The best-selling Candela Seven electric boat flies above the waves at high speeds, without wake, noise or emissions. Its long range and performance stems from hydrofoils – underwater wings – that were invented 100 years ago by the Italian engineer Enrico Forlanini. Next week, Candela Seven makes its debut on Lago Maggiore, where Forlanini tried out his invention 100 years ago.
In the beginning of the 20th century, Italian engineer Enrico Forlanini skimmed across Lago Maggiore in an entirely new type of craft, never seen before. His innovative “hydrofoil boat” had wings beneath the hull, which enabled it to soar above the water at record shattering speeds. Despite using a small and heavy steam engine, his odd-looking wooden boat reached 30 knots without much effort – considerably faster than fastest steamships of the era.
The hydrofoil – the underwater wing – that Forlanini had invented, eventually led to the foiling passenger ships that now haul travellers between stops in Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda, but the idea never caught on for leisure boats like Forlanini’s own craft.
That is, until now.
Next week, April 13-16, the flying boats return to Lago Maggiore. And this time, they’re electric. The Swedish-made Candela Seven is the first electric boat equipped with modern, submerged hydrofoils. Since its debut in 2018, the Seven has outsold all other electric premium boats in Europe, thanks to the remarkable performance it achieves by using a modern version of Forlanini’s invention.
Lifted up on computer-stabilized hydrofoils, the Candela Seven uses 80 % less power than conventional boats and can cruise for 2,5 hours at a speed of 20 knots. This remarkable performance makes it the first electric boat with enough range and the necessary speed to compete with fossil fuel powerboats.
Instead of the wood planks and strings that Forlanini’s boat was consisted of, the Candela Seven is entirely built from carbon fiber. And its foils are hyper efficient and controlled by software and sensors, which adjust the wing’s attack angle 100 times per second provide superior stability and minimize wake. And while Forlanini’s wood-burning steam engine was silent, Candela’s efficient electric drive train makes the Swedish craft almost inaudible.
– Flying above the water without any noise is truly a magical feeling. It’s really how boating should be. And since it doesn’t create wake or emissions, you can enjoy the thrill of waterskiing or wakeboarding without destroying our pristine lakes, says Umberto Amos, the head of ABC boats, the Candela reseller in Lago Maggiore.
The Swedish boat builder started off in 2018, and has since captured a large share of the budding market for electric boats. Umberto Amos is confident that the Seven will be a hit on Lago Maggiore, too.
– With a range of 50 nautical miles, you can go anywhere on the lake at high speeds. I think this is how boats will look like in the future. When you drive it, you instantly realize it’s a shame that no one put Forlanini’s invention to use before, says Umberto Amos.
Read more: A virtual test ride in the first flying electric boat (june 2020) – This electric boat flies above the waves (april 2020)