The Italians know this, the rest of the world feels it. Let's face it: Venice is sinking. Fortunately, slowly, but surely.
Do you know that motorboats are also a contributing cause? It's a little known thing, but it affects us. With their passage they create a "wake pollution" that has already damaged 60% of the buildings in the city.
A company called Candela is about to give a live demonstration of new marine vehicles that can substantially reduce this damage.
C-7, 'flying' electric boats
The C-7 boats use computer-controlled underwater wings to lift the hull above the water and reduce the mega wake typical of speedboats to a tiny bump in the water, just 5 centimeters high. Yes, motorboats ("hydrofoils" would be more correct) that move water as if they were rowing gondolas. Not bad.
If adopted in Venice, the new vehicle design could drastically reduce the damage caused by fast boats and acid pollution.From the press release on Candela site
A fully electric hydrofoil reduces drag by 80%
The main culprits for the damage caused to Venice by water waves are water taxis and tourist boats.
When they whiz through the calli they create a trail that pours into the foundations and walls of the canal. In the long run, the phenomenon accelerates the natural erosion of buildings, bringing them closer to collapse.
Additionally, most speedboat engines pump nitrogen oxides and particulate matter into the air, which accelerate the erosion of Venice's medieval structures, many of which are literally sinking into the lagoon. And this sad state of affairs is getting worse every day with the traffic of wake-laden boats rumbling through the canals of the city.
Even if for a sad reason, the absence of boats in the canals of Venice during the first lockdown made us reflect on the choices to be made, and that of clean boats could be right.
Cleaner and quieter Venice
Today Candela will show its flying electric boats starting during the Boat Show which is held in Venice. Hydrofoils and wings equipped on the bottom of the Swedish company's boats reduce the friction force on the water by 80%, compared to water taxis.
This also optimizes energy consumption and enables silent travel.
The hydrofoils will set sail
Hydrofoils are probably a trend. They will spread (even replacing many speedboats) in the next few years, because they allow fast battery-powered trips without creating disturbing trails and noises.
The C-7 can maintain a high cruising speed of 20 knots for more than 2 hours, much longer than comparable electric boats.
And instead of crashing into the waves of other boats (those that can multiply the energy of the waves hitting the walls of Venice's canals. Did I mention that?), Hydrofoils can hover over these "bumps of water" , which makes the journey even more comfortable.
It's not the only fully electric hydrofoil (nor is it a new idea), but the use of advanced electronics that balances the boat 100 times per second makes it more than noteworthy.