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First Flying Electric Daycruiser Claims to Outsell Combustion Engine Boats - Just Weeks After Introduction

8th October 2021
Candela C-8 flies on computer-guided hydrofoils. With a top speed of 30 knots and a cruise speed of 24 knots, it rivals fossil fuel powerboats in terms of performance while offering a whisper quiet ride and far better comfort.
Candela C-8 flies on computer-guided hydrofoils. With a top speed of 30 knots and a cruise speed of 24 knots, it rivals fossil fuel powerboats in terms of performance while offering a whisper quiet ride and far better comfort

The Swedish tech company Candela has racked up more than 60 orders for its revolutionary, €290,000 electric boat, the Candela C-8. That makes the flying C-8 one of the fastest-selling 28-foot boats on the market.

The Candela C-8 is the next-generation electric boat from the Swedish tech firm Candela. Using a new version of the company’s patented hydrofoil system, C-8 flies above the waves with greater range than any other electric boat, powered by a new, silent pod thruster – the Candela C-POD.

Compared to the company’s first model, the smaller and hand-built C-7, the C-8 is made for rapid mass production which allows Candela to sell it for a price that is in line with conventional premium, fossil-fuel boats.

Five weeks after launching the C-8, Candela has more than 60 orders for it, which makes the novel electric powerboat one of the best-selling 28-foot premium boats in Europe.

According to the firm's data, the C-8 is the second or third fastest-selling powerboat in the 28-foot category in Scandinavia. Not just electric boats, but any type of power source. By year's end, we expect to have a real impact on combustion engine boat sales in this size category, says Mikael Mahlberg, Candela’s Communications Manager.

First long-range electric boat - intended for mass production

Candela’s first boat – the open Candela C-7 – was a sales success in its own right, but still a niche product. With 30 units delivered since production started in 2019, C-7 led premium electric boat sales in Europe on account of having longer range, higher cruise speed and smoother ride than other electric boats, thanks to the company’s hydrofoil tech that lifts the hull above the water friction and allows for long-range on battery power only.

Candela C-8 is a far bigger and more capable boat that will offer new features not found in other boats. Flying on computer-controlled hydrofoils that lift the hull above the waves and reduce energy consumption by 80% compared to traditional powerboats, the C-8 can cruise for more than 2,5 hours at 20 knots. The hydrofoils also reduce slamming by 90% compared to conventional hull boats.

  • The C-8 will not just have longer range than other electric boats, it will offer a better ride experience than any boat out there. In 3-4-foot chop, you’ll be able to drive at 30 knots without feeling the waves. It will be like a magic carpet ride, says Mikael Mahlberg.
  • The real game-changer is Candela’s new boat motor - the Candela C-POD. By putting the electric motors in a torpedo-shaped pod under the water, Candela gets rid of mechanical gears and the associated noise. Shifting to electric direct-drive also reduces the number of moving parts, making the Candela C-POD more efficient, and virtually maintenance-free. With 3 000 hours between overhauls, the Candela C-POD will last a human lifetime without maintenance.
  • The C-8 will be the first truly silent, fast motorboat. There’s no slamming, no noise from the transmission. You’ll be able to cruise along at 24 knots, with only the sounds of wind whistling past the windscreen, says Mikael Mahlberg.

First fully integrated boat

Candela’s 25-strong engineering team consists of experts in hydrodynamics, software, advanced computer simulations, mechatronics and electric propulsions systems, among other fields.

All software and most hardware – including the Candela C-POD motor and Flight controller that controls the foils in-flight - are designed in-house. Candela C-8 is a fully integrated boat, offering a seamless user experience. Gone are the myriads of physical buttons and knobs found in conventional boats. All features, from foil retraction to route planning, are managed by the 15,4-inch panoramic touch screen, which is running Candela’s intuitive User Interface. Boaters can also manage and monitor charging, route planning, heating etc from the Candela app. 

Foilborne without compromise

Thanks to the hydrofoils – two underwater wings – that lift the hull above the water friction, Candela C-8 can run for considerably longer distances than other electric, fast boats. At a cruise speed of 22 knots, the C-8 will cover more than 50 nautical miles (92 km) on one charge of its 45-kWh battery.

When foilborne, the C-8’s on-board computer, called the Flight Controller, adjusts and twists the hydrofoil about 100 times per second to maintain the best flight height and to counteract waves and side wind. This allows for an artificially stable ride, free from the slamming and pitching common in conventional motor boats.

In very rough seas that prevent hydrofoiling, the C-8 can also be driven as a conventional boat, albeit with reduced range. By pushing a button on the touch screen, the hydrofoils will retract into the hull. This feature is also useful when entering a shallow harbor, or when storing the boat on a trailer. When driving in Shallow Mode, the C-POD motor and C-Foil are retracted and fully protected from both fouling and hitting submerged objects.

Deliveries begin in 2022

The first Candela C-8 boat is being assembled in Candela’s Lidingö, Stockholm factory during December. First deliveries will start during spring 2022.

Afloat.ie Team

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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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