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Splurge (Candela C-8)

This section of the magazine is typically reserved for “Essentials” as in things you can’t live without. But sometimes a new product comes along that is so different and impressive that it makes you want to splurge. The Candela C-8 is just that.

The Candela C-8 is a Swedish-made, 100% electric hydrofoil day cruiser that has been dubbed “The Tesla of the Seas.” This ingenious watercraft offers an incredibly quiet ride, even in choppy seas, and affords the captain a fuss-free experience as the boat glides above the water. But while the captain is blissfully unaware of everything happening at the water level, Candela’s sensors and UAV-inspired flight-control system are keenly aware of every detail, constantly adjusting the foils and throttle to keep the craft stable and ultra-comfortable. The ride is so comfortable that you forget you’re gliding. Only after you manually lay off the throttle and land back on the water does it become real.

Pushing off the dock and coasting around the marina pre-takeoff, the C-8 looks and feels like a sturdy, well-built day cruiser, not unlike something you’d be on while hopping about the Italian Riviera. But once out on open water, dropping the hammer initiates the lift-off sequence, and seconds later you are flying at 18mph and climbing fast, and the feeling is unlike any other I’ve experienced in my years of boating. There is no concern about trim or crossing another vessel’s wake or anything really, you just glide along having a normal conversation with no yelling above the noise that comes with engine vibration and water displacing. The visibility was also a noticeable improvement as there is hardly ever a moment where the bow is above the captain’s line of sight.

You can see everything in front of you with ease.

But even if you couldn’t see, the massive proprietary GPS chart plotter screen at the helm gives you more than just maps and bearings. There’s also all the intel you’d want to know about remaining battery life, current usage rate, and draft. The C-8 has a range of 65 miles at a speed of 25 mph, and all out at 31 mph you’ll cover 46 to 52 miles. It takes 6.5 hours to charge the Polestar-built lithium-ion battery from zero to 100% with a 220-volt charger.

This article appeared in the Mar/Apr 2024 issue. Subscribe today to get the magazine in your mailbox.

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