Choose Between Two Options
- $518 for a full day, 8-hour private sailboat charter for up to five people ($1,000 value)
- $311 for a semi-private 8-hour sailboat charter for two people ($600 value)
Rigid Foils: Water Wings
Sailing is an age-old activity, but recent technology has made sails downright futuristic. See Groupon’s guide to rigid foils to learn more about this innovation.
A sailboat crests the waves, sending a spray of saltwater into the air. It’s a familiar, stirring image that today might have a twist—instead of proudly billowing sails, an inflexible plate rises above the ship’s hull. That piece is a rigid foil, sometimes referred to as a _wing sail_ or simply _wing_, since it recalls the shape of an airplane’s appendage, and it controls the direction and speed of the boat. Rather than traditional canvas, rigid foils are often made of metal slats or a framework covered with plastic. Some companies are even experimenting with specialized hybrid sails, constructed from laminated threads, which operate in a similar fashion to rigid foils.
The appeal of rigid foils lies in their immovable design. Standard cloth sails distort while capturing the wind, meaning less force goes into propelling the boat forward. Rigid foils, however, can’t distort as much, so the boat moves with more drive and more speed. They do have one distinct drawback—the sails are large and can’t be furled, rendering them impractical for most sailors, who don’t have three-story boat garages. For the time being, rigid foils are more or less limited to the realm of professional racing.