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World’s First Electric Hydrofoil Speedboat Powered by Torqeedo

18th December 2020
The boat cruises above the water, its weight rested on two hydrofoils The boat cruises above the water, its weight rested on two hydrofoils Credit: Christian Brecheis

Billed as the world’s first electric hydrofoil speedboat, the Candela Seven has been brought to market by Swedish startup, Candela Speed Boat.

Propelled by the Torqeedo Deep Blue 50i electric outboard engine the boat cruises above the water, its weight rested on two hydrofoils. The vessel has a top speed of 55 km/h and a range of 92 km when driven at 37 km/h.

“The Candela Seven combines minimum energy consumption with maximum performance,” says Dr Ralf Plieninger, Managing Director of Torqeedo. “The electric hydrofoil is a game-changer for marine electric mobility.”

The Candela Seven’s development has been driven by Candela Speed Boat’s CEO, Gustav Hasselskog, who wanted to know if it was possible to combine modern electric motors with the hydrofoils that are now standard equipment in much competitive sailboat racing. 

A leader in electric drives for watercraft up to 120-feet, Torqeedo was founded to solve similar problems. “Even though we’ve grown a lot since then,” says Plieninger, “we’ve held onto our start-up culture. We enjoy solving problems and doing things differently.”

Torqeedo deep blue electric engineTorqeedo's deep blue electric engine unit

The Candela Seven is 7.7 metres long and seats six. Its Deep Blue electric motor accelerates the boat smoothly until the vessel reaches 27km when it rises out of the water onto its hydrofoils. “The energy consumption drops 80 per cent in hydrofoil mode—that gives us a range similar to a gasoline engine,” says Hasselskog. It’s said the boat runs very smoothly on its hydrofoils with no slamming into waves, and no noise.

The flying Candela SevenThe flying Candela Seven Photo: Christian Brecheis

The Candela Seven’s design is based on insights from the field of aeronautics. The hull and deck are made of carbon fibre and weigh 180 kg. At a total weight of 1300 kg, the Candela Seven is thirty per cent lighter than a conventional fibreglass boat.

Candela has also developed a ‘flight control’ system with multiple sensors that supply it with GPS, sonar, and engine data. The system then mechanically adjusts the main and aft foils on the fly. This is designed to keep the boat steady in heavy waves or during sharp turns. And if travelling through shallow water, the hydrofoils retract by tapping the touch screen.

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About Electric outboard engines

The direct-drive component in electric outboard engines means that the electric motors are incredibly efficient compared to conventional marine combustion motors, operating with considerably higher torque whilst using less power.

Without any need for gears, cooling systems and moving parts the motors are maintenance free, highly efficient and economic to run.

As a result, electric boat engines are becoming more popular on Irish waters as the world transitions from fossil fuels to green energy.

To date, popular electric engine sizes have been trolling engines typically used by fishermen on lakes.

These marine engines are available in models that can be used in fresh water and sea water, for your boat or kayak.

Electric motors are Ideal for fishermen because they are quiet and create little in the way of disturbance 

Popular electric trolling models range from 30lb thrust to 55lb thrust in a range of shaft lengths.

But use is becoming broader now in 2021 and electric outboard engines are being used on small runabouts and RIBS where electric outboard engine sizes are getting bigger.

Outboard electric engines are economical and environmentally friendly. Battery technology is also improving at a rapid rate meaning they are becoming smaller and lighter and run for longer.

Built in hydro-generation provides alternative recharging options whilst under sail are also options meaning the electric outboard now has a home on the stern on small yachts and dayboats too.

As far back as 2014, Torqeedo owner Jack O'Keefe from Cork Harbour told Afloat readers of his sailing adventures in a Drascombe Coaster dinghy and how after swapping from a petrol version the rewards from his new electric outboard engine are less noise, no smells, more stowage, better sailing performance and a motor that can be started by a small child. But it's still not silent, there's a whine he says here 

Popular brands in Ireland are Torqeedo, ePropulsion, Pulsar and Minn Kota but there are more arriving all the time as the technology advances

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