Hydrofoil. Now that’s a unique name, but we’ll get to that later. First, let me tell you how people use this type of boat to “trot the globe."
A hydrofoil is a watercraft that skims the top of the water with only two wing-like things touching the water. The wing-like things are actually called foils. Each foil has its own engine and propeller. The foils work like wings on an airplane and create lift, which pushes the boat up out of the water when traveling at high speeds. When the craft is traveling like this on its foils, people call it being foilborne. When the boat is at lower speeds, the foils do not create lift so the hydrofoil acts like a regular boat and the bottom of the boat goes into the water. This is called being hullborne.
hydrofoil is foilborne, it is able to move smoothly through water at without being affected by waves.
This is a big advantage in stormy seas and rough waters. Depending
on how big the waves are, hydrofoils can choose from two different
modes. For smaller waves
(smaller than the height of the boat), the mode is called platforming.
When platforming, the hydrofoil goes straight through the water
and the waves never touch it. The
second mode is called contouring. Contouring
is when the waves are so big that the foils have to follow the
shape of the waves. In this
way, the boat goes up and down like a car traveling on a hilly road.
People began experimenting with hydrofoil type of boats in the late 1800’s. The first full-sized self-powered hydrofoil was built about 100 years ago in 1906 to be exact. The first hydrofoil built to carry passengers was made in 1936. During World War II hydrofoils became very useful to the military because they could keep going in rough storms if they needed to.
hydrofoil may be a unique name for a boat (I personally think it sounds
like a type of tinfoil), you can see that they are quite useful!
World Book Online Reference
World Book, Inc. 9 Feb. 2005.
“Hydrofoil Basic Features.“ International Hydrofoil Society. 22 February 2005 <http://www.foils.org/basfeas.htm>.
The photograph of the hydrofoil is licensed under the Creative Commons ShareAlike 1.0 License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/sa/1.0/. Photograph from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page>.
Copyrighted clip art images of waves and hydrofoil from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?lc=en-us&cag=1> (October-March, 2004-2005).