This fully electric hydrofoil boat lets you fly above the waves

The Swedish company Candela wants to completely rethink the world of luxury pleasure boats. No fossil fuels, no noisy engines, no bouncing on the waves. In fact, when you get acquainted with the company’s latest pleasure boat, you’re not sailing on water at all, you’re flying over it.

the Candle C8 pleasure boat looks like something you might see in a James Bond movie. One moment it pushes through the water, the next moment it emerges from the waves and appears to be floating on stilts. But this all-electric hydrofoil is actually designed to solve one of the major problems of powerboats: energy efficiency.

“Conventional speedboats are actually some of the most energy-efficient watercraft on the planet,” said Mikael Mahlberg, Candela’s communications manager, during a Zoom call from Sweden. “A conventional planing hull consumes 15 times more fuel per kilometer than a family car.”

The Candela C8 electric hydrofoil pleasure boat.

Candela

But while making a motorboat all-electric might solve the problem of using fossil fuels, it still doesn’t solve one of the basic physics problems. Dragging the hull through the water creates an enormous amount of friction, which means an electric boat needs a lot of power to operate. As a result, Candela says even an electric boat with a large battery would be drained in as little as 30 minutes.

To solve this problem, Candela added a hydrofoil to his electric boat to lift the hull out of the waves. A hydrofoil works in the same way as the wing of an airplane: just as air moving over the wing of the airplane creates lift, water passing over the hydrofoil pushes the boat up and out of the water, reducing drag by approximately 80%. As a result, the C8 can cover the entire San Francisco Bay area after a two-hour charge, giving a range of around 80 km.

It’s not just the hydrofoil that makes this boat different from a regular motorboat. Candela has also changed its engine design – removing the traditional gasoline engine from the rear of the boat and replacing it with a highly efficient direct-drive engine, known as the C-Pod, which sits under the hull and supplies water. like a torpedo.

“My God, it’s so quiet,” Malhberg says. “You have the engine underwater, so there’s no transmission noise, so it’s just silence. It’s like a magic carpet ride.”

The C8 made its maiden flight in Sweden in February, and the company is now taking pre-orders, starting at 290,000 euros excluding tax, or around $330,000. Boats can be customized with optional extras like an integrated sound system, radar or even a fresh water shower.

As for who needs their own electric hydrofoil? Candela targets the recreational boating market as well as environmentally conscious buyers. (Why not pair the Tesla in your garage with an electric boat at your dock?) And that might even attract a few aviation enthusiasts.

“You don’t feel the waves hitting the hull, it’s silent and you’re not affected by sea state, so it’s kind of like merging flying and boating,” says Mahlberg. “It’s a very magical feeling.”

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