Vessev VS-9 electric hydrofoil enters testing in Auckland

Vessev hydrofoil in testing near Auckland, New Zealand Vessev hydrofoil in testing near Auckland, New Zealand (Photo: Vessev)

Vessev, a developer of sustainable marine technology which has its headquarters in New Zealand, has unveiled the VS-9, billed as the first fully-electric hydrofoil tourism vessel in the world.

The new vessel will be operated by Fullers360, New Zealand’s largest ferry operator. The operator’s NetZero Maritime team played a ‘pivotal’ role in development of the new model.

“It’s our intention for Fullers360 to be 100% electric or hydrogen operated by 2040 and foiling is absolutely a part of that vision,” said Mike Horne, Fullers360 CEO.

The VS-9 was designed and built by Vessev, formerly known as Seachange. The hull is produced using carbon fibre laminates to deliver a resilient shell which can return a long operating life.

With an overall length of nine meters, VS-9 can transport a maximum of 10 passengers at up to 25 knots (lift is achieved at about 19 knots). The hydrofoil system raises the vessel’s hull out of the water to deliver smooth and quiet travel said to be more like flying than sailing.

This capability allows the VS-9 to better manage adverse weather conditions, such as high wind and larger waves. The foils alter their shape using precision flaps to optimise efficiency and ride quality. Similar techniques are used on America’s Cup yachts.

The foils are fully retractable to allow the boat to operate safely in shallow water or to be loaded onto a trailer.

Range for the VS-9 is said to be 50 nautical miles (57 miles, 92.6 km). The hydrofoil system reduces drag, so helping to improve maximum travel distance. Testing is being carried out with a petrol-powered chase boat. According to Eric Laakmann, Vessev CEO, the cost of fuelling the chase boat is 25 times that of the electricity used to charge the VS-9.

Laakmann continued: “The benefit of the VS-9 scale up to larger vessels. We are already working to develop the VS-18, a 100-passenger vessel using the same technology and design of the VS-9.”

The hydrofoil vessel is now undergoing sea trials near Auckland with certification expected this year. Following this, the boat will enter commercial operation with Fullers360.

No details covering the battery pack or drive system were made available, other than to say that recharge times of 0.8 nautical miles per minute are possible using a high-speed DC charger.


Receive the information you need when you need it through our world-leading magazines, newsletters and daily briefings.

Sign up


The trusted reference and buyer’s guide for 83 years

The original “desktop search engine,” guiding nearly 10,000 users in more than 90 countries it is the primary reference for specifications and details on all the components that go into engine systems.

Visit Now

Becky Schultz Vice President of Content Tel: +1 480 408 9774 E-mail: [email protected]
Julian Buckley Editor Tel: +44 (0) 1892 784088 E-mail: [email protected]
Chad Elmore Managing Editor Tel: +1 262 754 4114 E-mail: [email protected]
Josh Kunz Power Progress Brand Manager Tel: +1 414 379 2672 E-mail: [email protected]
Roberta Prandi Power Progress International Brand Manager Tel: +39 334 6538183 E-mail: [email protected]