View Single Post
Old 07-21-2016, 02:37 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
Robot Mod in Beta Testing
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 20,599
You've got the USS Plainview, which was 310 tons, so 200 tons clearly isn't the limit.

You might be able to build a larger one, but it's definitely not going to be a practical ship.

Hydrofoils have a deeper draft, which would make a large hydrofoil impractical in many harbors.

Hydrofoils work best in calm water. Rough seas (where a lot of shipping goes) are even rougher in a hydrofoil.

Not only do you have the extra cost of the hydrofoil, but the hull of the ship has to be a lot stronger as well, as the hull has to support the entire weight of the ship on the hydrofoil spars under a variety of loading conditions. And then you need bigger engines and more fuel, which takes away from your cargo carrying capacity. Hydrofoils are good for making light, fast ships. They aren't so good for heavy ships.