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First of a new breed of hydrofoil boats passes rigorous tests

Posted on 22 Feb 2021 and read 958 times
First of a new breed of hydrofoil boats passes rigorous testsThe Candela Seven uses 80% less energy than conventional boats, which translates into long all-electric range and high speed

The first of a new breed of maritime transport has successfully passed rigorous leisure boat tests, conducted by the Swiss authorities in Lucerne, earlier this month. The revolutionary Candela Seven is the world’s first electric hydrofoil boat to enter the consumer market, and as such, had to pass a set of trials to meet the Swiss safety, noise, and emission standards.

Compared to the CE certification that all boats in the European Union (EU) must conform to, the Swiss regulation is stricter. The Alp lakes double as reservoirs for drinking water and are rigorously protected. The threshold for noise is lower, as well as pollution and oil spills, than in the rest of Europe.

To see if the new craft would be deemed safe for use on the Swiss lakes, the boat was tested making sharp turns at full speed. The Candela Seven passed all the tests with flying colours — its onboard flight computer automatically adjusts the hydrofoils under the boat, keeping the craft artificially stable in winds and waves.

One category where the Seven really outshone conventional boats, was the noise measurement. On the logarithmic decibel scale, an increase of 3dB represents a doubling of sound intensity. To pass the test, a boat cannot be louder than 72dB. Candela Seven flew silently past the sound recorder buoy, which picked up a mere 65dB.

Christian Vogel, the Swiss dealer responsible for seeking approval, said: “It is one of the most silent boats ever tested in Switzerland. The noise is actually a problem for a lot of imported boats. Often, we have to rebuild the engines with new, more advanced mufflers to pass the test.”

The approval is the ‘green light’ that the electric hydrofoil boat needs to enter the Swiss market. The revolutionary craft is already the best-selling electric premium boat in Europe, thanks to its long all-electric range at high speeds. The hydrofoils lift the boat above the water, thus minimizing hull resistance and improving range by a factor of three compared to other electric boats.

Mr Vogel concluded: “The Candela Seven is a true revolution for boating. For the first time, you can go both far and fast in an electric boat. Driving the craft is fantastic, you are flying over the waves instead of slamming into them and you cannot really get seasick on board.”