Marine

Hydrofoiling jet ski promises record-breaking speed

Hydrofoiling jet ski promises record-breaking speed
Boundary Layer Technologies is going for speed and hydrofoiling comfort with the Valo Hyperfoil
Boundary Layer Technologies is going for speed and hydrofoiling comfort with the Valo Hyperfoil
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Boundary Layer Technologies is going for speed and hydrofoiling comfort with the Valo Hyperfoil
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Boundary Layer Technologies is going for speed and hydrofoiling comfort with the Valo Hyperfoil
The Valo rises out of the water at around 15 mph
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The Valo rises out of the water at around 15 mph
A full charge will get you around 1.7 hours at a cruise speed of 40 mph
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A full charge will get you around 1.7 hours at a cruise speed of 40 mph
At speed, the Valo will sit two feet above the surface, skimming the waves
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At speed, the Valo will sit two feet above the surface, skimming the waves
Two seats and an attractive clean design
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Two seats and an attractive clean design
The electric propulsion system sits on the rear foil
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The electric propulsion system sits on the rear foil
Cute digital cockpit
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Cute digital cockpit
Extendable hydrofoils lower into the water once you're launched and out deep enough
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Extendable hydrofoils lower into the water once you're launched and out deep enough
Low-drag carbon hydrofoils make the most out of a small motor in terms of speed and range
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Low-drag carbon hydrofoils make the most out of a small motor in terms of speed and range
View gallery - 9 images

The Valo Hyperfoil aims to kick off a new class of "ultra-performance" electric personal watercraft, a two-seat jetski that can rise out of choppy water on extendable hydrofoils, and go faster than any other electric or hydrofoiling craft you can buy.

The Valo doesn't compete with high-end jetskis on horsepower – where some of those beasts are making more than 300 horsepower, the Valo runs with just 80 kW, or 108 hp. On the other hand, it doesn't have to push its entire hull through the water, since it rises two feet above the surface on extendable hydrofoils, stabilized by "complex flight control software."

In low-drag hydrofoiling mode, powered by a five-blade electric propeller on the rear foil wing, it's targeting a top speed of 50 knots (55 mph, 93 km/h). This, says developer Boundary Layer Technologies, makes it the world's fastest production electric boat, as well as the world's fastest production hydrofoiling craft.

At speed, the Valo will sit two feet above the surface, skimming the waves
At speed, the Valo will sit two feet above the surface, skimming the waves

Now look, Say Carbon has already done this speed in front of witnesses with its 360-kW (483 hp) all-electric SAY 29E. And Alexeev's Hydrofoil Design Bureau has apparently already built a hydrofoiling Sagaris speedboat capable of just under 70 knots (70 mph/110 km/h). Either way, the Valo Hyperfoil will be extremely quick, and considerably less expensive than either of these machines.

Range and endurance aren't too bad: at a cruise speed of around 40 mph (64 km/h), a full battery will get you 1.7 hours or about 68 miles (107 km). Of course, you know and I know that "cruising" ain't how jet skis get used. So you'll want a charge point close by, and once hooked up, the Valo promises a 50% charge in 1 hour, or a 95% charge in 3 hours.

Boundary Layer has until this point concentrated on zero-emissions hydrofoiling designs for ferries and container transports; the Valo represents a chance to get something out to market quickly as the company's larger projects progress. Meanwhile, its "Pamplemousse" prototype 4-ton watercraft is already up and flying.

"The first Jetski was on the market 50 years ago this year, and it’s time for a major upgrade,” says Ed Kearney, founder and CEO of Boundary Layer Technologies. “Valo will be fast, agile, and tremendously exhilarating, all while being near silent and leaving zero wake. It will be like flying a stunt plane but on water. We see this a completely new form of water based mobility.”

Cute digital cockpit
Cute digital cockpit

At an expected price of US$59,000, the company says the first prototype should be finished soon and ready for customer test rides. Early "Founders Edition" orders are slated to begin deliveries in mid-2023, and full production machines will be ready in 2024.

"What we love about Valo is how fast we can get to market," says Kearney. "We are bringing all the technology we were developing for massive container ships and ferries and using it to deliver one hell of a recreational product. We are able to go so fast because we already have a solid platform of technology to build from, as well as having a truly world class team of engineers who have previously designed America's Cup hydrofoils, rockets and spaceplanes."

Source: Valo Hyperfoil

View gallery - 9 images
8 comments
8 comments
guzmanchinky
Having ridden personal watercraft for decades, including many trips on open ocean to Catalina Island, this would be a game changer, as long as the waves weren't too high.
usugo
looks like a rather poor implementation of hydrofoil design
Username
Is it a Jet ski if it doesn't use a jet?
paul314
Brilliant idea. As long as it doesn't hit an arrant wave/wake or anything in the water.
Demosthenes
One more toy for the rich to disturb the peace in the anchorages :-(
martinwinlow
@ Demosthenes "One more toy for the rich to disturb the peace in the anchorages :-(".

I kinda get the impression you're a 'glass-half-empty' kinda guy/gal... You know it's electric, right? So next to no noise and... you know it's a hydrofoil, right? So, next to no wake, either. If you didn't realise either of those things, then 0/10 for span of attention but the good news is that you can now turn your :-( in to a :-))!! Yay!
ljaques
Looks like a load of fun. Hmm, a foil ski or a Model Y? Same price. I fear a horrible price for repair if you hit something in the water with those foils, though.
BlueOak
Very cool design and concept. But renderings and promises are cheap from this startup, not even a prototype exists. For attention to detail perspective, their website appears to be broken - the launch video fails. To put that $59,000 price in perspective - a Tesla Model 3 rear wheel drive is $12,000 less. Or since the company compares itself to Jet Skis, $59,000 would buy 4 to 5 brand new Jet Skis, depending on model.