Spirit Yachts launches spectacular long-range electric flying boat

Spirit Yachts and BAR Technologies have launched what they claim is the first fully electric boat capable of a fast cruising range of 100 nautical miles...

Created on the basis of BAR’s America’s Cup simulation and design expertise, the SpiritBARTech35EF is a purpose-built electric boat with a trio of active retractable foils to help minimise drag.

Fabricated from solid titanium, those foils comprise a single T-foil rudder aft for controlling the pitch and yaw. They also include twin legs and single bar forward, with port and starboard aileron-style trim tabs to control roll.

They are a development of various active systems developed by BAR Technologies over the past decade, including Sir Ben Ainslie’s extreme-foiling America’s Cup racers and the foil-assisted Princess R35 sportsboat, which was unveiled in 2018.

Game-changing performance?

With a beam of just 7ft 6in (2.3m), the SpiritBARTech35EF uses a relatively narrow design and a modified deep-vee hull with a fine entry, a single step amidships and a flattened off transom.

Rising from the water at around 14 knots, the flying attitude is adjusted automatically via an IMU that takes inputs from various ride sensors.

Designed to power over swells of up to 5ft (1.5m) in height, she is reportedly capable of a top speed of 30 knots, alongside a range of 100Nm at a cruising speed of 22 knots.

However, with the foils retracted for displacement speed cruising in shoal waters or berthing, the normal draught should be little more than a foot (0.3m).


Modern tech – classical design

Above the water line, the Spirit Yachts’ design is sleek but powerfully classical. Built from cold-moulded wood with a carbon fibre reinforced shell, the structure of the new 35ft electric flyer weighs just a tonne.

The hull’s ring frames and planking are made from Alaskan yellow cedar and the topsides use a decorative layer of African sipo finished with a stunning high-gloss lacquer.

On the inside, owners are able to open up an intimate six-seat cockpit or to close it off with elegant cowls for a more sporting two-seat spider-style experience.

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Karen Underwood of Spirit Yachts said: “Our collaboration with BAR Technologies is the epitome of the modern classic ethos on which Spirit Yachts was founded.

“Beautiful, clean, classic lines and sustainable timber construction, married with forward-thinking technology from BAR. The 35EF is an exciting new opportunity for anyone looking for a stand-out performance yacht with serious style.”

The future of electric foilers?

This limited edition electric flyer will be the first in a series of boats BAR Technologies will design in its bid to create a greener generation of leisure yachts – and John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies, is excited about what the new electric flyer represents:

“It is a proud moment for us to bring this beautiful boat to market. We firmly believe that the future of this sector will be defined by developments in the sustainability and efficiency of vessels. In particular, we recognise that there are new hull forms that can be designed to achieve this and we want to be at the forefront of this development.”

SpiritBARTech35EF specifications

LOA: 34ft 5in / 10.5m
Beam: 7ft7in / 2.3m
Displacement: 2,400kg / 5,291lbs
Top speed: 28 knots / 32mph
Range: 100nm @ 22 knots
Price: “Reassuringly expensive”