A new British designed and built trimaran – the Foiling 101 – heralds another leap towards foiling boats reaching the mainstream.

Few sailors can fail to be awestruck by the foiling multihulls of the America’s Cup that achieve speeds of up to 50 knots. Equally few might expect such technology to filter down to the mass market of dinghy sailing, yet that could change very quickly.

The concept of the Foiling 101 originates from Alan Hillman’s experience of teaching many people to foil in the International Moth class (see Boats we love: International Moth), and addressing the main barriers they faced. Together with business partner Jerry Hill he set about creating a new boat without the design restrictions of a box rule, so that foiling could be made easy.

Foiling F101 downwind

A reassuringly stable platform while two sail foiling downwind.

The pair’s ethos was to create a foiling boat that anyone weighing 70-120kg can sail. The result is a trimaran with foils on the central hull that’s designed to take off in wind speeds of only eight knots, and can achieve sailing speeds of 10-25 knots. To initiate foiling all you do is heel the boat onto the windward float, sheet in and go. The windward heel creates a stable platform and the correct initial heel angle to enable the boat to accelerate to foiling speeds.

The central hull is relatively long to maximise separation between the rudder and daggerboard. This solves the control problems, notably excess pitching, from which other foiling boats tend to suffer. In addition to the 8.5 square metre mainsail, a 7 square metre gennaker will help keep the adrenaline flowing when sailing downwind.

Foiling 101 trimaran

To start foiling you simply heel the boat onto the windward hull, then sheet in and go.

As well as being easy to sail, the F101 is designed to be easy to rig, launch and recover. Full carbon construction keeps the total weight down to an impressive 80kg.
Find out more at foiling101.com.

See more foiling boats in our feature 10 fantastic foiling boats.

Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.