After years of design, development and testing, this new high speed, high style Dutch hydrofoiling eboat is being unveiled as a new take on sustainable luxury that offers thrill seekers premium design, power and speed without the oil, emissions, wake or noise.
The history of Edorado 8S starts not in the Netherlands, but in Shanghai China – in 2012 – where designer/architect Giel Groothuis attended a presentation by fellow Dutch ex-pat Godert van Hardenbroek on his work with the electric racing car team at nearby Tongji University and on the Formula Zero hydrogen car racing circuit.
Groothius approached him afterwards to see if he would be interested in an electric boat project, but as van Hardenbroek told a podcast from entrepreneur network Unknown “I was a little bit taken aback. I was like, well, it’s not a car, so what do I know? But the idea grew on me quite quickly, and Giel already had a bunch of sketches and ideas.”
Groothius had the boat part covered, having grown up sailing along the canals and rivers of the Netherlands. When he was in Shanghai heading an organization to promote ties between Dutch and Chinese design, he went out on a powerboat and that was what got him thinking about electric. “I thought, this is just stinky and noisy, you don’t want to be out in a natural environment with that kind of experience.”
As the idea and project developed, they looked to the Netherlands as a home base, and decided on Dordrecht, in the province of South Holland, which has a cluster of experts working on naval architecture and marine engineering. It also has the Sustainability Factory, and access to the best and brightest interns and graduates of the Da Vinci College. It was the perfect place to find and hire fellow innovators.
In the next years they gathered technical and manufacturing experts and a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge by building prototypes of 1:10 size, then 1:5 and 1:2, all operated remotely as they perfected their boat and system.
They knew from the beginning that they wanted a fast boat, (I’m a bit of a speed freak’ says van Hardenbroek) and they knew that if they wanted it to be electric as well that it had to be hydrofoiling.
They originally wanted it to have passive foiling architecture – basically fixed foils – but realized quite quickly that their vision required a system of sensors and controls that would enable the boat to fly above the water with both stability and performance.
The 8S comes equipped with a slew of state-of-the-art tech features and a patented safety system. The boat’s unique hydrofoil system is equipped with a proprietary Automatic Control System, whose smart computer makes constant adjustments to its two foils for safety and stability.
“Once you reach take-off speed, you can really feel the acceleration as the resistance disappears and you feel a strong sensation of release, of being propelled forward.” Says van Hardenbroek “Then, unlike traditional powerboats – constantly smashing into waves – the Edorado flies right over the surface, like a sports aircraft. It glides silently over the water: a new and totally unique feeling, like combining the speed of a powerboat with the tranquillity of sailing.”
The all star team behind this Dutch hydrofoiling eboat
During the years of development, Groothius and van Hardenbroek participated in the ‘Get In The Ring’ competition in which entrepreneurs and startups literally face off against other in a mock boxing ring and are judged by venture capitalists and successful experts in various industries.
Edorado wasn’t victorious in the 2016 Netherlands event, but one of the judges was Steven Schuurman, the Dutch technology and media entrepreneur, best known for co-founding and being the first CEO of open source search and analytics company Elastic.
Schuurman stepped down from the company in 2017 with plans to put his wealth to use for protecting future generations. He had also had the same kind of fossil fuel boat experience as Groothius had in Shanghai. When he went out for a powerboat spin in France with some other high value tech types he was appalled to discover they had burned through 500 litres of diesel!
He came on as an investor with Edorado. “I was instantly convinced, particularly by Giel and Godert’s unique clarity of vision. It’s rare to have the chance to contribute to such a strong product.” With the launch of the product today he said “The beauty of the Edorado is that it will lead the way, pioneering innovations that can eventually trickle down into the wider industry. And providing an unforgettable ride along the way!”
Futuristic but with the feeling of a really classic boat
Another high profile name associated with the Dutch electric hydrofoiling eboat is Ivo van Hulten – currently Director of User Experience Design at Porsche – who used his years of experience in the German automotive industry to design the powerful lines and proportions of the Edorado 8S, from the extended bow to the wraparound screen.
“I wanted to capture that innovation, but also connect it with something timeless, so that it’s not just futuristic but also has the feeling of a really classic boat,” said van Hulten. “Then, with the rear winglet extended, it has something like a bullet or airplane shape. So it looks premium and classic, but it’s really fast!”
Beyond the peak performance and stunning design, the 8S represents a loftier ambition for the powerboat industry and sustainable luxury more widely. Everyone involved is aiming to jump-start the inevitable shift to electric ahead of the big boat manufacturers: transforming the industry from the top down.
CEO Groothuis says “What is considered innovation in the boating industry just doesn’t cut it any more in the current reality of the climate crisis. What is needed is a rapid transition to zero emissions, also for the leisure industry. After owning petrol-fuelled boats I realised that a complete overhaul of this product category is long overdue. The traditional boating industry is just waiting to be disrupted by a clean tech approach. Our goal with the Edorado 8S is to chart a course for clean powerboating.”
The ‘Launch Edition’ of the Edorado 8S is exclusively available for select buyers, while pre-orders of the standard Edorado 8S model can be made globally. The Edorado 8S is priced at €350,000. Details are available on the Edorado website.
EDORADO 8S FACT SHEET
Top Speed 38 knots
Range at 25 knots 40 nm
Battery electric drivetrain
Carbon fiber hull
Fully retractable hydrofoil system
IP67 electric safety standard
Twin propeller drive
Dual redundancy drivetrain
Patented Collision Impact Safety System (CISS)
User Interface 3 x 15-inch touch screen
Over-the-air software updates
Length 8.40m (27.5 ft)
Width 2.50m (8.2 ft)
Draft foils retracted 45cm (1.2 ft)
Draft foils deployed 135cm (4.4 ft)
Displacement 1950 kg (4300 lbs)
Motors 2 x 50 kW
Battery 80 kWh
ELECTRIC HYDROFOIL – 40NM cruising range at 25 Knots
Hydrofoils dramatically reduce the energy consumption compared to a traditional planing hull. That’s why the marriage between foils and batteries is so successful. The Edorado 8S easily offers the range for the most spectacular of your day trips. The boat is suitable for lakes, rivers and coastal waters according to CE-C certification.
AUTOMATIC CONTROL SYSTEM – stable ride above the waves
The Automatic Control System adjusts the foil angles 100 times per second. By lifting the hull out of the water, drag is reduced by at least 60%, resulting in a fast powerboat with zero emissions.
FULLY RETRACTABLE – easy trailering & mooring
The Edorado 8S has the ability to fully retract the foil system into the hull. When leaving a dock at low speed or in shallow water, the 8S operates as a normal boat. Once flight mode is engaged, the boat will take off very much like an airplane, flying comfortably above the waves.
HIGH PERFORMANCE – 38 knots top speed
At Edorado they love their boats fast – really fast. The 8S features fully submerged hydrofoils in the optimal configuration for high speeds. The robust vertical struts can withstand large impacts with floating debris and the fully digital Automatic Control System ensures a comfortable and exhilarating ride. The twin drive gives precision control for docking while at the same time offering dual redundancy for safety.
ERGONOMIC DESIGN – pilot-oriented cockpit
The philosophy behind the interior design is that it provides a comfortable and safe place to be. The layout is focused on offering the best views for the pilot as well as the passengers. The result is a relatively compact cockpit with central steering and navigation console, but a spacious layout. Integrated mood lighting, bluetooth sound system, and a built-in picnic set with wine cooler are just some of the premium features on board.
DIGITAL CONNECTED BOAT – always in control
The Edorado 8S is an all-electric and connected boat. From the Edorado app you can see, for example, the state of charge. Or you can send the digital key to your friends so they can take the boat for a spin. The large touch screen dashboard provides you with performance data and entertainment options on the fly.
LEISURE PAD – integrated swim platform
At the rear of the boat, the cockpit extends out into a leisure pad, the ultimate place for lounging and sunbathing. There’s plenty of storage for water toys and other fun essentials for a great day on the water. The transom folds down to form a swim platform with a built-in ladder. And the lounge area contains a range of smart features, lighting and an audio system. Altogether, it’s the ideal blend of performance and luxury.