These foiling catamarans are incredible — I can't even imagine how it can feel like going at 50kts!
Kris De Decker also said this a handful of times: I think hydrofoling is a really promising technological enabler for a resurgence of sailing as a way to move around the seas sustainably.
Yeah. I agree. Something where the racing is really actually pushing bounds for general consumer utility directly. I imagine level 4/5 autopilot boats would be simpler than cars too.
It would be amazing if cargo ships could sail hydrofoil but I don’t think the physics works out.
@raelzero @kor @neauoire I've got a hard time imagining hydrofoiling (esp at that scale) as anything other than a sport.
There are hydrofoil container ships being built, with speeds that are 3X faster. Container ships can go from 16 to 24 knots... imagine 3x that—would make for terrifying encounters at sea (they're already terrifying).
With optimism, I like to think that, in shipping, hydrofoling could help reducing the absurd amount of pollution that container ships are generating.
This assumes "degrowth", which I don't see as especially likely, admittedly.
Still, even in "growth" (i.e., shipping increase) or retrofitting, one solution pollutes less, and that's sailing + hydrofoil.
I'm mostly trying to give a bright, though still critical, perspective :D
@raelzero @kor @neauoire I recently learned about cargo ships with Monrovia Liberia as their home port. Foreign companies register their ships there to pay fewer taxes, and to avoid adhering to strict regulations in their home countries. It will be difficult to get companies who do this to retro-fit their ships.
In the spirit of optimism tho, hydrofoiling & rotors would def help reduce engine pollution. There's also Ceiba, a sailing cargo ship that will carry goods 100% emission free.
@rek @raelzero @kor @neauoire there is hope though! Most of the fleets have cut speeds to reduce emissions significantly. Some experiments with various sail augmentations. Some retrofitting experiments with hydrogen. Some nuclear experiments. Real Engineering did a good summary. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WWiX2edcBoA
I think, especially in cases such as this where the issue is so macroscopic, we ought to build awareness both about the problem, but also attempted solutions.
BTW, attached here a small graphics from an University of Padova article about cruise ships emissions in the Mediterranean... Let's say I'm quite pissed about this data.
Source (unfortunately only in Italian): https://ilbolive.unipd.it/it/grandi-navi-venezia-quanto-inquinano
This Ceiba sounds incredibly interesting, though! Will definitely read more into this — might become a case study about ethical enterprises that I'll propose to my students! Thanks!
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