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This company claims its boats can save Venice

The boats rise up on hydrofoils to glide over water.

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(CNN) — That Venice is in peril is indisputable. That it is ultimately saveable is up for discussion.

Now, one company thinks they can make a difference to the floating, sinking city — with “flying” boats.

Swedish company Candela thinks that its electric boats can help fight “moto ondoso” — the damaging phenomenon of waves bashing against the buildings and sidewalks from the wakes of boats being driven around the city.

Moto ondoso has been tipped by UNESCO as a “macro emergency” facing the fragile lagoon city. The organization says there is a need to “drastically reduce the effects produced by motor boats.”

Candela’s boats aim to do that. The Candela C-8 and P-8 Voyager are the first no-wake, high-speed foiling daycruisers. And while the C-8 is a classic boat, the P-8 Voyager has been designed to be able to take passengers — as a taxi or a shuttle boat, sparking thoughts that it could be adopted on a larger level around the city.

The boats rise up on hydrofoils to glide over water.


Designed by aviation and drone engineers, the boats produce a wake of just 5 centimeters (2 inches) when “flying” at 30 knots — roughly the same amount as a hand-paddled gondola, and unlikely to bash the city’s foundations with waves.

Meanwhile, the larger 30-seater P-12, which was announced in June 2022, promises to be the first “flying” ferry — with a range of 60 nautical miles and speeds up to 60 kph (37 mph), which the manufacturers say could beat rush hour traffic on routes with an alternative on wheels.

The 2022 launches follow the launch of Candela’s first boat, the pilot C-7, which debuted in 2019. Unlike the other boats, it lacks an enclosed cabin, making it more of a pleasure boat for summer.

Electric dreams — and nightmares

Electric cars may have been popular for some time, but electric boats have had a harder ride. The water drag on the hull of a boat, combined with the weight of the battery needed to power it, is a double blow for boats, meaning that most have to compromise on either speed or distance.

A 100kWh capacity battery pack in a regular vessel can only manage 30 nautical miles at 20 knots before it runs out, according to Candela. But raising the…

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