Rise & Shine

Conventional wisdom says water and electricity don’t mix and boat hulls belong in the water. Navier, a Silicon Valley startup founded by two MIT-trained rocket scientists, is changing all that with their hydrofoil-equipped electric boat.
Words by Bill Lindsey | April 26, 2021 | Luxury

The top speed of even the sleekest displacement hull in the world is limited by friction, but Navier is using technology to get around that. In 2013, the Americas Cup race featured hydrofoiling boats that utilized wing-like foils to lift the hull above the water’s surface, instantly and dramatically increasing speed while reducing drag. The Navier 27’s hull uses retractable aerospace-grade foils both forward and aft; at speeds below 18 knots, the boat looks and performs like any other displacement hull vessel. But with the foils deployed, as speed increases, the vessel lifts several feet above the surface for a fast, smooth ride even in choppy seas. Upon arriving at your destination, retract the foils and the Navier 27 can be safely operated in shallow waters. Remarkable as they are, the foils are only half the story. Rather than the traditional turbodiesel engines found on high-end yachts, the Navier 27 will be powered by electric motors. Top speed is projected to be 30 knots with a cruising range of 75 miles at 20 knots;