Photography by Candela
16 June 2022
The Candela P-8 Voyager, the first zero impact craft for long-range exploration, was designed to replace traditional water taxis and commercial passenger watercraft that have conventionally relied on combustion engines for power.
Unveiled in May at the Salone Nautico in Venice, the P-8 Voyager cruises at 20 knots and reaches a top speed of 30 knots. The 8.5-metre boat offers space for six passengers in addition to crew.
It relies on a similar hydrofoil system used on Candela’s other electric boats that fly above the surface of the water to consume significantly less energy.
The onboard flight controller automatically changes the foil’s angle of attack when the boat reaches 16 knots, allowing it to lift off and fly above the waves.
The flight controller relies on a wide array of sensors to gauge wave height and ensure a smooth ride, even in adverse conditions.
The system can handle 4- to 5-foot swells and boat wakes of up to 150 centimetres thanks to its high ride height and quick adjustments to roll, pitch and height that are made 100 times per second.
Erik Eklund, Chief of Commercial Vessels at Stockholm-based Candela said the P-8 Voyager offers a new level of luxury at sea.
“You get the seakeeping ability of a 100-foot ship in a 28-footer. Foiling in bad weather will be the ultimate experience of nature. Taking in the dramatic scenery, breaking waves and all, while safely flying over it in absolute silence.”
The system is ideal for areas that are sensitive to boat wakes, such as Venice, since the hydrofoils leave almost zero wake. According to Candela, the wake left by its hydrofoils is no larger than that of Venice’s famous gondolas.
The company’s fifty engineers combined their experience from the drone, aerospace and software industries.
Importantly for commercial vessel owners and operators, the P-8 Voyager is designed to be as maintenance-free as possible. The vessel uses the Candela C-POD motor, which was specifically developed for the company’s hydrofoiling watercraft.
A pair of submerged motors provide 50 kW of power and directly drive counter-rotating propellers without the need for any transmission in between. That means no noise, no oil, no cooling fluid and virtually no need for maintenance.
Candela says the C-POD drive unit can run for 3,000 hours without service (compared to many outboard motors with internal combustion engines that require maintenance intervals of 100 hours).
The highly reduced maintenance schedule is ideal for operators in remote locations where technicians are hard to come by.
When moored, the hydrofoils retract into a hull recess above the waterline to prevent marine growth. The P-8 Voyager is also fully connected and able to take advantage of over-the-air (OTA) updates, enabling Candela’s 24/7 service department to perform remote troubleshooting.