The physics of a hydrofoil

I am interested in doing some reading on the physics of a hydrofoil. Maybe go as far as getting into some of the basic equations on the effects of changes to the shape/size of a wing. I come from an engineering background so open to quite technical material, but also have a lot of appreciation for things explained in an easy to understand way :slight_smile:

Are there any highly recommended books / textbooks or videos out there for learning this stuff? Also interested in any books about airfoils / planes along these lines as I’m assuming a lot of overlap.

Thanks for any recommendations.

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I just picked up this book online a few days ago. Way above my knowledge level but I still think it’s pretty cool. I’m only maybe 10-20 pages in so far. You’d probably have an easier time understanding it than I did due to your background in engineering.


Also Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing by Marchaj


Marchaj is a bit of a doorstop but it’s more accessible than Theory of Wing Sections

This video is a good intro and has 3 specific book recs at the end, all seem very relevant to your goal


Awesome vidéo, thanks for sharing!

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Cant really recommend Marchaj for hydrofoil design, very good for wind powered vessels in general though.

Understanding foil sections, whether from Theory of Foil Sections, or Hoerners Fluid Lift and Drag books, or another source, is the basic building block.

Expanding that into 3d wings and design constraints like static and dynamic stability is best found in aircraft design books. Flight Vehicle Dynamics by Mark Drela is a heavy read, but the best coverage of the topic I’ve found, and by the guy who wrote XFOIL, the code everyone uses to design custom foil sections.