• Prototype testing within towing tank
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Design, build and test of a scale model self propelled hydrofoiling catamaran
Group Members
Marius Brouet, Felix Chermette, Joseph Newton, Nirmalya Sohan Roy, Come Tisserand De Boisset De Torsia
Dr. Joseph Banks
Appearing early in the 20th century, hydrofoiling is an awe inspiring technology that has recently been popularised by its use on sailing crafts. Sailor or not, people from all backgrounds are inspired by watching sports yachts silently fly above water.

Recent trends are seeing a move towards making this technology more accessible to nonprofessional sailors but remains an expensive and exclusive discipline to take part in. This is partly driven by the tools available to designers of such systems when investigating dynamic behaviours of foiling crafts: very expensive computational simulations or full-scale tests that are highly resource intensive.

This model scale platform aims to mimic the forces hydrofoiling crafts undergo, providing a unique design tool that could replace full-scale testing and numerical simulations in most investigations. It allows more regular testing sessions with a safer environment as no sailors are put at risk while helping keep trial costs down through its small size and re-usability.

The engineering challenge of the project was to build this innovative concept within a limited financial budget. To achieve this the prototype design was continuously assessed using the university’s wide range of facilities. These included manufacturing workshops, computer-aided simulation (including Computational Fluid Dynamics and Finite Element Analysis), towing tank and wind tunnel facilities as well as mechanical testing rigs.

The final design was proven successful through physical testing of the final prototype. The on-board control system allowed the platform to be manoeuvred and the data acquisition of results was possible. This showed that stable foil-born conditions were achieved.
Manufactured prototype