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Whale dynamics inspire new motor

BlueNav’s new Whale Design is inspired by biomimetics and the dynamics of whales.

Engineers from the French company have spent the last year researching and developing the system which is based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

BlueNav engineers have demonstrated that the bumps on the flippers of cetaceans and the striations on their bellies reduce drag and increase fluid flow efficiency and incorporated these features into the design.

In addition, the blades are designed in the shape of a whale’s fin with the fins available in three, four or five-blade versions depending on the shape of the hull and the use case.

“We are proud to introduce the Whale Design, a testament to our dedication to progress and sustainable engineering,” said Hervé Frouin, co-founder and CTO of BlueNav. “Our mission has always been to push the boundaries of what is possible, and with this innovative design, we are one step closer to achieving that goal.”

Independent system

At the heart of the system is BlueNav’s BlueSpin electric motor that can be installed in new build boats and as a retrofit option, converting any craft to an electric hybrid boat.

The system works by bypassing the need to integrate an electric drive with existing combustion engines with a new independent system.

Three models are available – Inhull, which is retractable within the hull and suitable for sailing boats, Outboard with installation on the transom and Stationary, which is installed under the hull.

All models are plug and play and users select whether they are using their combustion engine or electric power depending on where they are such as in a marina, and the type of journey undertaken.

BlueSpin will also integrate with an advanced navigation system, enabling optimal energy usage scenarios while utilising the motor.

The system is suitable for medium-sized boats ranging from 8m to 15m in length and requires no maintenance.

The Whale Design will be available from the second quarter of 2024.

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