Glosten and Bieker Boats have joined forces to bring modern composite hydrofoil technology to the passenger vessel community. This collaboration draws on Bieker Boats’ years of experience designing fast foil-borne boats—including leadership on Oracle Team USA—and Glosten’s design of passenger vessels for public and private clients over the past 50 years.
Ultra-Efficient Passenger Transportation
With a cruise speed of 35 kts and 2×515 kW propulsion motors, this ferry requires less than half the installed power of a typical passenger catamaran, resulting in more than a 50% reduction in energy consumption. This allows for all-electric propulsion for most routes, hydrogen for longer-range zero-emissions operation, or diesel-electric, which still offers significant operational cost and emissions savings. We achieved this by combining the proven technologies of ultra-efficient hydrofoils and lightweight carbon fiber hull construction.
The safety of passengers and crew is paramount for all ferries. Our design takes proven commercial hydrofoiling ferry technology and incorporates a foil collision energy absorption system designed to dissipate the energy during contact with a submerged object. The system can be quickly reset because our tantamount priority is reliability. Comfort is enhanced and transit times are more reliable as the vessel flies over waves rather than through them.
Construction & Maintenance
The vessel’s hull is constructed using carbon fiber with foam cores above the waterline. This results in a significant weight savings over the lightest aluminum construction. The struts and foils are constructed of carbon fiber laminates, achieving the same strength and stiffness of high strength steel at 20% of the weight. These advancements in foil design and manufacturing can be seen in the latest America’s Cup foiling yachts. The aft foil can be manually raised while at the dock for routine inspections and cleaning of the foil and propulsion units. The forward foil assembly can be removed for service without dry docking the boat. Engine maintenance is drastically reduced with half the installed power and consistent engine loading.
For more information, download the marketing sheet.
If Seattle-Tacoma commuters ride the Foil Ferry instead of driving personal vehicles, they could reduce emissions by over 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road or adding 6,000 acres of forest for every year of operation. The vessel’s reduced power requirement and lack of wave generation results in a quiet vessel, protecting marine mammals and providing a comfortable ride. With low drag foils and half the installed power, this ferry’s wake has practically no impact to sensitive shorelines.
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