This paper introduces the patented concept of the Sea Snail, a pin-jointed tubular steel structure carrying an array of symmetrical section hydrofoils, which is used as a means of fixing a tidal turbine, or other devices, to the seabed. The concept is evaluated as a simple mathematical model, tested as a one-eighth-scale model and subsequently developed into a 21 t model fit for sea trials. Pressure differences created by the flow over the upper and lower surfaces of the hydrofoils generate negative lift, or downforce, which is communicated to the supporting structure. The effects of induced drag on low-aspect-ratio hydrofoils are discussed. This paper gives an overview of the evaluative techniques employed in the Sea Snail's concept and design. The need for the device is outlined and its conceptual basis discussed. In particular, the response of a hydrofoil to increasing angles of attack within a steady flow is examined. Field measurements of the drag and lift forces applied to an NACA0013 section hydrofoil is presented in the context of the Sea Snail. The fundamental design criteria are discussed and the Sea Snail's ability to match these criteria is demonstrated.