Electric hydrofoiling SpiritBARTech35EF sets UK record

The challenging ‘Round the Island’ run – approximately 50 nautical miles (93km) around the UK’s Isle of Wight – has a new record for e-boats, set by the electric hydrofoiling SpiritBARTech35EF with a time of 1 hour 56 minutes. The previous record was set earlier this year when David Kendall and his Optima e10 became the first electric boat to circumnavigate the Isle on June 12.

Optima 1st electric boat to sail around Isle of Wight

The SpiritBARTech35EF comes from classic wooden yacht builder Spirit Yachts and BAR Technologies, which was founded in 2017 by Martin Whitmarsh and Simon Schofield after their success in America’s Cup Campaigns, Volvo Ocean Races and McLaren Formula One car racing. Schofield was pilot for the Isle of Wight accompanied by BAR’s Head of vessels, Oliver Pendleton.

Electric hydrofoiling boat has 100NM range 

The record-setting boat is the end result of the ‘Electric Flyer’ project announced by Spirit Yachts and BAR in January of 2022. That project was commissioned by the owner of the multiple award-winning sailing/electric yacht Geist, the largest wooden sloop (33.9m /111 ft) built in the UK since the 1930s.

Electric Flyer – new e-hydrofoiler from Spirit Yachts and BAR Technologies

Combining Spirit’s impeccable design and craftsmanship with the next level engineering of BAR, the SpiritBARTech35EF has the look of a 1930s Rum Runner and can reach speeds of up to 30 knots when it is in full hydrofoil mode.

Because there is almost zero drag and water resistance when the boat is foiling, it uses very little energy to maintain its speed. That in turn means the batteries can be smaller and lighter. BAR Tech says it is the first fully-electric yacht with a range of 100 nautical miles (180 km) between charges. That’s with a cruising speed of 22 knots (20 km/h), which is pretty close to the speed of the Wight circumnavigation (≈ 50 NM in 2 hours ≈ 25kts).

electric hydrofoiling boat going around The Needles of Isles of Wight

Schofield says “This vessel is the embodiment of our pioneering approach for the luxury yacht sector, which is overdue for more efficient designs that don’t compromise the needs of comfort and performance.”

UK-based Equipmake supplied the electric drivetrain system, the company’s first foray into the maritime sector. It is a specially adapted version of their HPM-400 motor, which produces a peak power of 80kW (≈110 HP).

Equipmake – F1 pioneer launches high power electric motors

CEO Ian Foley told Electrive “I’m proud we have played a key role with Spirit Yachts and BAR Technologies on this incredible electric flying boat. Our in-house developed electrification technology has many varied high-performance applications, from aerospace to automotive, and the SpiritBARTech35EF is the perfect showcase for how it can be applied to the rapidly growing electric marine market.”

Pilot and co-pilot of record setting electric hydrofoiling boat

BAR Tech CEO John Cooper says the SpiritBARTech35 will be the first of a series of boats they design to break new ground as the world moves into a greener generation of leisure yachts.

“We firmly believe that the future of this sector will be defined by developments in the sustainability and efficiency of vessels. In particular, we recognize that there are new hull forms that can be designed to achieve this and we want to be at the forefront of this development.”

Karen Underwood at Spirit Yachts added: “Our collaboration with BAR Technologies is the epitome of the modern classic ethos on which Spirit Yachts was founded. Beautiful, clean, classic lines and sustainable timber construction married with forward-thinking technology from BAR with no compromise on comfort and efficiency. The 35EF is an exciting new opportunity for anyone looking for a stand-out, performance yacht with serious style.”

BAR Technologies Spirit Yachts

Photo Credits: Ingrid Abery Photography (Hero Photo), BAR Technologies

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