Wave piercing technology was originally formulated for passenger ferry applications, and more recently it has been applied to military craft.

Wave-piercers have a very fine bow with minimal reserve buoyancy in the forward portions of the hull to minimize vertical motions. When a wave is encountered, the hull pierces through the water rather than riding over the top.  The result is a dramatically smoother ride than traditional deep-V designs, minimizing stress on the vessel as well as the crew.

Wave piercing is a key element in getting the record for circumnavigating the globe.  It allows the boat to run continuously at high speed in both flat and rough sea conditions.

Following is a simulation of how Earthrace pierces a series of waves.  This mathematical model was developed by XC Engineering of Italy.  The first set of waves are 4m in height  (13ft) and the second set of waves arer 12m (40ft).  Also below is a video from Craig Loomes about the wavepiercing design.