Marine

Sunreef's retractable hydrofoils lift its luxury catamarans to speeds of 80 mph

Sunreef's retractable hydrofoi...
Sunreef says its new hydrofoil system will allow for speeds up to 80 mph (70 kn/130 km/h)
Sunreef says its new hydrofoil system will allow for speeds up to 80 mph (70 kn/130 km/h)
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Sunreef's hydrofoil catamaran concept
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Sunreef's hydrofoil catamaran concept
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Sunreef plans to launch the hydrofoil system on a boat called the 40 H
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Sunreef plans to launch the hydrofoil system on a boat called the 40 H
Sunreef says its new hydrofoil system will allow for speeds up to 80 mph (70 kn/130 km/h)
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Sunreef says its new hydrofoil system will allow for speeds up to 80 mph (70 kn/130 km/h)

For just over a decade, Sunreef has been building super yacht catamarans, including last year's 80 Carbon Line and the One Fifty, which was billed as the world's biggest luxury catamaran when we covered it in 2008. While large and luxurious, its line of seagoing vessels isn't necessarily the pinnacle of speed. Sunreef is set on changing that, injecting a serious mph upgrade by pulling its dual hulls out of the water with a new retractable hydrofoil system.

Catamarans are typically faster than their monohull counterparts, but Sunreef's existing line is built more for luxury than speed. Apparently there's been a bit of a rumbling across its customer base for a dual-hull that uncages some of the catamaran's underlying performance potential.

For speed lovers, Sunreef presents its new retractable hydrofoil system, which it will launch on the 40-ft (12.2-m) open deck boat called the 40 H. Like any hydrofoil system, Sunreef's design lifts the boat's hulls up out of the water and drastically cuts drag, allowing the boat to reach much higher speeds. Sunreef says that the system will give boaters up to 80 mph (70 kn/130 km/h) to work with. When conditions are unfavorable, the captain can retract the hydrofoils and lower the hulls back into the water.

Sunreef plans to launch the hydrofoil system on a boat called the 40 H
Sunreef plans to launch the hydrofoil system on a boat called the 40 H

There are other catamaran hydrofoils out there, including those with retractable systems like the one on the Kormaran we covered recently. Those existing vessels even include some large, luxurious catamaran yachts, like the Stealth Hysucat (Hydrofoil Supported Catamaran) line of yachts. Sunreef's system offers claimed top speeds nearly double the Kormaran, however, and well faster than the 55 mph (48 kn/89 km/h) of the 55-foot Stealth 540. Sunreef also notes that its open, airy layout separates it from other catamaran hydrofoils.

Spacious, open-air deck, stable catamaran cruising and the potential for exhilarating speed – what's not to like?

Sunreef has been making the boat show rounds and presented the 40 H concept at last month's Cannes boat show. The shipyard is still developing the boat and, according to Boat International, plans to show it at next year's Cannes show.

Sources: Sunreef, Boat International

9 comments
Paul Robertson
The cover photo looks like two people being eaten by a steampunk piano.
Rehab
How do they deal with prop pitch?
Slowburn
0K redundancy is good but why four outboards instead of 2 inboards.
Mel Tisdale
At 80 mph you could make a real mess of the gin and tonics, not to mention what it would do to the buffet table, if you caught a wave wrong, even a small one.
dugnology
What about cavitation or ventilation during turning? The foils look a little on the short side, if there are any swells the upsets are nasty.
Dave Andrews
Yeah, I'm gettin' old. In the small pic I thought it was a floating baby grand.
ivan4
So, at the moment, this is only an idea stored in a designers computer. When they get an actual working prototype in the water then it will be interesting to see if it lives up to this hype. As others have said there appears to be several faults in the design if it is to be as the pictures depict.
Don Duncan
In the 70s I had a 18' flat bottom at Lake Tahoe that could do 90+. I seldom opened up my 700 horse 'olds 440 with 200 lb. hull. Conditions had to be perfect, i.e., no breeze, no traffic, lake flat as ice. Hitting a wake at speed could flip it. Speed is extremely exhilarating but dangerous.
Bob
I have always been intrigued by hydrofoils but they would never be practical where I boat. The river has too many floating logs and trees along with shallow mud flats. The ocean area has too much sea weed and the sand bars are constantly shifting near the channels. Out in the blue water it is usually pretty rough. I would also imagine that the foils would have to be kept meticulously clean even in areas where they could be used.