeds up to 30 knots (34.4 mph, 55.5 km/h), according to Hydros' spec sheet, and offers a 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption by way of its hydrofoils and downsized engines.
JMKoncept lists speed projections for the HY41 yacht at 35 kn (40 mph, 65 km/h) in regular boat mode and 45 kn (52 mph, 83 km/h) in hydrofoil mode, adding that the hydrofoils will also improve maneuverability and help in choppy water. Boat mode, on the other hand, will be ideal for lower speeds and driving to and from the marina.
We'll be watching for more information about the production HY41 at upcoming boat and yacht shows. In the meantime, check out the HY-X prototype in the video below.