We looked at 2014's coolest land toys
earlier this month; now we leave the shore in our wake and head out to sea. The year in water toys kicked off in a big way at Boot Düsseldorf 2014
in January and it ran strong the year through. In fact, we'd say the past year saw reveals and market launches of some of the coolest water toys in recent history ... everything from transforming boats, to seven-figure personal submarines to underwater jet packs.
Unlike the U-boat Worx HP Sport Sub 2
that’s designed to outperform octopi under the water, the Quadrofoil has been developed to provide hydrofoil performance above it. When Gizmag first reported on the Quadrofoil
back in 2012, the Slovenian craft was still in its prototype stages, but now it’s ready for production and available for global pre-order.
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.
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.
The Kormoran from the Austrian company of the same name can speed on (and above) the water as a catamaran, trimaran, monohull and hydrofoil, making it one of the most versatile vessels to ever hit the high seas. A pair of hydraulically actuated hulls allows it to transform before your eyes, even while in motion.
“It’s like removing the handbrake – suddenly everything gets smoother and faster in pure silence.” This gravity-defying US$40k catamaran rises completely out of the water at speed on a pair of hook-shaped hydrofoils. It looks like the work of David Copperfield, but it’s real, and it’s set to start a revolution in the sailing world.
NEWS FLASH - The outright world speed sailing record was smashed this afternoon (November 24) by Paul Larsen in the Vestas Sailrocket 2 with the astonishing time of 65.45 knots. It's the third time in eight days that Larsen has piloted the Vestas Sailrocket to a new outright world record, raising the bar from 55.65 knots to 65.45 knots. It has been a spectacular week for sailing in general, with more than a dozen world speed sailing records broken at two different venues in Namibia. The outright speed sailing records for both 500 meters (initially 59.23 then 59.38 and now 65.45 kts) and one nautical mile (55.32 kts) were set in Walvis Bay by Australian Paul Larsen and the British-designed, inclined-rig hydrofoil Vestas SailRocket 2. Simultaneously, 600 km away, the annual Luderitz Speed Challenge has seen nine world outright speed records for sailboards established in just a week, including surpassing 50 knots (92.6 km/h) and 60 mph (52.14 kts) on a sailboard. The breaking of world records is almost certain to continue over the coming weeks, with Larsen now seemingly capable of pushing the outright record within reach of the 70 knot barrier and the now legendary Luderitz Speed Challenge continuing until December 16, with kiteboarders joining the event on December 3.
We're not quite sure why the sudden interest in hydrofoil innovation in Slovenia, but last week's Internautica
event saw the release of two different and quite radical recreational hydrofoil craft. The first was the Quadrofoil electric hydrofoil sportscar for the water
, and the second is the wFoil 18 Albatross, a cross between a WWI seaplane and a modern hydrofoil which is capable of 50 knots.
The Quadrofoil is new form of watersport recreation - a two-person electric hydrofoil which offers a thrilling and dynamic 40 km/h (25 mph/22 knot) ride along with completely silent running. Due to the remarkable efficiency of hydrofoils, it achieves all this with just one 3.7 kW electric motor, and thanks to its lightweight (150 kg/330 lb) carbon fiber and Kevlar body and in-built 4.5 kWh lithium batteries, it has a range of 100km (62 miles).