Foil technology for fishing catamarans
Martinez is completing Deux Frères VI with a high-lift foil. Image: Martinez

Foil technology for fishing catamarans

The Martinez Shipyard at Saint Cyprien in the south of France is about to complete a series of four multi-purpose catamaran fishing vessels.

The series of 18 metre boats is concluded with the delivery of Deux Frères VI, fitted with an innovative underwater foil mounted between the two hulls. The wing foil provides vertical lift that raises the boat higher in the water at speed, reducing drag and fuel consumption, as well as providing a damping effect.

The foil generates lift and improves performance. Image: Martinez

This improves the boat’s handling in heavy seas as vessel movement is minimised and motion in a seaway becomes smoother.

Naval architect Mauric completed CFD studies into the wing foil and the conclusions are that the foil between the hulls has the effect or reducing pitching by 30%, reducing fuel consumption when transiting at speed by 10 to 15%, improving steaming speeds by 2 to 4 knots in heavy weather conditions, and increasing steaming speed by 12% when operating with twin 600hp engines.

According to the yard, the challenge was to design a foil that would produce minimal drag while generating maximum lift, making it essential to develop a strong, lightweight foil in carbon fibre and epoxy resins. The foil is then produced in a high-precision mould using vacuum infusion technology and subsequently machined to the precise parameters required.

According to Martinez, the technology and materials have come from the yacht racing world – but for the first time these techniques are being made available for commercial fishing vessels.