The new Valo Hyperfoil is a two-person foiling personal watercraft with an electric drivetrain for near silent cruising at up to 35 knots.
Developed by American based Boundary Layer Technologies (BLT), the craft is designed for hyperformance while remaining safe and easy to handle thanks to proprietary active ride software.
Retracting foils enable the craft to be easily launched and transportable on a standard trailer.
The design comprises a front and rear carbon fibre hydrofoil assembly, with the rear incorporating a high-performance 45kW electric drive system.
The craft is controlled by BLT’s proprietary Skyride flight control software which micro-adjusts the foils and surfaces hundreds of times a second to maintain safe, level flight above the waves no matter the sea conditions.
“The idea behind the Valo was to take the next step forward for marine mobility and to do it with a craft that both draws on a clean, all-electric powertrain while offering riders the thrill of high-speed foil flight,” says Ed Kearney, BLT CEO. “The incredible design we have developed for the foils, actuators and control surfaces is matched by the magic contained within the Skyride software, which gives the Valo active ride control, and which makes it a breeze for riders of all levels to enjoy hyperformance cruising and handling even when the sea gets choppy.”
The craft is constructed in high modulus carbon, titanium and ultra-high strength stainless steel and can operate for more than two hours on a single charge, giving a potential range of more than 60 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 27 knots.
Hard to describe
“Everyone on the team knew a foiling personal watercraft like this would be exciting to ride, but we really had no idea it would be this fun,” adds Reo Baird, BLT CTO and former CTO of foil boat company Navier. “The experience is really hard to describe – perhaps the closest analogy would be skiing in deep power snow. More than that, though, is the pure sensation of speed combined with almost no noise – it really does feel like the future has arrived.”
So far, the Valo has already received more than US$3.3 million in advanced orders, four times the original planned first production run. The first units are expected to be delivered early in 2024.