The Marlin is an electric personal hydrofoil that uses an innovative propulsion system similar to the oscillating movement of a Marlin’s tail (hence the concept’s name).
The Marlin’s hull is inspired by the Mach2 Foiling Moth from McDougall McConaghy boats. These crafts are already in production, so I wanted to use them to create an electric hydrofoil. I also wanted to try out a new propulsion system on the Marlin. Instead of using a propeller, I opted for a Bio-Mechanic propulsion system invented by Brice Thouret (see patent).
How it Works
First let’s start with the oscillating propulsion system (OPS). Imagine the tail of a whale, which oscillates up and down, and the resulting force pushes its body forward. Bryce’s invention is similar to this; it creates an oscillation by converting the rotation of a motor into this movement. You can tweak the amplitude of the movement, the speed, and the surface and shape of the foil, and it will impact the dynamic of your craft. For the Marlin, we would use the shape of a marlin’s tail, and we would place that mechanism between the two hydrofoils.
A 15 kW electric motor would power the oscillating propulsion system (OPS) behind the pilot. Ion-lithium batteries located inside the vehicle would supply the energy needed for the OPS and other electrical equipment. The Marlin would be equipped with an onboard charger so you could charge it at your dock with an AC cord. Alternatively, the Marlin could be fitted with a combustion engine, like a 10hp four-stroke engine.
The hydrofoil system would work similarly to existing hydrofoils. A small ‘pilot rod’ located at the bow would control the angle of the frontal foil. When the craft is in the water, the frontal foil would be angled to create an upward movement. As the crafts gained speed, the boat would start to lift out of the water, and when it reached a certain height above the water line, the ‘pilot rod’ would maintain the Marlin in a lifted position by releasing the pressure on the front foil.
The Marlin’s shape would resemble that of a kayak; it would be long and narrow to reduce friction on the water. A special super-hydrophobic coating could also be applied to help the vehicle slide faster when it’s riding at low speed in the water. Turning would be achieved by orienting the OPS to the left or right.
What It’s Used For
The Marlin would be a quiet, personal watercraft. It would not emit any CO2, and it could use the sun or the wind to recharge its batteries at the dock. It would be built with strong and lasting materials, so you could keep it in the family for a very long time.
There is a demand for such futuristic vehicles. Of course, like any project, this one would need to be developed to meet the requirements of its users. The innovative OPS would also need to be compared with conventional ones like propellers. Would it be more efficient? Would it cost more to maintain or produce? What would the drawbacks be?
I would like to thank Niklas Wejedal, who produced the renderings of the Marlin. Niklas is located in Barcelona, Spain, and studied at the Umea Institute of Design. He currently works as a senior Designer for Nanik Studios