iFLY Reviews and Experience Stories
Sailor Experiences foiling the Ifly15 and iFLY Razzor Pro
« Less crashing is more fun »
Marcus Lynch, professional sailor and Olympic coach, GC32 Oman, Nacra17
« Less crashing is more fun and you have a product that is forgiving and therefore more user friendly for sailors that are not on the water 150 days or more per year. »
« Great boat, like a moth on steroids ! »
Victor Diaz de Leon, Miami, professional sailor. US team SailGP, International Moth, Matchracing Melges 32, J70
« … we pop up on the foils and start hauling, foiling upwind, downwind and reaching. The boat is very stable despite the chop. What’s most impressive is, however, how well it flies and how gentle the landing is when the bows touched down in waves while going downwind. I had no sense of danger of stuffing the bows. »
what a great boat this is, and I absolutely love it”
As a mid-40 year-old with 3 young children, a busy life, moderate fitness, some past but no recent sailing and windsurfing experience, but absolutely no catamaran experience, I watched the same iFly15 youtube videos you have, I eyed the price tag and then for a long while I just sat there on the fence with excuses. When was I really going to find the time to sail the thing, was this not just an expensive mid-life crisis toy, was I even going to be able to sail it, how was I going to get it out of the harbour without crashing, could I right it if I capsized, what if I could not control it? The indecision was my comfort zone, not taking the plunge into the unknown was in my safe place. And then I finally took the plunge, I deserved something for me, and those youtube videos just looked like too much damn fun! Still feeling like this could be an expensive mistake, Michael came to assemble the boat, and to be honest gave me a crash course in all things catamaran. We went out on the water together, the two of us out on the trapeze, and for several glorious runs we foiled, I was immediately hooked! Several weeks later came the tough part, just me, 11-15 knots of wind, white caps, and my iFly15. The excuses and fears came back. Last time it was easy, but that was all Michael, he isn’t here now, this time it was just me. Apprehension, fear, the unknown. I followed the steps in setting the boat up, got the boat out without incident and despite my fears multiple foiling runs, out on the trapeze, speed, whining sound of foils in the water, the full monty! I capsized once and that was not because of being overpowered it was because I lost my footing, and righting the boat went smoothly and without incident. The secret of the iFly15 is it is a highly technical machine made to be easy to sail and incredibly accessible. It is compact with not too much sail area and it is very easy to take the power out of the sail and to comfortably sit in an upward position and catch your breath. Safe and in control, on my first day alone out on the water I finally understood what a great boat this is, and I absolutely love it. “
« The dynamic flight control system allows long and stable flights »
Gerhard Florin, iFLY owner from Geneva, Switzerland
« The dynamic flight control system allows for long and stable flights, without being a professional sailor and a top athlete, as you need to be, when trying to foil a moth or a A-cat for a longer distance stable. The iFLY is as fast as any A cat, but very reasonable to handle – design meets function.»
To fellow sailors who love the thrill of sailing with speed while maintaining control”
To fellow sailors who love the thrill of sailing with speed while maintaining control, this is a brief summary of my experience with the iFly 15 after sailing one for a year. I am just beginning my second season with the boat.
BUY ONE! You will be glad you did. If you don’t do it now, you will just be another year older, and have missed out on a whole year of fun, by the time you get around to buying one.
The boat is all that CEC promises it to be, and more. It is very well-designed, easy to sail, and very durable. I went with the wing sail and the new foresail. I am very glad I did. The wing is very powerful, and in the event of capsize (which is a rare event due to excellent control) prevents the boat from turning turtle.
The foresail extends the boat’s range of foiling capability down to wind speeds of about 7 kts for a sailor weighing about 95 kilos. That adds a lot of days of foiling to my sailing season.
The flight controls work perfectly. Flight is very stable. The controls are also every easy to adjust, although that should not be necessary since the boat arrives perfectly set up at the factory.
Durability is excellent. My first time out I experienced a very hard hit on the tip of my starboard main foil when I hit something in shallow water near my launch area. I had visions of severe damage and a huge hole in the hull. To my surprise, there was no damage at all to the hull or the box for the dagger board. The dagger board box is designed to take a lot of punishment. The leading edge of the foil was damaged and the lower 15 cm of the dagger board had a crack on the leading edge. Upon close inspection, the damage was so slight that 30 min of work with some epoxy and carbon fiber was all it took to make things as good as new.
Full disclosure: I am not associated in any way with CEC, and I am receiving no consideration from CEC for posting this review.
« Well balanced and rake differential allowing for great performance upwind! »
Carlos Robles,professional sailor 49er, Palma de Mallorca
What a piece of kit! Thanks Michael for letting me go for a sail in Miami. Was positively surprised with the level of detail and building quality of the whole package, especially the foils.
Managed to get a 2 hour session without capsizes in 15 knots and chop. Stability foiling both upwind and downwind was surprising considering the sharp choppy conditions. Found that the design has a lot of power but it can efficiently be de-powered (thanks to efficient wing-sail set-up and rake differential)- allowing for sailors with a wide range of weights to be competitive.
Betting this class will become a referent in the near future.
Very stable, extraordinary stable. It is extremely interesting, because You immediately see the accessibility of the boat.
iFLY15 test report by François Gabart, record holder around the World single handed, nonstop (42,7 days), and sensational winner of the Vendee Globe.
Gabart has test sailed the iFLY15 after the races of Foiling Week Garda 2019. iFLY15 had won the races as fastest boat in the „All Foilers“ category.
François Gabart :« It was really great – Very stable, extraordinary stable. It is extremely interesting, because You immediately see the accessibility of the boat. Almost for anyone, who does a little bit of sailing. You just jump on the boat and it is stable flying. It is even flying in light winds. In my opinion a great boat to access flying on the water / foiling. »
« I was initially amazed at how easy to handle the iFLY is and at how idle the boat is even in strong winds. »
Antoine, iFLY owner from Geneva
my personal highlights on iFLY:
Flying high on Lake Geneva in the sunset between the Jura mountains and the majestic glacier covered Mont Blanc. Greeting my friends on their foiling kiteboards, feeling a sense of shared, and sheer, thrill
2) Or this other day, when I took a friend of mine on the trampoline for a test ride. The breeze was weak along the shore and we decided to head further out. We caught a cinema style SW wind, warm and steady. The iFly took off immediately, I was hanging at the trapeze watching amazed at how the long swell tried to touch us, in vain. Every now and then a shorter, steeper wave would succeed in splashing me up. At first I got immediately afraid that the boat would be destabilized and my brain started computing the potential damage to my friend and I, multiplied by the roughly 19 knots of our current speed… Yet, in the blink of an eye, I understood that only my angst could disrupt the magic of our flight, I kept my soft grip on the steering and started grinning. My friend and I could not get enough of it, and by the time we realized, we had covered 16 miles at between 18 and 21 knots, and were approaching the “Phare de l’Espiguette” and its endless sandbeaches.
my personal main reasons to choose buying an iFLY.
I wanted an easy to handle boat, which I could use after work, in the weekends, withouth having to find and train a crew. It had to be real fun, and I had to be able to take non sailors with me on fun rides. I did not originally thought it would be a flying object. But when I saw the iFly and could test it, it immediately felt like it ticked all the boxes. I was initially amazed at how easy to handle it is and at how idle the boat is even in strong winds, when you need a break. I am a regatta sailor on a monohull, so I did not think of my personal fun boat as a racing machine, yet I soon realized that the iFly was also a true performer and a racer if I wanted it. It is so light that I can easily take it down, and back up the slipway to the water. It does fulfil the requirements 150%.
now, that I am sailing my iFLY a bit longer,
I like especially that it is highly sensitive but is very forgiving. So it is a perfect learning platform for me, as I have little catamaran experience. Once the basics of stability are clear, my mistakes will mostly result in sub efficient speeds, not loss of control and savage capsizing…
For me, the most important thing about sailing:
Sailing is a 3D nature experience, it is all about listening, feeling, understanding the elements around. It is about the magic of moving in silence without an engine. And it is about sharing the sensations with fellow sailors afterwards
my personal wish for iFLY?
Keep up Michael ! Wherever I take my boat, people stop by and peep in awe… “What is this amazing, glittering red beauty??”
I feel the same every time I jump on it and fly into the sunset. I wish many more kids and grown-ups get to it so we can share loads of flying fun.
The best foiling boat on the market: high performance, great quality and just fun.”
It’s a huge innovation in foiling boats. The flight control system allows you to concentrate on sailing. That is just great. The best foiling boat on the market: high performance, great quality and just fun.
« Tremendous fun. Within the very first moments I was able to fly, which is fantastic. Exactly what I was looking for. »
Antoine, iFLY owner from Geneva
„Tremendous fun. Within the very first moments I was able to fly, which is fantastic. Exactly what I was looking for. Of course it becomes pretty quickly clear that this is also quite a gun. So it goes very fast. And it becomes, yeah, some sort of scary. So I am very glad that there is this stabilization flight system.” „ I am having a lot of fun anyway. And in gusts like yesterday we had over 20knots, and You could feel that the iFLY wanted to accelerate really big time. It was very scary, I know that without this system I would have been capsized in the first minutes, or seconds – And I could still go on playing for quite a bit and that was cool.”
Michael has a created a fantastic sailing boat in accordance with his vision of a safe and stable flying boat. In many ways, this is a breakthrough because while many boat designers have embraced the broader trend of flying on water, the only serious developments with similar (stable) flight characteristics have been on the transoceanic maxi trimarans (e.g. Gitana by Rothschild).
More recently, the TF35 was developed for inshore racing with an equivalent concept.
Others have largely dismissed this approach as not being competitive enough, and they have created powerful and fast alternatives but also very dangerous when used at speed, including for top sailors.
Professional regatta sailors are still unconvinced of Michael’s concept, arguing that performance is not optimal. It might well change as the concept develops steadily.
However, the broader sailing public is not inclined to risk serious injury in order to access the hype of flying on the water, that is especially true, when they are presented with a safer alternative.
Flying boats are attractive, and increasingly visible (Vendée Globe, America’s Cup, TF35 in Switzerland), so it is looking like a promising multi year trend.
« a sensational foiling experience. The speed is impressive »
Ingmar Warnicke: Commodore of YCSO, Yacht Club Scharbeutz, Baltic Sea
« a sensational foiling experience. The boat flies stable and safe, nonetheless can be used in a very sporting way. No comparison with other foiling boats.
The speed is impressive. And always there is a absolute safe feeling to have the boat under control. None of the test sailors was having any experience with a foiling boat before. »
« So much easier than any other foiling boat I’ve ever sailed »
Nick, Newport, Rhode Island, USA
« So much easier than any other foiling boat I’ve ever sailed (…) I was so impressed at how the boat was able to autocorrect heeling induced stall. It’s almost like it knew when it was approaching the critical AOA and levelled out. I’m so used to working my ass off at correcting a foiling boat when it approaches stall, and the iFly made it smooth as butter. »
The boat makes an extremely thoughtful and professional impression, like a carbon fiber racing car.“
I wish you success!