Electric flying water taxi has 1st U.S. customer

SeaBubbles (shown above) is the creation of revered French yachtsman Alain Thébault, also creator of the world’s first multi-hulled hydrofoil, Hydroptere.

The Hydroptere held sailing’s Nautical Speed record from 2007 to 2009, when it became the first boat to break the 50 knots barrier. (The world record is now 60 knots – 102 kmh!)

M. Thébault’s next dream was SeaBubbles, a zero emission electric-powered hydrofoil to be used as a water taxi along the Seine river in Paris.

At the bottom of this post is a link to a post with video of SeaBubbles flying along the river. Pretty cool.

The stunning looking vessel was first demonstrated in the city of lights last year, but its economic model of building and operating a fleet of the futuristic taxis in Paris has some difficulties.

Now the company is pursuing a pure sales model, and took SeaBubbles across the sea last week to the Miami International Boat Show. 

On Tuesday it was announced in Miami that Daniel Berrebi would be the exclusive US distributor.

Mr. Berrebi was the founder and CEO of international shipping company Unishipping from 1986 to 2018 and has been on the board of Cuba’s Baja Ferries since 2003.

And on Saturday, February 16 Mr. Berrebi and M. Thebault announced that first shipments would take place in July.

It is unclear at this point whether Baja Ferries is a client, or part of the distribution team. Or both! We’ll let you know when we find out.

The French magazine Le Figaro gives some insight to what plans are for this amazing machine. It quotes Thébault pointing to the opportunities presented by Florida’s no-wake zones. “Our SeaBubbles are perfect for areas where turbulence from boats is restricted” he said. He is hoping for an eventual market of 100 craft in the state.

The hydrofoils are built in Asia and the U.S., but there has not yet been sufficient demand (only about 10 sold thus far) to industrialize the process. The first models are being sold for 150,000 to 200,000 Euros (175,000 to 225,000 $US).

As it looks to US sales, the company is also looking for a battery supplier stateside as well as ways to address docking and recharging configurations.

Stay tuned!!

Photo Credit: Alain Thébault twitter feed

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