Candela's hydrofoiling C-8 eyes new range record for electric boats
Swedish boatbuilder Candela has had a busy year, introducing what it claims to be the fastest all-electric ferry in the world in March, before launching a clever hydrofoiling "flying boat" called the C-7 in June. The company has now applied its expertise in low-drag nautical engineering to a bigger and better version dubbed the C-8, which it claims has the longest range of any electric boat in history.
Candela's C-7 poses an interesting solution to the limited range plaguing electric boats, which can't carry nearly as much energy to drag themselves across the water as those powered by high-density gasoline. Hydrofoils that lift much of the hull out of the water to reduce that drag can help address this problem, and the C-7 was a clever interpretation of this kind of functionality.
A pair of foils lift the boat up and out of the water to cut drag by up to 80 percent, enabling it to operate in virtual silence while reaching a top speed of 30 knots (35 mph, 56 km/h), all the while creating a tiny wake of just 5 cm (2 in). This affords the watercraft a range of 50 nautical miles (57 miles, 93 km) from its 40-kWh battery, which Candela says is around three times the range of what other electric boats on the market can offer.
The newly introduced C-8 pushes this range out beyond 50 nautical miles from a slightly larger 44-kWh battery pack, helped along by a new and improved version of the hydrofoiling technology and a newly developed drive train with a 55-kW motor at its heart. Candela says this gives it the longest range of any electric boat in history, though the under-development Sarvo 37, with a claimed range of 100 nautical miles, might have something to say about that when it hits the market.
As in the C-7, the C-8's hydrofoils retract above the waterline for mooring and navigating shallow waters, and automatically adjust when in use to keep the boat steady as it skims across the water. While pretty much the same width, the C-8 is 0.8 m (31 in) longer than the 7.7-m (25-ft) C-7, making space for a large and comfortable cockpit with seating for eight passengers, a sunbed, beds for four and a marine toilet.
The C-8 also sees a jump up in price from the C-7's US$240,000, with Candela asking €290,000 (US$340,000) for its latest and greatest watercraft. It is now accepting reservations for the C-8 and expects to begin production in January 2022.