Electro Nautic makes a splash with WaveFlyer

Above: Electro Nautic WaveFlyer. Image - Supplied.

Back in August last year, Startup News spoke with Electro.Aero co-founder Richard Charlton about the company hitting two milestones: the world’s first ducted fan microlight, and the receipt of their second Innovation Voucher for their subsidiary Electro Nautic.

Then mostly under wraps, Electro Nautic has now announced its WaveFlyer prototype – a personal watercraft that employs much of the same technology used on the aerospace product Richard and his co-founder, Josh Portlock, created.

When Startup News last spoke with Richard, the third prototype was being designed and built. It’s now being tested on the water – at a secret location somewhere around Perth.

The tech

Today, the world’s first automatic stabilised electric hydrofoil watercraft is now a reality.

The technology doesn’t make waves, Richard said, as the hydrofoil allows the craft to glide through the water and over the waves whilst generating almost no wake.

That’s an environmental boon, as wake damage is a common problem around waterways, causing bank erosion, among other issues.

It’s “silent flight over water” Richard told Startup News, the innovation being that the hydrofoils are fully auto-stabilised:

It’s a fully automated fly-by-wire control system. You get on, press a button, and it flies. Anyone can pilot the WaveFlyer and enjoy a thrilling flight experience including high-speed banked turns.

Richard Charlton, Co-Founder Electro Nautic

The next steps

Capital raising is now on the cards, as Electro Nautic is looking to commercialise the WaveFlyer and release it to the public as soon as possible.

The product that will hit the market will be a two-seat personal watercraft, with a propulsion system that lasts for up to three hours of hydrofoiling.

Electro Nautic WaveFlyer. Image – Supplied.

Likely to cost around $20,000 for the most basic version, Richard said the WaveFlyer will be the world’s first electric hydrofoil personal watercraft.

Aussie owned, made, and funded

“The goal is to be fully funded by Australians, so we can grow here in Perth and export to the world”, Richard told Startup News. The Perth born and raised startup is keen to capitalise on the rich history that WA has in the maritime industry.

WA is the boat building capital of Australia, why not keep it that way?

Richard Charlton, Co-Founder, Electro Nautic

It seems the right time and place too, with significant investment in Australia going into the maritime industry and electric mobility.