Candela’s new 28-foot ‘flying’ electric boat takes its maiden voyage

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When Candela debuted its speedy C-8 electric boat last summer, the brand said it hoped the new model would bring an “iPhone-moment for boats.” Less than six months later, that bold claim doesn’t seem quite so unrealistic.

The Swedish outfit has released video footage of its impressive 28-foot, hydrofoiling electric boat prototype cruising the waters outside the company’s headquarters in Lidingö, Stockholm. The C-8’s maiden voyage reached its designed “take-off” speed of 16 knots before flying noiselessly above the water at a cruise speed of 20 knots, according to the company.

What’s especially impressive from the video is the C-8’s transition to “flying.” It rises softly from the surface like a whale coming up for air before gliding above the water. The seamless transition comes courtesy of the C-8’s computer-controlled hydrofoils, which Candela says will use up to a whopping 80 percent less energy than conventional planing boats, meaning more range and higher speeds. The foils, of course, are retractable for those that prefer a more traditional boat ride, and there’s even an autopilot option that will follow a set course thanks to the fly-by-wire steering system.Candela's C-8 electric hydrofoiling boat takes its maiden voyavge.

Candela’s C-8 electric hydrofoiling boat takes its maiden voyage. Candela

In the video, the C-8 cuts a handsome profile soaring above the water. The carbon-fiber hull makes that easier, as the vessel is significantly lighter than its conventional counterparts. It also offers more room than its predecessor, the C-7.  The new model can accommodate up to eight people, with a cabin that sleeps two adults and two children.

Of course, when it comes to any electric vehicle, range is the thing. On that score, the C-8 can cover 50 nautical miles on a single charge with the 44 kWh battery pushing it to 20 knots. For boaters that prefer a little more zip, the vessel can reach a brisk 30 knots. That will likely deplete the battery faster, but not to worry: It can be fully recharged in around two hours.

Candela said it has already had 100 orders placed for the C-8, and those interested can reserve one today. They boats will cost roughly $339,000 (€290,000), and the first C-8s are expected to be delivered during this summer. Two designs are available—a day cruiser and hardtop—and you can choose from a selection of two exterior colors with options for upholstery.

Will the C-8 bring smartphone-level disruption to the boating world? Stay tuned to find out.

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