Hydrofoils allow for boats to reach greater speeds by lifting the hulls of the boat out of the water. This reduces the drag due to the hulls pushing through the water. Implementing this technology on energy ships, sailboats or kiteboats that generate renewable energy using wind power, can increase the efficiency of such energy generating systems.
A hydrofoil design was developed and manufactured for a Hobie 17 sailboat to allow for preliminary testing of the energy ship concept. A V-shape hydrofoil design was used to provide hands-free foiling of the sailboat. The advantages and disadvantages of this configuration are explored. An attachment mechanism is also described that allows for the user to preset the angle of attack of the dihedral hydrofoils, and an analysis of the adjustment angle’s impact on the hydrofoils′ angle of attack is quantified. Since the V-shape hydrofoil design pierces the water’s surface, ventilation becomes an issue due to air being sucked down the low-pressure lifting surface of the hydrofoils. To reduce ventilation, fences were added along the top surface of the hydrofoils. The hydrofoil design was tested and proven to be a feasible configuration for wind powered boats.