The Candela C-8 Travels Above Water To Completely Reimagine Boating
— Updated on 27 May 2024

The Candela C-8 Travels Above Water To Completely Reimagine Boating

— Updated on 27 May 2024

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in Volume I of B.H. Magazine. Purchase your copy here.

At first glance, the Candela C-8 looks like any other expensive day boat with its sleek silhouette, lush lounging options, and carbon fibre everything. But as BH set out for what would be a game-changing test flight on Stockholm Harbour, its makers insist that it’s not a boat at all.


“It’s actually a plane that flies over the water, or a computer that just happens to be shaped like a boat,” offers Candela’s Mikael Mahlberg. “We engaged aeronautical engineers from jet-fighter builder Saab to develop it.”

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While you might expect an electric boat to struggle with range – even one powered by a 69kWh battery pack borrowed from another Swedish company, automotive EV-maker Polestar – the Candela C-8’s party trick is that it uses a hydrofoil system to rise out of the water and fly over it, once you hit 17 knots.

“While we’re flying, the C-8 needs to balance itself because the lifting point is below the centre of gravity,” explains Mahlberg. “So the boat’s flight controller automatically detects its surrounds and adjusts the hydrofoils 100 times a second to optimally position the vessel.”

The reduction in drag means this flying machine uses 80 per cent less energy than a conventional boat, which means it can provide a range of 57 nautical miles while travelling at 22 knots, all from a single charge. It can then be recharged in 35 minutes on a DC charger.

While the idea of being able to run a boat that doesn’t rely on expensive, polluting fuels is appealing, the other benefit – only appreciated once you’ve flown one – is that it’s oh-so-smooth and almost completely silent. No engine noise, no wave slap or impact.

As we discovered, it’s possible to hold a conversation with the other passengers at 20 knots without raising your voice. This is boating, reimagined.

The Candela C-8 by Polestar is available as a dayboat or a centre console and is priced from €$330,000. The company has already taken orders from Australia.

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