For a year, we have followed with you the adventure of Seabubbles, extraordinary flying boats, capable of transporting Parisians in a hurry on the Seine.
Aboard the seaZen, we are particularly interested in the development of this exemplary initiative in Eco-Navigation. We propose to update the last news that we could collect on this subject.
Seabubbles is a French-Swiss project carried by Alain Thébault inventor of the hydrofoil and the fun board champion, Anders Bringdal. This boat powered by an electric motor can sail more than 12 knots, or 22 km / h carrying 5 people. Today this limits the boat to 4 passengers because she takes a pilot. Potentially SeaBubble can compete with Uber in congested cities.
Thanks to its foils, she sails over the water which saves energy and improves passenger comfort. In addition, like any electric boat, she is quiet and odorless.
Test of the Seabubble by the Huffpost
After tests in Geneva and La Ciotat Bay, Seabubbles has announced its goal to sail on the Seine. Problem, the Parisian river is very busy and subject to a drastic regulation. The ship needs to sail more than 22 km / h at cruising speed while the regulations impose a maximum authorized speed on the Seine of 12 km / h in the city center, and 18 km / h beyond.
A few months after this news we could see Sea Bubble in Villefranche, while having a pleasant solar boat tour with seaZen. It is very interesting to see this type of boat dealing against the conditions of navigation at sea. However, it was difficult for us to run as our solar catamarans are designed to navigate in total autonomy with the sun, so that the speed of navigation are not compatible. It is also true that the programs of use have nothing to do.
Seabubble photographed by the seaZen team,
next to the Darse of Villefranche-sur-Mer 2018
A dramatic change in September 2018, we learn that Seabubbles has - finally - obtained the authorization to sail by derogation until 25 knots is about 40 km / h. This derogation was obtained at the highest level thanks to the initiative of the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the Minister of Transport Élisabeth Borne.
Even the very conservative sailing community is releasing the news about the project to create a line of 15 to 20 seaBubble that could open between Trocadero and the Gare de Lyon for spring.
Given the speed of cruise considered, this means of transport can hope to compete with cars. Moreover, when we follow the progress made in the autonomous vehicle, and we will talk about it in a future article, it seems quite likely that boats like Seabubbles will offer unmanned passenger transport. If this technology is on the market before autonomous cars, then the economic alternative will be all the more competitive.
To be continued...