New Dutch Hydrofoiling Boat Unveiled
The Edorado 8S is 27’6” (8.4 m) long with an 8’2” (2.5 m) beam. Retract the foils and she draws 1’2” (45 cm).
After years of development, a new Dutch hydrofoiling electric boat has been introduced. The Edorado 8S is being described by the manufacturer as a new take on sustainable luxury. She has a top speed of 38 knots, according to the builder, and her cruising range is estimated at 40 nautical miles at 25 knots.
The history of the Edorado 8S started in Shanghai, China, in 2012. Designer/architect Giel Groothuis attended a presentation by fellow Dutch ex-patriot Godert van Hardenbroek on his work with the electric race car team at Tongji University and on the Formula Zero hydrogren car racing circuit.
Groothuis approached van Hardenbroek to see if he would be interested in an electric boat project. “I was a little bit taken aback. I was like, well it’s not a car, so what do I know?,” he fold the host of a podcast on the Unknown network. “But the idea grew on me quite quickly and Giel already had a bunch of sketches and ideas.”
Groothuis had the boat part covered since he had grown up sailing the canals and rivers of the Netherlands. When he was in Shanghai leading an organization to promote ties between Dutch and Chinese design, he took a ride on a powerboat. “I thought, ‘This is just stinky and lousy,’ you don’t want to be out in a natural environment with that kind of experience.”
The two continued working together and they looked to the Netherlands as a home base. They decided on Dordrecht in the province of South Holland, which is home to experts in naval architecture and marine engineering. It’s also home to the Sustainability Factory and Da Vinci College.
As the years progressed, the duo gathered technical and manufacturing experts and built prototypes of 1:10 size, then 1:5 and eventually 1:2. They knew they wanted a fast boat and the way to deliver that, they knew they needed a foiling system.
The original concept was to use passive or fixed foils, but realized that this would require a system of sensors and controls that would let the boat fly above the water with stability and performance. The 8S comes with a proprietary Automatic Control System for the foils and a patented safety system that uses a smart computer to make on-the-fly adjustments to the two foils.
“Once you reach take-off speed, you can really feel the acceleration as the resistance disappears and you feel a strong sensation of release, of being propelled forward,” says van Hardenbroek. “Then, unlike traditional powerboats — constantly smashing into waves — the Edorado flies right over the surface, like a sports aircraft. It glides silently over the water; a new an totally unique feeling like combining the speed of a powerboat with the tranquility of sailing.”
During the years of development, Groothuis and van Hardenbroek participated in an entrepreneurial competition called “Get In The Ring” in which businesses face off against each other in a mock boxing ring and are judged by venture capitalists and experts from industry. Think Shark Tank.
Edorado didn’t win, but one of the judges was Steven Schuurman, the Dutch technology and media entrepreneur, best known for co-founding the first CEO of open source search and analytics company Elastic.
He invested in Edorado, saying, “I was instantly convinced, particularly by Gil and Godert’s unique clarity of vision. It’s rare to have the chance to contribute to such a strong product.” Another high-profile name associated with the 8S is Ivo van Hulten, current director of user experience design at Porsche. He used his years of experience in the German automotive industry to design the lines and proportions of the boat.
“I wanted to capture that innovation, but also connect it with something timeless,” said van Hulten. “Then, with the rear winglet extended, it has something like a bullet or airplane shape.”
Beyond the performance and design, the 8S represents a lofty ambition for sustainable luxury in the powerboat industry. Edorado says it wants to jump-start the shift to electric power ahead of the big boat manufacturers.
“What is considered innovation in the boating industry just doesn’t cut it any more in the currently reality of the climate crisis,” said Groothuis. “What is needed is a rapid transition to zero emissions, also for the leisure industry.”
The Launch Edition of the 8S is available for select buyers and pre-orders of the standard 8S can be made globally. She’s priced at about $405,560 and details are available at the Edorado website.
- Battery electric drivetrain
- Carbon fiber hull
- Fully retractable hydrofoil system
- IP67 electric safety standard
- Twin propeller drive
- Dual redundancy drivetrain
- Patented Collision Impact Safety System (CISS)
- CE-C certification
- User Interface 3 x 15-inch touch screen
- Over-the-air software updates
- Length 8.40m (27.5 ft)
- Width 2.50m (8.2 ft)
- Draft foils retracted 45cm (1.2 ft)
- Draft foils deployed 135cm (4.4 ft)
- Displacement 1950 kg (4300 lbs)
- Motors 2 x 50 kW
- Battery 80 kWh