Longtime 1970 boater, sailboat racer, boat builder, boat speed modifier/blueprinter, and designer Mike Gable desired to purchase a pontoon boat, but DID NOT want that standard pontoon boat ride. The platform of a pontoon boat is a great idea: Roomy, trailerable, stable and fishable while carrying many passengers. However, these platforms were historically slow before the addition of Larger Heavier 4 stroke Motors, rode low to the water, noisy as they were at 3/4-full throttle most of the time, and just not that efficient for a longer distance ride and as they lacked fuel economy. Knowing his longtime boat racing and designer peers would never expect to see him on a pontoon boat, Mike drew up an idea for a pontoon hydrofoil on a napkin.
He then purchased a 20' boat with a partner that also bought into the idea, and started a prototype never splashing the boat. We were told the boat did a maximum 18 MPH with it's 75 etech motor by the owner before our purchase. After completion of the 1st prototype, the boat was splashed and tested with 2 people, snorkel gear, coolers, and coast gaurd required gear on a scallop trip into the Gulf of Mexico from the Suwannee River. This approximate 1.25 hr trip started with immediate smiles. We were impressed as the boat was now at a higher cruising speed, faster, and extremely quiet going down the river at 18 knots and 4-4200 rpm's. After 15 mins of playing with trim and learning, we opened her up and maxed out at 22.5 knot (26 Mph). That day Mike realized that this may be something that could be turn into kit form for easy access to everyday pontooners wanting this same “different riding” pontoon boat at an affordable cost. After consulting with knowledgeable folks in the IHS (International Hydrofoil Society) and more study of Ray Vellinga’s Hydrofoils Design Build Fly book, Mike decided to move forward with prototyping and engineering a "Plug and Play" vision of a pontoon hydrofoil that was going to work, “At least In Theory”?
After 5 prototypes and more than 800 hrs. of structural, speed, economy, and performance testing, Mike found a “sweet spot” for the size and shape of an extruded aluminum hydrofoil which he would turn into a “Kit” form, hence Pontoon Hydrofoil Applications Inc. was born. This vigorously tested pontoon hydrofoil with now over 14 prototypes and 1400 hrs of testing known now as VaraFoil™ is offered as a DIY plug and play adaptable "kit" for most pontoon and tritoon designs. This VaraKit™ includes 3 new advanced manufacture friendly patent pending designs: a variably loaded hydrofoil support system VaraStrut™ , a VaraPlate™ outboard motor accessory Pitch Control Plate, and a VaraFoil™ custom adaptably sized Hydrofoil. This complete custom package for different size, make, and model pontoon or tritoon boats will make hydrofoils, a "Green Technology", accessible to the general public at an affordable price.
VaraFoil™: Our initial “Full” size Vk-1 and VK-2 pontoon hydrofoil VaraFoil™ kit is the most advanced plug and play production hydrofoil kit available for sale. For the maximum performance minded boater, this large custom built pontoon hydrofoil kit can achieve 50% documented speed increases, 40% fuel efficiency increases, and a ride superior to any standard pontoon ride, boat for like boat.
Our new VK-3 and VK-4 pontoon hydrofoil kit is approximately 20% smaller than our “Full” size VaraFoil™ hydrofoil. However this CAD designed VaraFoil™ custom plug and play kit can be DIY mounted in 2-3 hrs. (not including tool finding/setup time). This kit can be installed while boat remains on trailer, in water, or on boat lift. VaraKit™ VK-3 and VK-4 kits don’t require ANY changes to trailer known as clearance windows.
These pontoon hydrofoil kits are FULLY Adjustable, making them incredibly easy to install, easy to adjust ( If CG changes on boat), and easy to remove ( 4 bolts ) for occasional boat maintenance which a hydrofoil may get in the way of. Therefor scissor style trailers can be used for beginning/end of season launches by simply removing Varafoil™ w 4 bolts. For the recreational boater, this kit can achieve 35% documented speed increases, 25% fuel efficiency increases, and a ride superior to standard pontoon rides, boat for like boat.
VaraPlate™: There is now a need for a steering system designed to today's standards. Use of an older design idea that other hydrofoil manufacturers have copied was NOT an option at PHA. Just as winged aircraft need adjustable steering control systems, PHA CAD team experimented, prototyped, and put into production a patent pending adjustable "on the fly" outboard motor accessory pitch control system. This single large low drag plate is made for easy reliable flush mounting and has 4 different mechanical and actuated designs. By using the Trim/Tilt switch at each helm per motor, bow height changes can now be controlled on the fly for the times when a person was moving front to back and the boat was in "foiling" mode.
VaraStrut™: PHA also tested a new patent pending axial loaded hydrofoil strut system. Standard vertical struts were antiquated, weak, thicker in design which meant they were NOT nearly as strong, streamlined or efficient. This new VaraStrut™ design can be applied in large or small applications throughout the hydrofoil industry, and not just pontoon or tritoon designs.
Quality, VARA™ products are built in the great 🇺🇸 by USA workers with pride and to exceptionally higher standards.
Our company, Pontoon Hydrofoil Applications, and team are located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. You may review the common question/answer page but if you still have questions, please contact us. Please have some patience as we are a small business that is growing, and thank you for your interest.