BGH first look: Bluegame to build 50-knot hydrogen-powered chaseboat

Bluegame is developing a hydrogen-powered chase boat for American Magic, the American entry in the 2024 America’s Cup sailing series.

Hydrogen powered chase boats form part of the event’s ‘protocol’, a strict set of rules set out by the current holders that each team has to follow.

The requirement presents a significant technical challenge to all teams, but the defending syndicate, Emirates Team New Zealand, has already shown the way with its own Chase Zero, the world’s first hydrogen e-foiler that launched earlier this year.

As well as creating no harmful emissions, the chase boat must have an LOA of at least 10m (33ft), a maximum speed of 50 knots and a range of more than 180nm at cruising speeds.

The Bluegame’s design is called BGH and it meets all these requirements, with an LOA of 10.8m (35ft 5in) and a pair of computer-controlled foils allowing it to ‘fly’ above the water once it exceeds its take-off speed of 24 knots.

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It is powered by twin electric motors driving propellers on the forward foil and fed by two 70kW EODev hydrogen fuel cells (one in each of its two hulls). It should have a range of 200nm at 28-knots.

A scale model of Bluegame’s BGH power-cat was unveiled at parent company Sanlorenzo’s annual press conference during the Cannes Yachting Festival but the official renderings were still being finalised as we went to press. The finished boat is scheduled to launch in spring 2023.

A star cast of designers and engineers were drafted in to develop the boat including Bluegame founder Luca Santella, race boat designer Philippe Briand, and American Magic skipper Tom Hutchinson, among others.

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