Water is a drag, literally! The same cohesive properties that make water wet also cause a lot of drag on the underside of a boat’s hull, but a hydrofoil uses an underwater wing to produce lift, just like an airplane, hoisting the boat up and out of the water for a faster, more efficient ride. It’s a clever solution that’s been around for a few decades already, but hasn’t really gone anywhere. At least, not until now. Enter: Candela, whose revolutionary, all-electric C7 has finally reached series production!
Getting the boat out of the water into the (relatively) low-drag air is a neat trick for internal combustion-powered speedboats, but it’s an absolute game-changer for electric watercraft like the new Candela C7.
Reducing the boat’s drag dramatically improves its range and cruising speed by reducing the amount of work the motor has to do at high rpm, where electrics are least efficient. What’s more, because electric motors produce peak torque at 0 RPM, they’re ideally suited for the heavy lifting of getting the hydrofoil up and out of the water (see what I did there?).
Once the Candela takes flight, it looks like a whole different kind of fun. Check it out for yourself in this video, showing off the “Sunbed Edition” C7 off the coast of Italy.
Candela C7 Sunbed Edition | Italy
As for specs, the Candela C7 is powered by a single 40-kWh battery that’s good enough to push the foil to a top speed of about 30 knots — which, believe me, is moving! Range is also deceptively good for such a small battery, with Candela claiming a cruising range of 50 nautical miles at 22 knots (about 25 MPH). “That may not sound like a ton,” writes New Atlas’ Loz Blain, “but … it’s about three times the range that other electrics on the market can offer. There are others that go further — the Sarvo 37, for example, can go 100 nautical miles … but it uses a colossal 350-kWh battery that’s nearly nine times the size of the C-7’s to get there.”
So, it’s fast, efficient, and won’t pollute the water with spilled gas and oil — but those aren’t the only benefits the Candela offers. Compared to conventional ICE boats, the C7 is nearly completely silent and virtually wake-free, making it extra fun in the sort of low-wake zones that were proliferating around Miami’s waterways back when I was living that “boats n’ hoes” life.
So, OK, what’s the bottom line? Simply put, the Candela is a better boat. Just like a Tesla is a better car and an F150 Lightning is a better F150. This is the future, kids, and it’s awesome!
Of course, that’s just my take. What’s yours? Do you think an electric hydrofoil sounds like exactly the kind of thing to make your weekend, or are these luxury toys too far outside the mainstream to advance the cause? Scroll on down to the comments and let us know. Oh! Before I forget, check out this slick, gear-driven wing retraction mechanism to allow the Candela C7 to navigate the shallows. Slick doesn’t even begin to cover it. Enjoy!