Breakthrough Candela 8 set to prove electric to general boat buying public

Bigger, longer range, with the new Candela C-POD motor, the Candela 8 electric hydrofoiling boat is a game changer – designed for mass production of 1,000s of units and ready to prove the benefits of electric boating to masses of boat buyers.

There is no doubt that electric boats are incredibly quiet, more than twice as efficient as fossil fuel motors and also free boaters from the curses of noxious fumes, carbon emissions, maintenance fees and the constant cost of refueling with gasoline or diesel. The hesitancy for many boaters has been the initial upfront costs, a large part of which is the battery and electric system.

The Candela 8 is out to change all that. Gustav Hasselskog, Founder and CEO of Candela Speedboat and leader of the team that developed its hydrofoiling and electric motor tachnologies, says the new C-8 may be “the i-Phone moment for boats. It’s basically free boating, and hassle-free boating, for the first time in history.”

R&D boosted exponentially for Candela 8

The Candela 7 developed by the company has been turning heads since it was launched in 2019 and is now the best selling electric boat in Europe. It was built for speed and to demonstrate that its sophisticated hydrofoil technology not only allows for long range on electricity, but also provides a better experience than conventional boats. “However, the C-7 was more like a hand-built sports car’ says Hassleskog, ‘never intended for volume production.”

Boosted by large investments from the TED foundation’s Chris Anderson among others, Candela has been able to scale up R&D at an exponential rate over the past two years. The C-8 project was initiated to finally bring electric boats to the masses.

Candela 8 exteriorThe new, larger C-8 pushes the technology to the next level and is powered by the revolutionary C-POD motor introduced just least week (You can read all about it »» here). The size – 8.5 metres / 28 feet allows space for all the amenities boaters look for  in a premium cruiser and perhaps most importantly, is designed for efficient mass production.

Operating costs 95% lower than fossil fuel

Let’s be clear, at €290,000 / US$350,000 the C-8 is not inexpensive, but that price is on par or lower than many conventional fossil fuel powerboats in the 28-29-foot range.

The difference is that the C-8 is virtually free to own and use. The company says its hydrofoiling system and motor make the cost of driving a Candela C-8 95% lower than for combustion engine boats.

The double powered/double propeller C-Pod motor is rated for 3,000 hours of service-free use, which is the equivalent to 50-100 years of recreational boating. Ask any boat owner – a FF engine needs all kinds of costly maintenance every year. An electric motor like the C-POD is virtually maintenance free.

Candela’s hydrofoiling technology was developed by a team of experts in hydrodynamics, structural engineering, electrical machines, dynamic modelling, image & signal processing, hardware design, control theory and machine learning.

New optimized stepped hull design

The engineering team now numbers more than 25 and they took the learning from C-7 to design an even more efficient foil system for C-8. They also spent considerable effort on optimizing the C-8’s hull – dubbed the C-hull –  which is  a stepped design that uses very little energy from standstill up until 16 knots, when the boat becomes foilborne.

Candela 8 underwater view of optimized hull “Take-off is where we use the most energy,” says Hasselskog “so equipping a foiling boat with a really good planing hull makes a huge amount of sense. I think we have pushed the hull performance as far as is possible”

Lift to drag ratio is how the ability to take off is measured, and for comparison: a planing boat has a lift to drag ratio of 4, a seagull is at 10 and an albatross, with its long sleek wings has 20. The original Candela-7 reached 15 and the new C-8 eventually ended up at an amazing 17.

Fly by wire steering

The new hull form also smooths out the transition between foiling and non-foiling. When encountering unusually big waves, the C-8 can foil through them, helped by the C-hull’s ability to get the boat back on the foils. It makes for a very smooth transition between foiling and non-foiling, much like a touch and go landing.

Candela 8 hydrofoiling and turningIn an industry-first for leisure boats, the C-8 is equipped with true fly-by-wire steering and has Autopilot features for more relaxed driving over long distances. When the driver lets go of the wheel, the boat will automatically steer the set compass course. Technical upgrades are available over-the-air.

The physics of hydrofoiling are obviously different from a boat riding in the water, so the team put a lot of effort and learning form the C-7 into understanding how to translate the feeling of a very tight driving experience into mechanics, electronics and software.

Any mechanical play has been taken out of the entire system and the boat has its own height sensors to shorten the system’s reaction times. In terms of driving experience, the boat reacts to changes in the steering wheel within a split second.

The most efficient powerboat ever

All of this, along with the new C-POD, makes the Candela-8 the most efficient powerboat ever. It can cruise for longer distances than any electric powerboat before it: over 50 nautical miles on battery power at a speed of 22 knots. At 22 knots, it draws only 16 kW/21 hp from the battery.

More comparisons: A conventional, planing, 28-foot cabin cruiser is typically equipped with a 300-horsepower gasoline outboard motor. The general rule of thumb for a combustion outboard is that you divide the horsepower by 10 to get the gallons burned per hour (at full speed). That means 30 gallons (120 litres) per hour. You can figure out the cost with the fuel prices in your own neighbourhood. It is substantial.

Comfort and efficiency

Candela 8 interior berthBoaters, of course, do not live by efficiency alone. The C-8 features all the amenities anticipated in a premium cruiser: A large, comfortable cockpit with seating for eight, big sunbed, spacious front cabin with beds for two adults and two kids, and a marine toilet. Options include  a trailer, customized cushion patterns and colours, multiple mooring cover colours, biimini top and cruiser cover

All settings – from turning on the cooler to navigation – are controlled from the 15,4” inch screen running Candela’s proprietary user interface. The Candela app lets the owner control the boat’s various systems from ashore.

“The way boats must look in the future”

Combining a price that is on par with fossil fuel boats with the benefits of electric hydrofoiling – superior seakeeping, total silence, very low operating costs, zero maintenance and a seamless user experience – Candela is expecting C-8 to be the first electric boat than will outsell fossil fuel competitors by a wide margin.

The man behind all of this, Gustav Hasselskog, says “We believe we will make several thousand Candela C-8’s over the coming years. Once you have tried it, you realize that this is the way boats must look like in the future.”

Candela C-8 production starts soon at the company’s Stockholm factory, and the first customers will take delivery during spring 2022.

Full information – and ordering form – is on the Candela website

Candela C-8

Length 8,5 meters  /  28 feet
Beam 2,5 m / 8.2 ft
Draft 0,5m / 19.7″  in shallow mode (foils retracted), 0,8m / 31.5″ while foiling
Speed 22 knots / 40 kmh cruising, 30 kt / 55kmh max
Battery 44kWh
Range 50+ Nautical Miles /  90+ km
Motor Candela C-POD
Max take-off load 815 kg  /  1,800 lb
Charging time 2 hours, with 3-phase charging
Accommodation Sleeps 2 adults, 2 children, seats for 6+2 people

Selected options

  • Cooler
  • Fresh Water shower
  • Marine toilet with septic tank
  • Underwater LED lights for foil illumination

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