Electric boats show big at 6th hydrofoiling awards

The winners of the 6th edition of the Foiling Week hydrofoiling awards have been announced,  and electric boats – as well as electric/hydrogen propulsion – had a big showing with 19 nominees and 2 category winners.

Foiling Week was started in 2014 and the Foiling Awards in 2016. They are all part of The Foiling Organization and We Are Foiling. President and Founder Luca Rizzotti says “We Are Foiling, as the name says, was born to be an inclusive universe open to the Foiling Community.”

The industry association connects everyone involved in ‘flying above the water’: boat yards, sailors, designers, events, component manufacturers, universities, research facilities, sailing schools and national authorities.

19 e-boat nominees in hydrofoiling awards

This year’s Foiling Awards prizegiving took place at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, in front of an audience of more than 250 guests.

There are some categories for which electric propulsion was not eligible, like foiling athletes,, schools and events, but in the design and production categories e-boats put up a very strong showing. Nineteen of the 36 nominees in those 8 categories showcased electric boat technology, with two of those being Category Winners. Congratulations to all!

Category: Innovation Technology

“For foiling design solutions specifically applied to flight control, design and construction of parts (excluding hull), including vessels not powered by wind.”

Caponnetto Hueber Foldable Foil – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - folding foils

Caponnetto Hueber (CH) has developed an innovative Foldable Hydrofoil System (patent pending) that includes many advantages for a foiling yacht.

Firstly, there are no constraints on the maximum foil span being smaller than the maximum beam of the yacht or vessel – larger foils  improve performance and autonomy.

While the foldable foils are not  specifically designed for electric propulsion, it is a new way for fossil fuel boat manufacturers concerned about speed and range to more easily incorporate hydrofoiling and consider electric as a viable option for their boats. In fact the CH system is being used in two boats below: the Iguana Foiler and Bluegame American Magic Chase Boat.

Hull Vane Foil Assist – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - Hull Vane (drawing)The Foil Assist bills itself as being like a shock absorber for your boat, creating a smoother
ride through waves. It’s a partial hydrofoiling application for high-speed planing boats that consists of a small, passive wing built of solid stainless steel, aluminium or composite that  is mounted amidships under the boat’s hull.

It comes in three variations: The Fixed Foil Assist is designed for and then bolted to your vessel. It is optimized for a specific speed, while The Adaptive Foil Assist is designed for more flexibility across a wider range of speeds. The Retractable Foil Assist is based on the Fixed Foil Assist, with one key difference: the wing can also be retracted completely into the hull, for storage.

Category: Sustainability

“For the best ideas, inventions, design and initiatives, that will have a beneficial impact on the environment”

ETNZ Chase Zero Chase Boat  – Nominee
hydrofoiling awards nominee - Chase Zero boatEmirates Team New Zealand, who introduced foiling to America’s Cup competition in 2012, has developed an electric hydrofoiling chase boat powered by hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.

‘Chase Zero’, made her debut last April in the same harbour where ETNZ unveiled the AC72 catamaran yacht ten years before and changed the face of sail racing globally. The 32.8-ft-long (10 m) foiling catamaran carries 6 crew members, with each hull storing the hydrogen fuel tanks, fuel cells, batteries and electric motors.

With the twin electric motors of 220kW (approx 300HP), the boat can almost literally fly at about 30knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph) with the 160kW generated from the fuel cells.

“The fuel cells provide the majority of the energy” explains Electrical Engineer Michael Rasmussen, “but there are also two 42kWh batteries which act as a filter for fast changes in power demand, when the boat may have to quickly reach speeds of 50 kts.”

Hydrogen IMOCA for Phil Sharp – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - Phil Sharp Race to Zero IMOCA boat

The round-the-world Vendée Globe may be the world’s most gruelling sport competition, and the world’s 1st green hydrogen racing yacht is preparing to take it on in 2024 and prove the possibilities and potential of hydrogen as a zero emission energy source.

The entry is being put together by OceansLab, co-founded in 2019 by Phil and Rebecca Sharp with the mission of “accelerating the uptake of high performance clean innovations through the world’s most extreme ocean races.”

Phil is a champion skipper who placed 4th in the 2005 Mini Transat solo race from France to the Caribbean and went on to achieve over 25 podiums in transatlantic and coastal racing, with victories in two Championships. Along the way he also broke three World Sailing Speed Records.

Hydromotion Team 23 TU Delft – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - TYU Delft

The TU Delft Hydro Motion Team is one of the Dream Teams at Delft University of Technology –  23 multidisciplinary students intent on showing opportunities in the maritime industry to tackle today’s and future climate challenges by pushing the boundaries of sustainable technology

They are perennial participants in the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, always exploring new innovations through coordination and consultation with industry experts and the experience of alumni. As the TU Delft Solar Boat Team – founded 17 years ago – they built a boat that could hit 55km/h powered by the sun, then started exploring the potential of hydrogen in 2021 and made the transition to become the TU Delft Hydro Motion Team. Pioneers once again, they built the first foiling hydrogen-powered boat in the world.

Commercial e-boat rally added to Monaco Energy Boat Challenge 2023

Category: Project

“For the best projects still in design phase and not yet launched”

Bluegame American Magic Chase Boat – Winner

hydrofoiling awards nominee - American Magic chase boatItalian boatyard Bluegame, based in Ameglia, is producing the chase boat for the ‘American Magic’, the USA America’s Cup racing under the colours of the New York Yacht Club.

Similar to Emirates Team New Zealand’s Chase Zero, this is a foil-equipped multihull powered by a hydrogen engine capable of flying over the water at 50 knots.

Bluegame says “The key passage was the new protocol and, more specifically, the chapter that obliges each team to equip itself with an innovative, fast and sustainable chase boat, which they are now allowed to have constructed by external companies. Il futuro è arrivato e parla italiano: The future has arrived and it speaks Italian.”

Cockwells Alte Voltare – Nominee
hydrofoiling awards nominee - foiling tenderThis 12m limousine tender will utilise a fully electric drivetrain and retractable foiling technology to provide a quiet and comfortable ride, using 80% less energy than a non-foiling hull at a fast-cruising speed. Typically remaining close to the mothership, an electric tender can be regularly and conveniently charged on board.

The Alte Volrare has an ingenious layout with folding midship boarding steps that lead to the centre cockpit area. Forward is a comfortable bow seating area for five guests, with a removable infill cushion providing a large sun pad. Aft of the centre cockpit is a modern, airy saloon with inward-facing seating for up to eight guests. Large wrap-over side glass creates a light and open feel, and a full aft picture window with twin reclining loungers provide an immersive view from the rear of the boat.

Iguana Foiler – Nominee
hydrofoiling awards nominee - amphibious Iguana FoilerThe Iguana Foiler was a finalist in the Plugboats 2022 Gussies Electric Boat Awards– the world’s first electric amphibious boat with foils. A boat that sails, lands and flies.

The Iguana amphibious system of caterpillar tracks was developed and patented in 2014 and the company now has boats in over 20 countries across 6 continents, used for all everything from watersports and taxis to superyachts tenders.

The foils give the hull a very energy-efficient energy performance and are expected to reduce energy consumption by 50%. Equipped with an Evoy 300+ HP outboard, the 8 passenger boat will have a range up to 50 miles (+ 80 km) at a cruising speed of 22 knots. Top speed is 30 knots.

Spider Foiler Ernesto Riva – Nominee
hydrofoiling awards nominee - Spider FoilerThe Spider Foiler is another 2022 Gussies Finalist in the category: Concept / Development Electric Boats: Up To 8m / 26ft.

The Spider is a result of a collaboration between the naval designer Hugh Welbourn, inventor of the Dynamic Stability System, the designer Francesco Manfredi of Cutting Edge Studio and the designer Tommaso Lorenzini of the Ernesto Riva Shipyard. The boat combines sporty character and elegance with the use of light materials such as low specific weight wood, 3D printing of structural elements and a low power propulsion system. The Spider is designed to be powered by an electric or ICE motor.

See all the 2022 Gussies Electric Boat Awards Finalists

Valo Hyperfoil – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - Valo HyperfoilThe Valo claims to be ‘The world’s first Hyperfoil.’ What is a Hyperfoil? Since the company invented the term we will let them explain it:
“A Hyperfoil is a high-performance, semi-autonomous, electric hydrofoiling vehicle with wings to fly above the water. Think of it like a jetski, but 1000 times more awesome. It has an active stability system and our Skyride flight control software.”

Ed Kearney, founder and CEO of the company behind Valo, Boundary Layer Technologies, says “This is not just a high performance PWC. Valo is a fully featured electric aircraft with wings, stabilizers, actuated control surfaces, inertial sensors and complex flight control software, nothing else out there comes close to it.”

Category: Motor Boat

“For the best engine powered foiling craft”

Proteus 360: Winner
hydrofoiling awards nominee - small foiling motor boatThere is not any information on the Proteus website yet, but I saw this boat the Boot Düsseldorf 2023. It is a small foiling boat – 3.6m long with a width of 1.7m (≈12ft X 5.5ft), and draft of 220mm (9″) with the wings and stabilizer retracted, 850mm (33″) with extended wings but not yet on the move, then back to 300mm (12″) when fully hydrofoiling.

The company says it can ‘move absolutely safely with a wave height of 0.6 metres (2 ft). It has a 6 kW motor and LiFePO4 battery with a capacity of 10kWh, giving it a maximum range of 44 nautical miles. Top speed is 22 knots (25 mph, 40 km/h).

Epoch Boat – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - small foiling skiff

Yet another Gussies 2022 Finalist, the the new electric hydrofoiling skiffs from Epoch Boats are the ‘fishing boats that fly’ – offering the average boater a foiling experience at an entry level price.

The Epoch boat uses surface piercing foils in a pending retractable system that deploys at speed. The hulls are fitted with the foils – midship and near the stern – along with the mechanisms to raise and lower them. The outboard motor moves with the foils along a track on the transom to make sure the propulsion is always aligned with the ‘wings’ to create and maintain lift. The activating controls in the driver area are very similar to a power tilt and trim control.

FloE – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - foiling jetskiThe FloE is from Aeronamics, the Dutch firm who make the 4.25m (14 ft) Flo1 foiling sailing boat. The FloE is their first venture into mechanical propulsion and has multiple sailing modes.

In displacement mode the boat floats on the hull volume and displaces the water like a traditional sailboat.  In planing mode it boat sails faster than its hull speed. Skimming mode is when the foils give the boat a considerable lift, so that the bottom of the hull barely touches the water. In foiling mode the hull flies free from the water.

The company says that “When sailing at high speeds, the water will pass the foils and create a low pressure which will ‘suck’ the foils up, further increasing the speed of the FloE. The curved foils find their own ride height balance. No active controls are needed to keep the boat level and stable when you’re foiling.

The top speed is ca. 20 knots (37 km/h). For children and people that don’t have a boating license the speed can be limited to 7.5 and 11 knots (14 and 20 km/h).

Commercial Project

“For the best foiling project intended for commercial use”

Artemis EF-24 Passenger – Winner

hydrofoiling awards nominee - Artemis ferryYet another Gussies 2022 Finalist, the Artemis EF-24 Passenger ferry provides a cost-effective public transport solution that helps address air pollution, congestion, and noise.

Artemis is headed up by CEO Dr. Iain Percy OBE, who is a three time Olympic medallist, double Olympic champion. and veteran of four America’s Cup challenges. The company’s mission is “To lead the decarbonisation of the maritime industry through the design and development of transformative technologies and zero-emission vessels.”

Iain said of the winning the Foiling Award: “Our 24 metre, 150 passenger ferry which is really going to revolutionise public transport and we’re excited to first launch it here in Belfast.The technology that we’ve produced, like the Artemis eFoiler, found its home in the America’s Cup and the emergence of hydrofoiling in that competition. I’m immensely proud not just to win with our Artemis EF-24 Passenger, but to get second place as well with our Artemis EF-12 Workboat.

Artemis EF-12 Workboat – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - Artemis workboatAlso from Artemis, their 12M Artemis eFoiler propelled multi-purpose workboat is the world’s first high-speed 100% electric foiling commercial vessel.

It is designed and built to high commercial standards, delivering market leading electric propulsion, ride comfort and energy efficiency during operations in the harshest environments.

Candela P-12 Shuttle – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - Candela P-12 ShuttleThe last of the Gussies Finalists in the FOiling Awards is Candela electric hydrofoil shuttle, which will launch this summer in Stockholm behind a $20M investment.

“This new investment will unlock the potential of under-utilized waterways for climate-friendly, high-speed commuting,” said Gustav Hasselskog, Candela’s founder and CEO. “The P-12 Shuttle will in many cases be faster and cheaper than land transport like bus lines, and it will be profitable for operators from day one.”

Category: Water-Toy

“Best foiling “gadget”

Manta 5 SL3 – Winner

hydrofoiling awards nominee - Manta water bikeWhile the Manta 5 SL3 isn’t purely an electrically propelled water toy, it is a pleasure to say that its other form of propulsion is not fossil fuel – but human power!

The Manta was developed with the sole purpose of replicating an intuitive cycling experience on water. The company says it takes less than an hour to go from novice to confident. From there, add fresh and salt water to your new biking terrain. They do add, though, that falling off and getting wet when starting out is part of the fun. The human power is augmented with electric assist that can be used to first get the water bike foiling and also to give you a bit of  a rest when you’re up and running. Or…pedalling?

Sea-Doo Rise – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - Sea-Doo RiseThe Sea-Doo Rise from one of the world’s jeyski companies is an all-electric hydrofoil standup surfboard that ‘provides an elevated experience to maximize your fun on the water.’

The Rise provides a few options. You can surf standing up, on your knees or even lying down. It has a retractable handlebar you can use for extra balance while standing or fold-down to feel like a true surfer. The board can operate with no foiling, partial or full foiling. Cruising speed can be selected with a handy remote.

Seat Foil – Nominee

hydrofoiling awards nominee - sit down foiling boardIf you REALLY don’t want to stand up when foiling, the Seat Foil is for you. You feel like you’re sitting on a flying carpet, controlling direction and height by weight shifting and adjusting speed  – up to 20km/h – with a thumb throttle. It has a 4 kW (5HP) motor and battery capacity for about 2 hours of flying.

The hull is hydronamically streamlined for easy take-off and stable touch downs and the wings are shaped for stability and efficiency. You wear a magnetic key for safety. There is storage for paddle and personal items, and with the foil demounted the Seat Foil is compact enough to transport by car.

Exciting things are happening every day in electric boats and boating.
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