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Navier’s 30-foot tech driven hydrofoil
- Tech Crunch
The craft is fully electric and uses hydrofoiling to get around the fact that batteries, while fine for wheeled vehicles, run out fast when you’re pushing water out of the way the whole time you’re moving forward. Hydrofoiling basically takes advantage of the physics of how water resists forward motion to cause the bulkiest part of the boat to lift up above the surface, while the propulsion part stays below, attached by thin fins.
The basic approach is not unique — Candela also makes a few electric hydrofoiling boats and is trying to access some of the same markets. But Navier touts a longer range — about 75 nautical miles versus the Candelas’ 50 — and a more leisure-friendly experience. That is to say, cushier cockpit, more focus on user experience and a sport mode that lets the driver more directly control the boat.
“It is a combination of a boat and plane — there are lots of very complex parts, but that’s what it takes to build something that is step function more efficient,” she explained, comparing the boat to a fighter jet, which compensates for a natural instability with constant, software-defined adjustments. “The control system software is what stabilizes and flies it using sensor information and then driving the actuators. The user operates at a higher level (or outer loop), and drives it like a normal boat.”