The whole carbon fiber structure is extremely light. The hull and deck is 240 kg, which is very light for an almost 8-meter-long boat. For comparison, a similar fiberglass boat such as a Searay or Boston Whaler, would be almost 800 kg – so the lightness of the Candela Seven is a huge difference.
The most complicated part of building the Candela Seven, though, was the software. When you’re banking, a normal hydrofoil boat tends to lean outwards, but you don’t want that because it feels like you’re falling out of the boat. As a result, Candela had to have the hydrofoils lean into the curves. Mahlberg says cracking that algorithm was pretty tough, but they managed to do it – and they are the first ones in the world to have done so.
“Our digital control system balances the boat 100 hundred times per second,” explains Mahlberg. “So, the hydrofoil moves really fast – so fast that you can’t really even see it happening. The system is very similar to what you would find in a jet fighter, which is why we like to say the Candela Seven is more like an aircraft than a boat.”
For the driver you won’t notice much difference between the Candela Seven and a traditional fossil-fuel boat… at first. The computer is basically driving the boat, and your only input is the steering wheel and the throttle. It’s when you go full throttle that you notice the difference. The boat will first behave like a normal boat but then, after three or four seconds, you will notice that all the sounds of the waves and the choppy water will disappear because you’ve starting to fly above the surface. And you don’t have to balance it with trim tabs like you would have on a regular planing, fossil-fueled boat – the computer handles all of that. And you get a really good range of 50 nautical miles at 20 knots, which is a world record for an electric boat and three times better than the closest competitor.
“One big benefit of using hydrofoils and flying over the waves and over the choppy waters is we have gotten rid of sea sickness – it’s actually true!” says Mahlberg. “The boat is super stable when you’re driving in rough conditions. You won’t feel the waves, even if it’s stormy, because the craft balances itself.
“You also get superior sea keeping, as well as no wake behind the boat if you go fast. If you’re going 30 knots the wake is comparable to if you’re paddling a canoe, which is a huge benefit from an environmental perspective, because boats cause a lot of erosion on the coastline. Additionally, the Candela Seven could potentially go very fast in no-wake zones.”
Where IoT comes into the picture
When it comes to IoT, Candela is a prime example of an IoT-enabled product that uses IoT to serve customers globally. Data on everything from motor performance to the location of the boat is logged. If there is an anomaly in the electric systems, for example, Candela can track that and also fix it remotely. Connectivity saves a lot of time and money for both Candela and Candela’s customers. They don’t need service centers all over the world because most problems can be fixed remotely through connectivity and IoT.
“If you compare this with a traditional engine maker, if they have an error in one of their engines an alert will pop up on the screen in the boat and then you have to take the boat to the dealer to get it fixed,” explains Mahlberg. “This isn’t a good approach for us, because we’re a small company that exports all over the world. IoT allows us to troubleshoot problems remotely and also fix them remotely.”