Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik AzkoNobel 728x90

Foils for the Masses - A look at the Glide Free Foiling Kit

by David Schmidt on 23 Aug 2014
Glide Free
It’s virtually impossible to look at imagery from the high-flying 34th America’s Cup and not have a serious 'I wish!' conversation with your mates.

While the foil-bound AC72 class of wingsail-powered catamarans look truly outrageous, sadly, these rarefied America’s Cup class yachts cost tens of millions of dollars to design, build and maintain, and represent the absolute pinnacle of experts-only sailing hardware. Even the tiny Moth class, which also uses hydrofoils to fly, comes bundled with a hefty investment requirement (although here the 'cost-per-knot' is considerably lower than that of an AC72!), not to mention the need for world-class sailing skills and an acute sense of balance.


But before you go hunting online for a used AC72 (and good luck with that project, mate!), spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Glide Free Foiling Kit from Glide Free Design, which is designed to be retrofitted onto an old Laser, and which can be acquired for a fraction of the cost of a new Moth…let alone an AC72.

The Glide Free Foiling Kit doesn’t require any permanent changes (read: holes, bolts, or other fixed hardware or attachments) to the Laser, meaning that your boat is still class-legal, provided, of course, that you remove the foiling kit prior to your next regatta. Simply remove the toggle pin on the centerboard-truck insert, remove the centerboard assembly, unclip the rudder from its pintles, and you’re off to the One Design races as a legitimate Laser sailor. Easy!


For globetrotting sailors, the Glide Free Foiling Kit includes rudder and centerboard foils, as well as dedicated padded carrying cases, allowing you to easily travel with your foiling kit. This is especially interesting for sailors who are chartering Lasers for overseas regattas, or for sailors who are vacationing at spots where an old Laser can be rented for an afternoon of casual sailing. Simply clip-on the Glide Free Foiling Kit, add a bit of wind and water (ideally of the salty, sun-drenched Caribbean variety), and you will be wowing the locals and establishing 'dinghy-park cred' in no time!

Given that the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup calls for foil-borne, 62-foot catamarans, and given the Moth class’s recent surge in popularity—not to mention the available foil packages for multihulls—it’s obvious that foil-borne sailing is the path forward for the serious Grand Prix crowd. For the rest of us, there’s no more cost-effective way to quickly gain foiling experience than with the Glide Free Foiling Kit.



Check out their website (www.glidefree.com.au), and then start scouring the Internet (or your yacht club’s 'For Sale' board) for a used Laser. Odds are beyond excellent that it will be a far easier find—and a considerably less painful financial outlay—than any other foiler afloat.

Wildwind 2016 660x82Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82X-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 3

Related Articles

Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 - It just works
Every now and then a boat just clicks. It has all the right bits, of the correct dimensions, in the appropriate places Every now and then a boat just clicks. It has all the right bits, of the correct dimensions, in the appropriate places, and out of it all you get something that simply sings. The Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 is one of these craft. It was designed and built in parallel to the other, more well known versions of the brand’s vessels, and benefits from being more geared towards performance, without going tot
Posted on 23 May
The return to Coffs!
The word is out that the new race to Coffs Harbour is on. The phoenix would run once again in the Christmas timeslot The word is out that the new race to Coffs Harbour is on. The phoenix would run once again in the traditional Christmas timeslot, and also be the much easier to digest 200 or so miles. The ‘new’ race would also be geared towards club racers, so they, and their non-pro crews could be out and back, and almost more importantly, returned to work before anyone missed them. Bring it on...
Posted on 22 May
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted on 1 May
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.III)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We’ve looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone, seen the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery. Now we’ll see why patience is the key in the aftermath of her fury.
Posted on 30 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.II)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone and now we see the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery.
Posted on 25 Apr
You can almost see it
The windward/leeward is great fun and a real test of your skills. True, it might be hard for the uninitiated to follow The windward/leeward is great fun and a real test of your skills. True, it might be hard for the uninitiated to follow, but then sailing is not the world’s largest spectator sport by any means. Badminton does rate higher, after all. Still, when you’re doing it, you not really worried about little racquets and small, caged up, feathered thingamabobs.
Posted on 24 Apr
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience
This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. As time unfolds some more, we learn that indeed there are a lot of reasons you need to apply patience with both your dealings with your insurance company, and also all the many trades that are working feverishly to get all the jobs done.
Posted on 19 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr