By Emily Roden
Leave it to the French — land of Jacques Cousteau, who invented the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) — to create a flying boat. Well, sort of. The so-called “Overboat” is an electric-powered catamaran that almost magically rises above the waves on four hydrofoils, thus creating a carbon-free ride that is so smooth, you won’t even spill your drink.
This ecological, noiseless and light (only 50 pounds) foil boat is the result of three years of research by Vincent Dufour, oceanographer, entrepreneur and navigator. The electronically controlled foils automatically stabilize the boat, taking away the obstacle of human error. In order to run in shallow water or beach, Dufour designed the foils to be retractable. Powered by a 4.5 kW electric engine, the little cat boat can reach a top speed of 15 knots. At a cruising speed (12 knots), the batteries will last up to two hours.
The Overboat will debut along the French Riviera during the summer of 2021 and cost about $30,000.
For more information, visit NeOcean.com.