Most of us will never have the thrill of flying at 30 knots along the water in the San Francisco Bay on an AC72 in our lifetime, but the Flying Phantom’s developers say the sensation of foiling on their 18-foot catamaran offers a taste of what sailing an America’s Cup boat is like.
While this writer has not yet tested the boat, I have seen it blasting along at more than 20 knots past the rocky coastline of Saint Lunaire, France, and the published specs are indeed impressive. You can supposedly start foiling with the gennaker in seven knots of wind and reach the 30-knot mark in a downwind breeze of 15-20 knots. Foiling upwind is not a problem, either, in a true windspeed of 10 or more knots. The fast-yet-stable design will allow a weekend sailor a steady foiling experience at a maximum speed of 35 knots, the designers says.