David Keiper’s Williwaw

24 April 2012    Editor    0 Comments

Using archival footage, the Int’l Hydrofoil Society has made a short video of David Keiper’s hydrofoil trimaran Williwaw. David built the first flying hydrofoil cruising sailboat in 1970 and subsequently cruised her all over the Pacific. The boat and the voyages are detailed in Keiper’s Hydrofoil Voyager, which is being republished on Amazon this summer.



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25 Apr - 11:42

Wade Tarzia

I saw one very like this in the Mariner’s Museum (Newport News, VA) last year. Is it the same?

25 Apr - 14:05


That’s a great question. Could it have wound up in an east coast maritime museum?

28 Apr - 05:04

a pirate

he wasnt ahead of his time hes ahead of our time

07 May - 03:53

Wade Tarzia

I do not recall the placard saying it cruised the Pacific, only that it broke some speed records. It’s foils were sort of ‘Venetian blind’ lifting vanes. I have a photo but I forget if the curator let me take photos on condition that I do not post to internet.

07 May - 11:45

Wade Tarzia

OK, found the photo—my bad, the boat at the Mariner’s Museum is a monohull with foil outriggers on each side (but noi amas), which can be rotated downward to lift, or rotated up for a shallow water or beach landing. it attained 34 mph. Interesting but perhaps stretching things to call it an outrigger? Feel free to delete this and my erroneous earlier postings.

07 May - 13:41


You saw Gordon Baker’s sailing hydrofoil Monitor. Another fascinating craft with ladder foils.

08 May - 08:19

Wade Tarzia

Yes, thanks, that would it it. What I really liked about that boat was the slight possibility of having the lifting foils kick up when hitting the bottom. I once watched a Windrider foil boat leave the ramp at high speed and come back 40 minutes later with the need for expensive repairs—I knew then that such a boat has some more development before it is truly useful.