Hey has anyone used bought a Clearwater hydrofoil kit in the last couple of months? I got one in June and still haven’t received it. I also can’t get a response from the guy that runs it. Any thoughts?
Hey Nate - I’ve also had a really bad experience with James Fiore at Clearwater Hydrofoils. We had a bunch of communication, I ordered the blank (and almost $1000 in other supplies), and then he disappeared. He won’t return calls, emails, or texts. I’ve heard similar experiences elsewhere. He actually lives only about 20 mins from me…maybe it’s time to pay him a visit. Sorry to hear you got shafted, too. Tom
Well let me know if you ever get in contact with him. At this point I am just excepting that I got scammed. Also when was the last time you bread back from him?
I was emailing, texting…even talking to him on the phone only a couple weeks ago. I’m 98% he is for real - I’ve watched several of his YouTube videos which show his shop, CNC’d foam for various projects, etc. He just hasn’t been fulfilling the orders, which is a real bummer for me - I bought almost $1k in carbon fiber, epoxy, etc. because he promised (by email, text and phone) to cut me the blank. He DID refund the money for the two orders from Clearwater Hydrofoils, so you should be able to get your money back, too. It’s too bad - I think he had a good product, just a REALLY bad way of doing business.
How did you go about getting your money back from him? I can’t even get a response
I was emailing, calling and texting him trying to get an answer of when I could pick up the blank (I’m only about 20 mins from his shop). But rather than make the blank, I just got an email notification that the order had been refunded. I checked my credit card statement and it did show as refunded. You may want to consider filing a dispute through your credit card company - they are usually pretty good about reversing the charges if you have evidence that the vendor isn’t replying.
I was able to purchase a 2300 wing, 1100HA and a stabilizer, all of which arrived just fine. I did ask a few questions about the layup schedule via email which never received reply, but just finished the 2300 this past weekend and am excited to try it! I’m using a Liquid Force 24" mast and stab as a basis for this project.
How long did it take to get to you?
That’s so strange. He has gone totally dark on me. I even got an email back from James’ father, but nothing from James. I found that he started a new/different business, he’s just doing foils on the side. In the meantime, I looked around and have found lots of free foil board designs, companies that will CNC them, and very helpful designers to tweak the designs if needed. Most of them did not like the idea of cutting a blank in pieces! If you’d like additional info, just let me know.
It only took a few days in processing for me to get a tracking number. Got the largest HA wing and the universal 2300 wing, plus a stabilizer. I have only built the 2300, and I’ve modified the layup schedule slightly. Still need to decide whether to add a layer of carbon fiber on both sides and fill in the dimples, or just clear-coat it. I haven’t done a gloss coat and sand yet. Does this affect parasitic drag in a big way?
Finally got a chance to use the 2300 yesterday in 10kt wind and was just on the edge of getting the board unstuck! Really happy with how it turned out, but the chord is relatively thick. There is a nice little bit of anhedral on the tips which seems nice too. Hope to keep riding this setup and really make progress for the rest of this season, it feels finally dialed. With the wing at full power I could really feel the board starting to rise out of the swells but wasn’t able to pump and get flying as I’d hoped. I also hit a few rocks but the leading edge looks untouched.
That’s a bummer! The designs feature twin channels and such which make me fearful that they will have a bit too much drag, and all seem a little skimpy as far as displacement is concerned, but the foils seem promising. That said, having gone through the whole layup process was more time-consuming than anticipated.
Did you ever get your money back?
Yes I got it back about a week ago. I would have rather had the foil. Not I am looking into 3d printing a front wing and glassing it
FWIW, I 3D printed stabilizer cores and vacuum bagged them with carbon fiber. They’re OK, but not as good as production quality out of a mold. I also machined my own light-weighted fuselages out of aircraft aluminum…ditto. And once I added up all the costs, it was more expensive to make my own. Now I have machine shop CNC’ing the EPS blanks for a 100 L wing board and 121 L downwind board. My guess is that I will find the same thing. But it’s a lot of fun to ride something you made!
Depending on the size of the wing, 3D printed moulds might be an option. Worked really well for back wings for me. I also built a front wing that way but it is quite time consuming, you need to print the mould in segments and glue the parts.
To create the wing and mould, have a look here:
Here is a link to and old post:
I bought from him about 1.5 years ago. I got the complete 1500 kit. Mast, mount plate, fuselages, stabilizer and front wing. The whole order arrived a few weeks later. I never could figure out out to ride it pump style. but now I am using it on my home build e foil. but it does not want to come up on foil. I did email him at Clearwater for advice on the board he got back to me but not much help.